Taking a creative approach to your content strategy
Written by: Guest Contributor
By Marion McHenry
Sometimes, it’s easy to get stuck in the routine of publishing the same content on the same channels at the same time every year. And while this can make life a little easier and more predictable for your marketing team, it can feel stagnant and boring to your audiences AND your employees.
Without a willingness to take risks, it’s difficult to produce content that’s creative and exciting for both your employees to create and for your customers to engage with. Yet, with the constant pressure from the C-suite to provide results—and not to mention a lack of time and manpower—those creative ideas you’ve had in the back of your mind often get put on the backburner. When you’re trying to please everyone, you end up creating content that serves its purpose, but doesn’t get you (or your customers) excited to immerse themselves in it. Finding that balance between pleasing your CEO, your team, your readers, and yourself (yes, you count too) is key.
Start with a solid strategy
The first step in getting to this point is making sure that everyone is on the same page. We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: always start with strategy. Before you start spewing out content left and right, know the buyer personas you wish to target and influence, and the value and top messages you plan to deliver to them through your content. While each piece of content you produce may send a different message, all of those messages should come together to tell one larger story for your brand.
The problem here is that in trying to stick to the content strategy, many marketers make the mistake of falling into that routine, repeating themselves often and simply boring their readers. Having a defined strategy doesn’t mean that you can’t color outside of the lines every now and then. In fact, it’s those kinds of risks that take your audience by surprise, catches their fleeting attention, and subsequently inspires them to engage with your content.
As much as we emphasize sticking to the strategy, if your content plan isn’t working the way you thought it would, you need to address the problem right away. For example, if your content is primarily print-based, but your audience is starting to do more online, try repurposing your content online. Throw in an online video to inspire some creativity in your brand. Reach out to influence on social media. Don’t be afraid to do a little bit of experimentation. Shake things up to see what happens and what works.
The bottom line is that you’re not always going to get it right the first time around and that’s okay. The important thing is to acknowledge the problem, rather than ignore it, and make the necessary changes to your content strategy. Just by doing that alone, you’re already getting more creative.
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