5 strategic questions to ask yourself about your brand's content for 2018

It’s that time of year again: I smell planning. The majority of us will be spending at least some time in the coming months planning for the year (or years) ahead. I’ve already made the case for placing content firmly within the overall strategic business agenda, but whether you’re digging in deep or planning with a lighter touch, here are some strategic questions you should be asking yourself about content for 2018:

What is my brand’s business focus for 2018?

Is it growth? Consolidation? New markets? Launching a new product? Doing social good like funding wells in Mali? Whatever it is, you can bet your bottom marketing dollar that the right content can help make this happen. Make the connection and bank that thought for your content planning.

Where are we starting from, content-wise?

Every brand is at a unique different stage of content maturity. And much of that maturity level will have to do with resources, the legacy of content past and established momentum. Think of it as a mastery spectrum: when it comes to content, is your brand emerging, developing, improving, mature or innovating? Knowing where you stand on the spectrum gives you an automatic steer toward where you’re heading.

What’s available to support content in my business?

Take a realistic look at the content set-up in your business: which resources, know-how, processes, time and budget are available? Get clear on that now so that you can plan and resource effectively. And think back to your business focus—if 2018 ambitions signal a step-change in business performance, do you need a step-change in content creation? And how will you resource that?

What is content’s strategic role in my business?

We know that content is a must-have, a given. But sometimes, with ubiquity comes complacency. Interrogate the strategic role of content in your business afresh—it can and does change over time. Be 100% clear on content’s job in your business, right now. It could be sales, brand awareness, recruitment, loyalty, a hundred other roles or, more likely, a combination. Explore those roles and weight them (what’s the rough split?), so that you can plan and resource your content accordingly—and give it far better odds on delivering.

What’s my content commitment for 2018?

This is a broad question, but an important one. Once you’ve established content’s strategic role and what’s possible, you’re in the right position to stake your 2018 commitments. It could be results-led, like generating specific customer outcomes through content programmes. It could also be process-based, like training or upskilling teams to create content, or redefining the content-creation process entirely.

 

Answer all of these questions, and you’ll have a pretty good strategic steer for your in-depth content planning for the year ahead. If you need more help, I offer full content strategy and planning support, that can be delivered in consultancy, workshops, training and more.

Get in touch if you’d like to talk about how I can help you define your most effective content approach yet in 2018.

 

Kate Foster