And once that content is in hand, what do you do to wring every ounce of impact, exposure, and momentum out of the new knowledge you’ve generated?
You may be reasonably satisfied with the content you generate. But beyond a newsletter article and the occasional media release, most organizations do little or nothing to keep the ball rolling after bringing a new piece of knowledge to life.
That means you’ve spent weeks or months on research, writing, revisions, maybe translation and peer review, just to have that magnificent effort sit idle on a shelf.
Chasing the Next Big Thing
The push to keep moving is all around us.
Everyone’s great intentions are driven by ambitious work plans, but limited by scarce resources, and what better time than the New Year to think about unrealistic resolutions?
Add a business culture that is constantly obsessed with the next big thing, chasing flavour-of-the-month trends that are bound to crash within days, and it’s a wonder that anyone stops to build a cache of knowledge and insight that will stand the test of time.
But that cornerstone content exists. You just have to know where to look.
A year ago this week, at a conference in San Diego, I heard a senior association executive talk about the trove of research in his organization’s archive. It was great material, much of it was still current, the rest could probably be refreshed—but no one had time to do anything with it.
Once I began listening for it, I heard the same story everywhere. In research reports and white papers, case studies and surveys, conference reports and literature reviews, even in hour-long videos that no one had time to view or transcribe—organizations were buried under an avalanche of information, with no strategy for putting it to work for them. (You might almost say it was time for a Smarter Shift.)
The Content Life Cycle
That can all change with a content marketing strategy that connects your content to your communications, and your communications to your organization’s overall strategy, then makes smart use of social media to knit everything together.
Here are six questions to help you get started:
- Why do we want to communicate? How can content marketing help us get our organization where it needs to be over the next six months to two years?
- Who do we need to reach? What do we know about our different audience segments, and how clearly can we define them?
- Why do they want to hear from us? What content do we have, or can we generate, that matches their needs and interests?
- Where do we find them online?
- How do we measure success?
- How can we sequence our content over the next three to six months (then again in the three to six months that follow) to deliver the right message to each audience, on the channels they’re most likely to use, in the format they prefer, at the level of detail that matches their information needs?
We’ll have more to say on all of these points in future posts. To learn more about the content life cycle, click here.
(Photo via red twolips)