Real-time content creation or what’s being described as a “newsroom for brands” should not be the focal point of your content strategy. It’s sexy, yes. Everyone is talking about it, yes. Every brand should have one, yes. We even build these for clients at Edelman. But it’s one very small piece of the strategy, that’s it. Nothing more, nothing less.
A content strategy enables and positions a brand to tell a consistent story across the media landscape. It helps draw parallels between what’s important to customers and what the brand stands for. Content strategy enables marketing teams to create more relevant content based on what the brand is comfortable talking about online and what it’s not comfortable talking about. It allows employees, partners and customer service to participate and be a part of the story too.
A content strategy requires planning – months of planning in some cases. Before building out the social or content narrative, brands must take into consideration several key inputs before making any assumptions on what they think is relevant, for example:
- Brand positioning and voice
- What issues are important to the brand (i.e. sustainability, politics)
- Media perception of the brand. How do they refer to the brand when they write stories?
- Community perception of the brand. How do they engage? What’s their tone?
- Fan interests. What else is your community interested in when they aren’t talking to or about the brand?
- Historical content performance. What has worked in the past and what has failed?
- Search behavior. What do people search for when they are looking for the brand’s products and services?
The output of these seven ingredients will mold a content strategy that can scale and give birth to content that changes customer behavior – whether it’s selling more products, repositioning a company or helping customers change the way they perceive the brand.
Real-time content creation makes sense when the opportunity presents itself. However, brands shouldn’t just wait around for something to happen in the media and then build their story around it. They should already have a story.
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