This is the second in a three-part series about how to be an effective content leader. In this post, Brittany Berger explains the five goals every great content strategist should keep in mind.
If only a content strategist’s sole job was to market content. But that’s not so realistic.
Success in content is measured by more than the number of posts you publish, more than the pageviews you get and even more than the number of conversions on your content.
(Yes, there’s more to life and marketing than conversions, and it’s OK to admit it.)
In addition to managing the content creation process, content leaders also need to build a company culture that respects and uses content, act as quality control and measure KPIs — as well as steer the ship on the many other things that keep us busy day after day.
These five goals in particular should be priorities during your content career:
1. Walk the brand awareness line
Brand awareness is an important goal for the whole marketing team, including content. In fact, 77 percent of B2B marketers say generating brand awareness is one of the top priorities of their content marketing, according to the 2016 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends North America report from Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs.
But obviously, content shouldn’t have your brand’s name plastered all over it. So where does the balance lie? Knowing that line — as well as when to blur, move or cross it — is what makes someone a content leader.
Great content strategists know how to infuse their organization’s branding into content in a variety of ways — some subtle and some not so much, some visual and some written, some contextual and some explicit. They don’t over-brand their content; for example, on-brand/branded content can be something that uses certain colors or evokes certain emotions. It doesn’t just mean putting your brand name or logo everywhere.
2. Create consistent messaging
You also have to act as your brand’s quality assurance inspector, the one who focuses on details as much as the big picture. Are your messages consistent, both with each other and your overall brand?
This doesn’t mean you must inspect every word sent by your company. I’ve been there, and it’s not fun. You constantly have a huge stack of content waiting for your approval, and you’re drowning in punctuation and formatting (important tasks, but they belong with an editor) instead of creative ideas and big picture thinking.
Instead, create brand guidelines that help ensure consistent messaging and branding. Make it easy for your whole company to create on-brand content. Create tip sheets for sales and support teams, and you can even create templates or prompts for them to start from.
For example, here’s how you could help your whole team consistently talk about a new campaign or product:
- Write sample content or templates team members can use
- Create an info sheet with important talking points
- Provide do’s and don’ts for general communication
3. Build a content-centric culture
You already know how hard it can be to get your organization on board with content marketing. It’s even harder when content marketing is just an abstract concept to them. But once your coworkers understand how content marketing helps your company, they’ll become easier to work with.
If you’re not already, be transparent. Make the content strategy easily accessible. Keep your team informed of what the content team is doing and why, then update everyone with how it’s going.
Seeing your content strategy play out, seeing it turn a stranger into a lead or customer, and viewing the content capable of doing that, is important to getting buy-in and enthusiasm from the whole organization.
Enough that they’ll leverage content in their own roles, thereby making their jobs easier and the whole business more effective and efficient. That’s the power of a content-centric culture.
4. Measure effectiveness
How will you know which types of content and subject matters are working for you? This requires an analysis of your important metrics.
Take advantage of how readily available marketing data is now and how simple it can be to interpret and analyze. Make data-driven decisions and adjustments to your content strategy based on past effectiveness.
Effectiveness can be determined by tracking the KPIs you and your team identify. For content at the top of the funnel, effectiveness might be measured by how many readers convert to subscribers. For pieces further down in the process, it’ll probably be something like the number of sales or leads passed onto sales reps.
5. Generate revenue
Revenue is not an option; it is the overall goal of business. Everything should somehow work toward that. And as such, your content needs to do more than attract visitors — it needs to convert them into leads and nurture them down the sales funnel.
Your content strategy should include mapping content to each stage of the marketing funnel. For example, one campaign needs to include content for the awareness, consideration and decision stages to move a contact through the sales process. Each piece should align with what someone at that stage needs to know.
Content marketing, as it exists today, is pretty new, and that creates some obstacles and goals that can require as much focus as creating content itself. But when you’re a content strategy heavyweight, it’s not a huge challenge. You need to identify what you need to do and sit down to create a plan.
What are your main goals to bring great content to your company? Share anything we missed in the comments.