How to build a good content strategy
Content marketing seems to be a good way of getting your message out there, especially for companies in sectors in which there is a lot of pressure on marketing budgets. But what is a good content strategy?
Seven years after the debut of the annual Content Marketing Institute survey in, among others, the US, we see that the gap between ‘best in class’ and the rest widens.
This is true for our sector as well. All fund houses are doing something, or want to do something, with content marketing and here we see clear differences. The best-performing fund house marketers develop well-thought-out and documented content strategies and use an ongoing cycle of measurement and improvement. Another important success factor for them is structuring their content production as a continuous process. The latter is often a big challenge for the naturally creative marketers who are, in general, no fans of designing and implementing processes.
A well-known sales motto is that you should not sell something to someone that they do not need and sell everything that they do need. Content can play a crucial role in this. Especially in leading prospects and clients through the sales funnel: from awareness, engagement, lead generation, lead nurturing and conversion, to cross-sell, up-sell, retention and advocacy.
However, actioning content marketing leads to headaches for many organisations: How do we know which content is relevant for our audience? “How do we ensure the production of relevant and interesting content as a continuous process and through which channels and in which format can we best share our content with our clients? How do we know if our content marketing has the desired effect?
A good content strategy
Although studying various organisations leads to the conclusion that there is no set template for a good content strategy that you can just apply to any company, the road to a good content strategy is one that you certainly can steer and expedite. This can be done by answering a number of targeted questions that lead to a well-thought-out content strategy. In first instance, it is about asking and answering the following key questions:
- Why do we want to publish?
- Who do we want to reach?
- What are we publishing about?
- Which formats?
- Where are we publishing?
- When are we publishing?
- Who takes care of the content?
- Do we know how we are going to measure the effect?
A continous process
Because most fund houses are internationally active, it is advisable to start in one product market combined with one country, e.g. the Netherlands, Institutional. It is very important to recognise that content marketing is a continuous process, which should be embedded in the organisation, including clear agreements about governance.Rolling this out requires continuous attention and time from the various disciplines, such as sales, marketing, subject matter experts, writers and translators. Organising a content organisation in which various departments work together and have management buy-in is essential. This distinguishes the ‘best in class’ from the rest.