Creating content is a real challenge for any organisation – but knowing whether you’re creating the right content can be even more difficult. Whatever form your content takes, and however it’s delivered, there are some simple steps you can follow to ensure it not only reaches, but resonates with, your audience.
Before putting proverbial pen-to-paper, it’s vital to determine the purpose of your content. This means asking, ‘what’s the end goal?’ For example, is it attracting new visitors and potential leads, building a stronger relationship with existing customers, supporting staff, or building awareness of your brand?
Secondly, consider what value you are going to deliver to your audience, whether it actually serves the purpose, and why they would read/watch/interact with your content. Are they going to learn something, will there be an incentive, or is the purpose simply to entertain?
To focus your content effectively, it’s important to understand your audience. An excellent way of achieving this understanding, is to build personas. This means creating profiles for hypothetical individuals who represent your target audience(s), based on data that you have, such as sales data, analytics, or research.
This stretches from basic demographic data – like gender, age, and education – through to more personal information – such as interests, goals, and challenges.
Based on the knowledge gained from the two previous steps, you also need to decide what type of content best suits your audience. Is it written content, video or something interactive? Do they want in-depth opinion pieces or lists of tricks and tips? Are they consuming content on desktop or mobile, and will your content offer them high-quality experiences?
Publish & Manage
Once you’ve decided on a content strategy, you need to make sure the creation, approval and publishing process is streamlined, by designing a clear process, and using appropriate software tools to manage it. This will allow you to maximise output, minimise cost, and time.
Content workflows will usually include steps such as; initial outline, writing, reviewing, editing, final approval, and publishing. These tasks are likely to be divided between different members, or even sections, of your team so automation and collaboration tools are important. For the final outputs, especially when working with rich media (such as images and video), it’s important to find tools that can deliver appropriate content for the ever-increasing plethora of digital devices without the need for excessive (and continued) human input. Constant redesigning, resizing, transcoding video, etc can be a real drain on resources.
What drives your audiences to consume your content, how are they doing it, and what kind of experiences are they getting? These are the kinds of questions you should be asking, not just at the start of the process, but on an ongoing basis. The digital ecosystem isn’t static, so nor can you be. It’s also important to consider how your audience discovers your content – do they find it through your company intranet? Corporate websites? Email, chat or collaboration tools? How easy is it for them to actually access?
When it comes to technology, in today’s mobile-first landscape, whether you’re producing business content (for staff or customers), or consumer content, it’s imperative that it can be consumed on mobile devices with ease. To achieve this, you’ll need a scalable, native content delivery platform, which puts content control in the hands of the creators, rather than specialist developers.
Analytics & Insight
Analytics are a vital way of knowing what content performs well, and making sure you have the insights to best serve your users going forward.
When planning future content, you can make sure you’re creating more in the vein of your most popular pieces. But analytics also go much deeper than that, allowing you to build up a picture of the typical user journey. You can highlight how people get to your content and, if it’s nested within your own app, any usability issues, navigational bottlenecks or other recurring pain points.
Last, but by-no-means least, an essential consideration in any content strategy is return on investment (ROI), which can be achieved directly and indirectly.
Firstly, and perhaps most obviously, content creators can sell the content using a variety of different models, including:
- Periodical – “per-issue” – common with magazines
- Subscription – on a regular basis (such as monthly or weekly)
- Rental – pay-to-read or view per piece of content
- One-off payment – popular with apps – “buy the app and get the content”
Secondly, the idea of monetisation doesn’t necessarily require content to generate revenue directly. If content helps to create leads, or otherwise helps convert sales, it’s worth investing in. Good examples of this include buyers guides, or companion content such as technical information and manuals. Beyond that, content can help attract and retain talented staff, or upskill workers which can, in turn, have a big impact on business performance.
The bottom line is that if content is able to attract new customers, engage staff, enable them to be more efficient, or minimise calls to your help-desk – it’s delivering ROI.
To find out how Rakuten Aquafadas can help you create, publish, manage, and monetise your content, get in touch today.
For more information, and to find out how some of the world’s biggest brands are leveraging Rakuten Aquafadas technology to support their content strategy, control costs, and move faster, check our case studies!