Regardless of size, many brands today are challenged with leveraging their own unique points of differentiation. I’m not referring to a bulleted list of items on a marketing strategy sheet, though. They lack the ability to tap into their own internal expertise or stockpile of knowledge and use it to tell a relevant and meaningful story. That story becomes the baseline for content a brand publishes. As online content continues to make significant strides in helping brands get found (SEO + social + content), focused content is critical.
Many brands are not sure where to begin when it comes to developing a content strategy. Some simply start publishing at breakneck speed. They share information they think consumers are interested in, but they often see low engagement. The challenge is to find something your consumers are interested in and have it connect to what your brand can legitimately offer. Brands can address this challenge by searching the digital ecosystem for opportunities.
There are four critical, yet underutilized, sources for information that can help guide a brand in developing a focused and relevant content strategy. They help leverage a brand’s strengths, uncover opportunity and address consumer need.
- Search: a real-time, historical record of consumer wants, needs and desires. Lots and lots of data.
- Social: the consumer sentiment and conversation around your brand, your competition and your category.
- Web analytics: your single most powerful insight tool for discovering what you can learn from your own customers.
- Category trends: a forecast of underutilized or future areas of opportunity your brand can leverage.
With those four areas as a starting point for discovery, you can begin to identify overlapping areas that represent the basis for driving your content strategy. Often, the story may not even be directly related to the brand. (Or so it would seem on the surface.) But that’s what’s great about the process — you can identify the insights to tell stories that are meaningful and relevant but are only captured through this process.
- Do the overlaps between search and Web analytics suggest that you begin to exert your expertise in a particular topic?
- Is there something that motivates people to share within social channels that your brand can legitimately contribute to in conversation?
By asking these questions, and leveraging tangible data and analytics to guide your decisions, you are on your way to developing a focused and compelling content strategy.