What’s a king without a queen? And isn’t a king without an army just a screwball with a crown?
Content may be king, but content doesn’t rule without a court. Great content still needs its counterparts in context, a powerful distribution plan to put concepts into action and connection with the people. Having seen first-hand the importance of achieving an inter-relationship between content, context, distribution and connection, I’ve outlined four key points below to help you complete your content marketing strategy.
Marry Content To Context
In a recent post, digital native Chris Heggem suggested context ruled over content, but after a brief discussion on twitter, he and I both agreed that if context were king, content would still be queen. Like any good relationship, it’s not clear who is actually in charge, but what is clear is that both content and context need each other. You may have the Mona Lisa of infographics, but if your information isn’t tailored to the interests of your audience you might as well be finger-painting. Likewise, if you have a highly receptive audience waiting for your next release it would be insulting to just toss out a cut-and-paste whitepaper.
Enable Distribution With Context
“With so many people sharing across social channels how can my content possibly stand out?” The answer to this frequently asked question is simple: know what your audience wants and their preferred channel for receiving it. These two parameters are the difference between inviting your audience to enjoy your content, and coming off as spam or sounding just like everyone else. Content that appears naturally in the context of a conversation has a much greater chance of being shared than the annoying “push and pray” method (pushing content out in front of anyone who will look and praying they’ll respond).
Distribution Amplifies Content
What happens when remarkable content reaches passionate people? Inspiration for creating more content. A hallmark of good content is that it stirs something in the people who encounter it. Thanks to social media, people can react to your content. Comments, retweets and links lengthen the shelf life of your content. Whether it’s a pun on your title in a tweet, or an entire blog post about your latest whitepaper, getting your content in the hands of the right people can give it new life to spread even further than it would on its own. In their book Content Rules, Ann Handley and CC Chapman call this “giving your content wings and roots.”
Make Your Content Connect
It’s one thing to connect with your desired audience of buyers and prospects, but are you connecting your content internally? If you’re not making colleagues and partners aware of your content, you’re only doing half the job. Content ultimately serves as the backbone for several functions, such as demand generation, building lasting relationships with customers, closing deals, community management…the list goes on and on. Connect with other internal teams to assess their goals and needs. With the right amount communication and re-imagining, your content can live on far longer than you initially planned.
What’s your content marketing strategy? How do you maximize the value, reach and impact of your content?