When you spot a tactical opportunity, it’s very easy to lose sight of the long term and pump money into something that ultimately won’t achieve your goals and could damage your brand. That’s why it’s vital, when these opportunities arise, to return to your strategic foundations before planning your content.
Is it based on real audience insight?
When you strike at the heart of your audience’s pain points, your content becomes something they desire, even something they can’t do without. BT, for example, show insight into their potential business customers’ key concerns in their series of articles on issues such as business growth, improving customer service and working on the move.
Is it aligned with our brand?
Does it fit with your values? Is it aligned with your overall proposition? Does it work in the context of the story you tell about your brand? Wholefoods’ motto is Whole Foods, Whole People, Whole Planet. One of their values is to “practice and advance environmental stewardship”. One topic area they focus on is the environment as it relates to food. They distribute content that helps their customers learn about “doing the green thing” in their choice of food.
Will it form an integrated part of our marketing communications?
Does this piece of content have a specific role within a well-defined strategy? Content can be used tactically, but it needs to engage the consumer in a way that relates to a strategic brand objective.
Do we have credibility in that area?
The audience will only find your content believable if your brand has authority and credibility in that topic area. PwC for example, produces annual white papers on the top concerns in target sectors where they are known for their expertise.
Once you’ve checked that it’s based on audience insight, aligned with your brand, has a role in your strategy and that you can talk credibly on that topic, you can move on to the next stage, planning your content.