The role of content within organizations can be…fuzzy. But taking the time to think your way through the fog and create a content strategy is incredibly beneficial for your organization. Here’s why:
1. Content creates alignment within your organization
When you clarify and document your content strategy, you create an opportunity for every department to align around the conversations your organization should be having in the market. And that alignment substantially improves marketing’s contribution to revenue:
Tightly aligned’ companies achieve 24% faster three-year revenue growth and 27% faster three-year profit growth. – via Hubspot
And when you have alignment, not only can you achieve revenue growth faster, you can solve challenges faster. As this chart points out, the number one challenge for marketing leaders is driving growth. How many other departments within your organization would say something similar? Multiple teams aligning around a content strategy provides the opportunity to solve challenges by building the parameters for every team to tell a consistent, powerful story.
2. Content produces efficiency and constructive chaos
When you identify, document and share a content strategy that maps out content themes for your organization, you enable every team to be a part of the content/storytelling process.
By content themes, I mean the foundational topics that support each stage of the funnel. These are topics your organization has the right to talk about because (1) they align with your mission and values and (2) your target audience cares about hearing what you have to say about them. For instance, if you’re a tech SaaS company who specializes in creating security software, one content theme for you might be why it’s so hard for SaaS companies to maintain a secure state.
Identifying and documenting these themes creates a shared content foundation internally, bringing consistency to your organization’s message at every audience touchpoint. But it also opens up space for people across your organization to add nuance to the message when they need to, for specific audiences. In other words, it creates constructive chaos.
This approach is a welcome departure from old-school command-and-control processes, and from having to justify media spend, asset creation and project timelines every time you want to build a campaign. By establishing content themes as a foundation within your organization, you accelerate the campaign process and create a shared sense of purpose and collaboration throughout your organization.
Let’s break it down with a visual.
Here’s what the campaign process typically looks like:
Here’s what it looks like with a content theme foundation:
At Demand Spring, we call the process of defining content themes Conversation Mapping. We help our clients identify the conversations they should be having at the highest level in their industry today. It’s an incredibly valuable, not to mention fun, process to work through. The end goal is to succinctly define and build a framework to which campaigns, conversations, investor relations, social, sales scripts, etc. can all be aligned.
3. Content enables you to build a loyal following
This third point might sound wishy washy. It is anything but.
Your company’s content strategy should tangibly reflect its mission, vision and values. The more easily a line can be drawn from the mission of the company to the actions employees undertake in their daily roles, the more invested and engaged your employees will be. A recent article from Forbes supports this idea:
“Creating a shared vision requires that leaders build a strong foundation and framework. They must provide both real and perceived stability without coming across as too regimented, scripted or prescriptive. It also requires them to value the cultivation and sharing of new ideas.”
The type of content strategy framework we are talking about helps to do exactly that. By building, sharing, and contributing to a common content strategy that links the mission of your company to the what employees are doing on a day-to-day basis, you are creating a shared, purpose-driven, inclusive culture.
This is not about tearing your marketing processes apart and starting over. It’s about shifting your campaign process from a one-off, command-and-control process to an inclusive, collaborative process founded on content themes. This one tweak will enable a whole new world of possibilities.
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