Content strategy: the 3 fatal mistakes
In “ content strategy ” there is the word “strategy”, and it is best not to forget it!
When we want to set up a content strategy, we quickly define an editorial calendar, then rush headlong with the sole aim of meeting the deadlines that we have imposed on ourselves.
Very often, we neglect to think about the resources and the nature of the content that we are going to distribute. Yet this is where the “strategy” really comes into play. Reflection on the editorial line and formats is essential because it is this that will allow you to highlight your identity, your little extra, and thus engage your audience .
If you rush daily to meet your deadlines, and ultimately your posts don’t generate more than 15 likes, it’s time to take a step back. The world isn’t going to stop spinning if you slow down your posting rate. However, if you continue on this path, you will never make your content a pillar of your marketing strategy.
As an agency, we support a variety of clients, often confronted with this problem. Today, we give you three tips to get off to a good start.
Breathe in breathe out…
Fatal mistake # 1: posting faster than your shadow
In 2019, content marketing spend increased by 56%.Content Marketing Institute
Today’s businesses know they need to produce branded content .
Content marketing actions require a budget that is twice less than the average and generate three times more business.
Investments increase, therefore, and they yield more. Tempting for companies, which enthusiastic, can make a fatal mistake : launching too quickly in the distribution of content. It’s not uncommon to see companies hire a community manager, and ask them to post bursts of social media posts. A mistake frequently made by VSEs / SMEs and large companies without digital culture.
Publishing faster than its shadow is a bad habit that sets in when we confuse “development of content strategy ” and “increase in the rate of publication”. Often, it comes from a good intention: posting more to catch up with the competition.
But it is not that simple. For this to work, it’s not enough to post a lot, you have to post quality content. Certainly, if you publish one post per week on Facebook and increase to five, you will surely get five times as many likes. But by taking the time to create strong formats, you could get 10 times more likes, and that by only posting once.
Ask yourself the right questions :
- What are my goals? Set SMART goals (specific, measurable, ambitious, realistic and time-bound). It may sound academic, but it is the key to successful content marketing. Take the time to identify the right KPIs.
- What communication channels should I invest to build my inbound marketing strategy ? Create a blog ? A newsletter? Post on social networks? The three ? Why ? In which order ?
- What content formats can I offer to my audience? Do I have the resources to do it? Are they of good quality? Should I hire a photographer, editor, copywriter? What cost does this incur?
Fatal error # 2: Producing without an editorial charter
Do you know the difference between an editorial line and an editorial charter? The editorial charter is a document that sets the expectations of management in stone. A management tool that allows operational teams to follow clear instructions and use the right tone.
The editorial line is abstract, not materialized. It is a subjective vision carried by the person in charge of validating the content.
The problem when you don’t have an editorial charter is that the validation of content rests entirely on the shoulders of the decision-maker. This can prove to be penalizing and harm the editorial planning, especially when the validator is not the one who creates the planning.
Why ? Because he does not necessarily have the time to control if the content conforms to his vision, and that his vision can be altered by his moods. And yes, we are just humans.
The editorial charter is a document that sets the expectations of management in stone. The editorial line is abstract, not materialized. It is a subjective vision carried by the person in charge of validating the content.
To avoid falling into this trap, it is essential to freeze the vision by producing an editorial charter .
The latter must address at least the following subjects:
- Key : What state of mind should the speeches reflect?
- Style guide : grammar modes, punctuation standards, typographic conventions, internal grammar.
- Formatting : semantics of images, alignment rules, color codes, fonts, use of bold, underlining, style of bulleted lists, style of quotes.
- Business terminology : which words should be used and which words should not be used?
- Personas : who are the communication targets? What are their brakes and their motivations. Should content entertain? Help make a choice?
This approach has the merit of refocusing the reflection on content towards the audience, where too often, it is turned towards the expectations of the decision-maker / validator.
Fatal mistake # 3: Think editorial, but not performance
Thinking “ performance ” has two major advantages:
- This pushes content producers to adopt best practices specific to each medium (blog article, newsletter, social networks, white paper). What is the point of publishing content if it is not seen?
- This makes it possible to motivate the troops by projecting them on the data fallout of their actions. A concrete assessment of the efforts made in a context where the subjectivity of the validator is too often the only performance indicator we can trust.
Find out about the most efficient formats depending on the media. For example, the video on Facebook, or the polls on Twitter! Lead your thinking on this basis.
Optimize your content for SEO !
Start by desecrating this discipline, often considered an “occult” art mastered by a few gurus. Adopt a “scientific” posture. Rigor, concentration and method will allow you to obtain results. This is a lever with high added value that will allow you to increase your conversion rate.
- First, you will need to master keyword research. To do this, no mystery, you have to go through one of the many tools at your disposal. We recommend SEMrush , which is very comprehensive and offers free training . If you just want a taste, you can use the free UberSuggest tool .
- Then you will need to be able to gain backlinks to increase your authority score. We do it again in French: get traffic from partner sites that are leaders in your market and become so in your turn.
- Finally, you need to make sure that your site is technically well enough optimized. But that will not be a problem if you call on Web Creation London!