Creating a cohesive content strategy requires multi-disciplinary theory and practice. From assembling the right team to defining performance metrics, it’s crucial to establish key baseline foundations that will set you up for success. With the right tools, defining what you want to achieve — and exactly how you’ll measure it — will provide value on ROI.
How do you determine what your strategies should be? How do you make sure the work your team is doing aligns with your strategies? How do you measure their effectiveness? Your content strategy must answer all of these questions, and more. Do this by embracing data and employing some basic planning. Here’s how.
Before deciding on a content strategy, assess resources. We work with higher education teams on a framework to be nimble and effective using a governance model.
A governance checklist is a planning tool that serves to:
Think of this checklist as a way to take inventory (or an audit) of what you have, what you need and what you want before you even begin writing. Governance models are useful at the onset of every project and serve as a reference point later on to ensure you’re aligned on your goals.
A critical role in content strategy is aligning content types to each area of the marketing funnel. Ask what purpose each content piece serves before producing it. For example, if your objective is lead-generation, consider downloadable content like an ebook or infographic with a signup form for audiences to access information they need or care about. Or, if your objective is brand awareness, consider dynamic branded content through a contextually-relevant publication or news outlet.
Content can take shape in various forms to serve your goals. We worked with Indianapolis’ Butler University on strategic content marketing recommendations for their upcoming blog relaunch. Their objective: drive engagement among current students, alumni and prospects.
BUTLER UNIVERSITY CONTENT RECOMMENDATIONS
Follow these tips to align content with your strategic objectives:
Starting from scratch may be the most challenging part in content production. Leverage templates to organize content and replicate a process for publishing that can be adopted team-wide. Consider documenting these streamlined efforts in a creative brief as a starting point.
Make sure to include these in your content to ensure an engaging user experience:
Once you have established a content calendar and production is under way, setup a basic dashboard in Google Analytics and begin analyzing content.
Start with these five content metrics:
In August 2017, Hurricane Harvey impacted southeast Texas. Texas A&M Foundation launched a dedicated page with interactive content to promote disaster relief efforts. The new page, housed under their News and Media blog, housed Harvey-specific content under their main domain. In addition, they set up related links to external sites to track click-through rates for fundraising efforts.
Once your dashboards are up and running, know how to interpret a report and identify takeaways. Work with your team to manage campaign reporting and management activities:
We recently partnered with Eureka College on creating an internal data studio to unify tracking sources across their digital properties. Now the team has greater visibility into content analytics and how they connect to their overall digital marketing goals.
Register for our upcoming Digital Storytelling workshop in Philadelphia. Now that you have these tools at your disposal, you’ll be armed to measure and report on the impact of your institution’s content strategy efforts.