Content strategy is always a good idea. If you ask a room full of business people to raise their hands if they think content strategy is important for success, most everyone will raise their hand high. However, if your next inquiry is, “Raise your hand if you have a documented content strategy for your company,” you’ll see a lot less hands in the air.
Let’s see if we can improve that, shall we?
I’ve been a management and business geek all my life. It’s my jam. Always interested in learning and improving my management skills, I was once given the opportunity to receive training in the People-Service-Profits philosophy. It was my thinking about this philosophy that inspired me to write this post about the 3 Ps of content strategy. Here’s why…
The P-S-P philosophy (outlined below) makes employees an integral part of the decision-making process. When people are placed first, they will provide the highest possible service, and profits will follow. P-S-P becomes the basis for all business decisions, including content marketing.
- The “People” priority acknowledges the importance of employee satisfaction and empowerment to create an environment where employees feel secure enough to take risks and become innovative in pursuing quality, service and customer satisfaction.
- “Service” refers to the consistent and clearly stated service quality goal of 100% customer satisfaction, 100% of the time.
- If the people and service goals have been met, a “Profit” should be the result.
The P-S-P philosophy can be applied to content strategy.
Employees are well-regarded as the most trustworthy representative in the company. Happy, contented and motivated employees are enthusiastic about their jobs and their place in the company. That enthusiasm is contagious and is evident when they interact with customers.
A winning content strategy includes employee participation.
The task of creating a cohesive content strategy becomes easier when a company is people-centric. Why? Because the day-to-day interplay between happy employees and loyal customers is something you cannot fake, and customers engage more when they see it.
When that realness is present, it’s only a matter of documenting it via written word, images or video.
Without that people-centric foundation, the marketing team has to go elsewhere for content ideas. After all, there’s only so much you can do with spotlighting products. At some point, you need a story to engage customers.
We hear a lot about storytelling in marketing. People-centric companies have mastered the art of storytelling their brand. Those stories are a powerful way to build meaningful connections with customers.
Without a good foundation, you’ll have trouble creating anything of value.
Content marketing isn’t about what you sell, it’s about what you stand for.
Now that you’ve got a head start on making your content stand out among all the other noise, the next step is to build a process using the 3 Ps of content strategy.
This is the framework and formula for how the company’s content will reach the right customer at the right time – wherever they may be in their purchase cycle.
Content production begins with ideas. Monthly brainstorming sessions with the marketing team utilizing a content calendar will cultivate a successful outcome.
- Who will produce the content? Here’s where a widely-accepted process for employee submission really works in your favor.
- Who will edit the content? Not every bit of content idea or submission will be suitable. The editor should have a firm grasp on what the target customer will engage with most.
- Where will the content be stored? Content is a company asset. Make sure you have a cloud backup like Dropbox available.
- In what ways can content be re-purposed?
- Older blog posts can be refreshed.
- A group of blog posts can be turned into Ebooks to attract new customers and build trust.
- Videos can re-purposed into podcasts.
With ideas and content produced, the next step is to publish.
- Where will you publish? Identify where your target customers spend the most time.
- How often will you publish? With blog posts, twice a week is a great start. For social media, refer to the best data you have for when your customers engage most. If you’re new, post a few times per day and pay attention to engagement metrics.
- Plan for emergencies. There are tools like Buffer and Agora Pulse that provide scheduled publishing. It’s a best practice to schedule content every 5-7 days. Not only does it cover you in the event of an emergency, it frees people up to engage more with fans and followers.
A lot of really great content doesn’t get seen because companies haven’t realized that promoting content is part of content strategy.
- What is the budget for promotion? Google Adwords and Facebook ads are generally the most powerful tools available to promote content.
- How is the budget allocated? Portions of the budget should be spent to increase your social media following and increase engagement with your content. If you’ve got a campaign or promo coming up (ie: an ad campaign), don’t forget to factor that in.
- How will you measure and analyze results? Goals such as engagement, reach, clicks to landing pages and conversions should all be tracked to calculate ROI.
Why do so many businesses feel like their content strategy is failing? Because they don’t truly have one.
The explosive growth of content marketing has put pressure on companies, which makes the situation ripe for taking shortcuts. In most cases, the strategies haven’t “failed” at all. The “strategy,” whatever it was, wasn’t clear enough to guide the business to achieve its goals.
If you replace the vague idea of “content strategy” with thoughtful brand development and crystal-clear goals, you’ll see your content marketing advance into something worth fighting for.