Content strategy: Give away what you know. Sell what you can.
Interesting content often does not reach the public because some old-timers still believe that knowledge is power. "We can not just spread our expertise in the market," the managers often tell me. "In the end we only feed the competition."
So please! In a sharing economy, all knowledge of the world is available anytime and for everyone. What you do not find on your website can be found elsewhere. And once you're there, you're gone. "Give away what you know to sell what you can," advises communication expert Kerstin Hoffmann.
Of course, this does not apply to the crown jewels of a company: success strategies, manufacturing processes, secret recipes, corporate patents. But guidebook articles should become public. Then it can not happen that someone else puts such knowledge into the internet for the first time and then reclaims it for himself.
1. Sifting content
Who has nothing to say, quickly forgotten. Only those who are always anchored in the consciousness of the customers, will be remembered. Therefore, create a veritable pool of content from which you can draw on schedule. For this purpose, an inventory is first made:
- What do we have about content?
- Which content are we already using where?
- What must go away?
- What is placed in the wrong place?
- What is placed too often or too rarely?
- What is missing in which places?
- What is duplicated?
Once the quantitative analysis is done, the content quality is tuned:
- Is there a coherent overall picture that suits us and the brand?
- What's outdated or contains outdated information?
- What needs to be revised because it does not work that way?
- What is cannibalized?
- What can be recycled at which point?
When the inventory is ready, the following questions arise:
- What needs to be founded, high-quality and as unique as possible, because it is important for the users - and as unique content Google likes it?
- With what content can our expertise be consolidated, take on a pioneering role or gain leadership in topics?
- Where do we add existing content and where do we currently need missing content?
- Who in the Company has the right inputs?
In this way, you check your content inventory as part of a content audit and determine what is suitable for the planned measures and what is still missing.
2. Create new content material
Anyone who practices systematic content marketing needs a constant stream of content material. This quickly raises the question of finding a topic. To do this, you first enter all the topics that your target groups might be interested in. You can use different methods for this, for example:
- Brainstorming: Create a group of marketing, sales and service representatives. Then start a brainstorming process according to the known brainstorming rules. The topics of your brainstorming sessions can be collected in list form or with the help of a MindMap.
- Brainwriting: If you have no opportunity to meet, you can also act in writing. Write down a list of your ideas and send this list to a first colleague. This one adds to the list and, inspired by your ideas, may find some new ones. He now sends the extended list to a third colleague. You can continue such a brainwriting as you like until you have found enough topics.
- The A-Z Technology: Also the A-Z Technology can help to find new idea. Simply create a list with the letters from A to Z and try to generate an idea for each letter.
Once the list of topics has been created, the proposals are first clustered and then evaluated. Assessment criteria are, for example, the relevance for selected target persons, the suitability for individual phases in the purchase process of a customer, the effort involved in the implementation and so on.
3. Evaluation criteria for content selection
The evaluation criteria to be determined determine which topics are used in which order. Please do not let yourself be guided by your self-assessment. This is wrong fast. Instead, check the importance of the topics from the customer's perspective.
In addition, it is necessary to continuously examine which topics are currently being discussed or are about to break through in the industry, among customers, in society and in the ecosystem of the internet. A classic helper for this is Google Trends. This can be used to analyze the popularity of topics and terms over time. In addition, synonyms can be set against each other.
For example, it is possible to determine whether people are more inclined to one Hairdryer or a hairdryer search. The result of such research can have a huge impact on how well your content performs. A great side effect: you start talking in the language of the customers. Company-internal terminology that nobody understands outside is extremely dangerous: what people do not understand, they do not buy.
In addition, the contents of the competitors must be regularly checked in order to differentiate themselves from them, or even better, in order to beat them. To do this you offer - with the courage to be different - content material that the competition does not Has. In addition, the content owner must react immediately to daily events or sudden incidents. Because content also needs relevance.
4. Plain text content instead of buzzword bubbling
Each content needs an analysis of style and tonality: Are the texts useful at all? Informative and emotional at the same time? Is the language customer friendly, entertaining and concrete? Or do you communicate stiffly and distanced, academically and incredibly cryptic?
Especially in texts, we like to express ourselves in a sedate and stilted way, preferably in epic length. Bloated, meaningless, idiotic and foreign-word-spun management slang is everywhere in the business. Buzzword-Geblubber I call that. But that does not get you very far.
No one wants to decipher nebulous ramblings. Bad communication creates general confusion and withdrawal. Or it causes misunderstandings that can lead to wrong conclusions and ultimately fatal mistakes. "The language in the company tells the truth about its character," writes the author Gabriele Borgmann in her manual "Business Texts".
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