Content strategy for the social web

Jun. 29, 2011 | by Charlie Peverett

“This ain’t no Field of Dreams,” one of our clients recently observed. Online, you build it and it’s entirely possible that no-one will ever know, let alone care.

That means we have to be smart about where we put our energies. If we do build, it’s got to be compelling and we have to be prepared to work hard to generate the attention we want for it. In a competitive area, that could be a monster job – or a fool’s errand.

In some cases, we may be better off focusing our efforts where the attention already exists, away from the spaces we own and control.

How can we decide what we create and where we prioritise? With content strategy.

Content strategy, as a discipline, is helping to bring sense to what has often been an “eleventh-hour shitstorm” – the planning, creation and management of content online.

And increasingly, it’s providing a framework for deciding where we deliver this content: on our owned spaces, in social media or on third-party sites.

We recently laid out our approach to content strategy for brand marketers, and in September I’ll be talking in more detail at Content Strategy Forum 2011 about some of the ways we use research into behaviour on the web to shape our content strategies for clients. The video below is a five-minute preview I gave earlier this month for CS London.

There are some superb speakers on the bill for September, including Karen McGrane, Gerry McGovern and Kristina Halvorson – check out the full rundown of CS Forum presentations and you’ll see why I’m looking forward to it so much.

Places are still available – come along and I’ll be glad to show you my off-site content profiles.

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    Comments (3)

    • Alex

      Nice save! Agreed Charlie :-)Jul 4, 2011 10:40 am

    • Charlie Peverett

      Thanks Alex - what I meant was: if people don't know your content exists (can't find it/aren't told about it) it doesn't matter how good it is. People won't get the opportunity to care about it!

      We should *always* be looking to create content that is compelling to someone. That's a given.

      What I think we need to get better at is putting that content in the right places. That means understanding where relevant attention already flows and whether your activity is better off focused there rather than on your own spaces.

      It's that paradox I ran out of time to talk about at the Mermaid. On the web, you're just a click or a search away from anyone. In a sense, it's a level playing field. And yet we know that content and attention has already carved out very powerful patterns in user behaviour. When we want to earn some of that attention, we need to understand these patterns and plan accordingly.

      Jul 1, 2011 11:23 am

    • Alex

      'Online, you build it and it’s entirely possible that no-one will ever know, let alone care.'

      If no one will care then you shouldn't have created the content in the first place?! Surely content marketing is about creating engaging content based on what users want, pull marketing. Not creating content you want to give users and pushing it on them?

      I totally agree that content strategies should be the core of digital marketing, especially in light of Panda and the platforms to promote it, SEO, PPC, Social Media etc should be factored into the central content strategy. Not the other way around.Jun 29, 2011 11:36 am

    Please note: the opinions expressed in this post represent the views of the individual, not necessarily those of iCrossing.

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