The One Thing You Need to Choose the Right Content Technology
List the measurable steps to reach your goal:
Tactics: What actions will allow me to achieve my objectives?
If the strategy is the “how,” then tactics are the “what” that work in tandem with it to reach your goals and achieve the supporting objectives. Tactics for branded content might include, “Create a five-part interview series” or “Collaborate with an influencer on a YouTube program.”
List the tactics that will turn your strategy into action:
Metrics: What does success look like?
Each objective should be measurable. If one objective is to improve engagement with branded content on partner website, then there should be specific metrics that define “successful” engagement — not just measures such as conversions, shares, and time spent, but X percent conversions, X shares in Y timeframe, and X time spent.
List the metrics you’ll use to track and measure success:
Resources: What do I need to make my plan a reality?
Branded content is an investment. Even tweets aren’t “free.” Someone has to spend time crafting those 140-character communications, and that someone draws a salary. List the budget, staff, and the like that you currently have for creating and distributing branded content; then list the expected budget, staff requirements, and training needed for any tools you’d like to add.
List the resources you’ll need to achieve your goal:
Technology: What tools support my plan?
Once you’ve set your goal and strategy and created lists from the other items above, you’ll have a guideline that can help you select the technologies for content creation, distribution, and measurement that fit your branded content needs. If, for example, your strategy calls for a content-heavy website, you may need an enterprise content management system. If your approach includes only a weekly blog and posting the rest of your content on partner sites and social, then you may need a simple blogging tool and sophisticated content distribution technology. If you’re focusing on just one or two channels, a basic analytics tool might suffice. But if your plan is omnichannel, you may need an advanced analytics technology. Be sure to conduct a technology audit to see what tools you already have that you can use to support your branded content efforts.
List all the technologies you could use to support your strategy:
List technologies that interest you, but don’t support your current strategy:
(Keep the second list for reference. As your strategy evolves there may be a reason to implement these tools.)
Branded content can help engage, convert, and retain customers. But without a strategy guiding you, that content may be haphazard and ineffective — and the technologies you select may not support your real needs. Worse, they may add work for your team, lead to a poor customer experience, or hold you back from achieving your branded content goals.
So, before you rush to implement that “must-have” technology, make sure you really must have it. The only way to do that is to have a solid strategy in place. Then, when the CFO asks you why you need to make the investment, you’ll have a winning argument. And, most important, a winning game plan.
Learn more about how to develop your own branded content strategy at the FUSE Enterprise Summit, which is free to qualified applicants.
Ginger Conlon is Group Special Events Advisor for the Target Marketing Group, as well as chief content strategist at CustomerAlchemy.net. She has covered marketing, sales, and customer service strategies and technologies for more than 25 years. She has served as chief editor of Direct Marketing News, 1to1, and CRM magazines. Ginger was honored with a Silver Apple lifetime achievement award for her contributions to the marketing industry, and was cited as a “Top 100 Most Social Customer Service Pros on Twitter” and a “Top 25 CRM Influencers You Should Be Following.”