The demand for digital content is everywhere in today's world. No matter what industry you're in, consumers expect that your company will contribute to the ever-expanding archive of online content in the form of blog posts, social media updates, photos and videos, on a growing roster of networks and apps. But as many brands have learned, it's not enough to simply produce mass quantities of content; it has to be good, too.
"Content in the form of text, visuals and interactive elements is the new way to create a brand voice and direction through storytelling," said Valeria Maltoni, vice president of digital strategy for marketing agency PM Digital. "The challenge for most digital marketers is determining a strategy and allocating resources for the creation of engaging and relevant content."
For companies of any size, a digital content strategy will only be effective in the long term if it is both efficient and scalable. Based on a post she wrote for the PM Digital Blog, Maltoni outlined three steps to help marketers streamline the content-creation process and achieve this goal. [Content Marketing Secrets Every Small Business Should Know]
Figure out where you need support. Brands, especially smaller ones, can't always keep up with the massive demand for original content. This demand also includes having a direct — and often immediate — impact on their target audience, which doesn't leave much room to focus on longer-term content strategy and execution.
"Many marketers take on more than their fair share of work and end up doing much of the writing and coordination themselves, making it hard to scale a content marketing execution plan," Maltoni said. "Overcoming this challenge often takes a combination of do-it-yourself and do-it-for-me."
For most companies, a lack of people, processes, tools or a combination of the three contributes to marketer burnout and a hindered ability to scale their content strategy. Maltoni recommended that you study your operations to determine the areas in which you need the most support, and collaborate with external sources as needed to build up your internal capacity.
Focus on social strategies, with internal help. Coming up with original branded content and external links to share is only one part of the equation. Each major social network has its own set of norms and standards, and if you're not customizing your social content to those standards, you may be losing out on valuable customer engagement opportunities.
"Getting the word out consistently and with stretched resources is often done with a checklist — posting the same content and links in all social networks," Maltoni said. "If a shopper can get the entire brand experience on Facebook, why would he or she engage with the brand on Pinterest or Twitter, where the content is just a repeat in a different channel?"
A good social content strategy requires an understanding of your own organizational culture and the way it fits into the culture on each social network, Maltoni noted. Therefore, it's important to turn to other departments and experts within your company to help your marketers truly understand how people search for products and make purchasing decisions. Your customer service and sales staff can provide direct consumer insights that dedicated marketers may not be able to gather themselves.
"[Internal collaboration] helps determine which [social] presences to build and maintain actively based upon audience or customer segments and business goals," Maltoni said.
Keep outsourced content consistent. Outsourcing some of your content needs, whether to freelancers or a professional agency, can make your brand's content production more efficient, but only when all internal and external efforts are consistent.
"Achieving consistency with content requires volume," Maltoni said. "Creating [audience impact] demands quality, as well as the element of surprise and delight. When outsourcing, the issue of control is where most brands struggle to bring it all together. Do-it-for-me still needs a strong DIY component."
Be sure that any outsourced content creators or promoters are following your brand voice and keeping in line with the story you want to tell.
Originally published on Business News Daily.