By Sara Williscroft, ABC, CDMP
Everyone knows that content is a critical part of any communications plan.
In 1996, Bill Gates penned an essay titled, “Content is King,” in which he predicted content would be where the most money would be made on the internet in the future. In 2017, Re:Create Coalition published a report that estimated in 2017 alone, 17 million content-creating Americans earned an income online. It would certainly seem that content is king, and its kingdom is growing.
Heather Murray, Communicatto’s director of content and strategy, knows firsthand about the impact that a solid content strategy can have on a brand. We sat down with her to find out what challenges her clients face in creating kick-butt content.
Here are the top, most common questions she gets asked and how she answers them:
- How can I make my content more relevant or impactful with my audience?
Most of our work begins by asking one question: what does your audience want? Focus on what your audience needs to hear from you rather than what you want to say.
You should also create content that has a human voice to it. This can be challenging in a corporate setting. To overcome it, try taking a story-telling approach. People tend to respond to emotionally persuasive articles told by other people. Does your content spark curiosity? Have a wow factor? Make you happy?
- I have limited resources. How do I make this work?
Even if it is a rudimentary spreadsheet, planning your content in advance will make everything easier – from the work-back process, to hunting down your interviewees, to getting approvals for your content plan.
Planning also allows you to share the workload. If you’re feeling strapped for time, maybe it is a good opportunity to do a guest post. If you can share the plan, your approvers can identify the potholes before you get there.
- Nobody sees my content. How can I get my content out there?
People often forget about distribution when they create their content. Most content, like blogs or websites, are found through search. Search is over 50% of how people find you – yet SEO is often missed in content development. Identify your keywords and phrases ahead of time so you can build it into your content.
After 15 years of experience in both corporate and agency roles, there likely isn’t a communications challenge or question Heather Murray, director of content and strategy at Communicatto hasn’t faced without a determined smile, a strong opinion and a laser focus on advancing strategy. When she isn’t overseeing the development of kick-butt strategies and compelling content, you can find her city-hopping to check out the latest greatest band, glued to her Kindle, devouring the latest news headlines or Instagramming pictures of her dog.