Thursday, February 12, 2015

Content Strategists: 3 Secrets to Creating Good Content [...and mistakes you should avoid]

In today’s world, content is king; this adage could not be more vital or relevant as consumers continue to demand high-quality content. As an Integrated Marketing Communications graduate student at Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism, Media, and Integrated Marketing Communications, I have identified two articles that can help you recognize where you may be going wrong in your content strategy and also ways to help make your content more effective with some of 2015’s hot content trends.

In the Forbes article "5 Mistakes You’re Making with Your Content Marketing Strategy," author Jayson DeMers tells audiences about tactics that can be hindering their content strategies. Several key mistakes are: using the right content with the wrong audience, not tracking or measuring the results of your content marketing efforts, not understanding how your content fits into your sales funnel, and overlooking the importance of the channel in which you place your content (which may not actually be where your target audience is).
Photo courtesy of Business News Daily 

In contrast, in the Business 2 Community article "8 Content Marketing Trends to Watch in 2015," Jomer Gregorio argues that the content marketing trends to leverage in 2015 are to specifically target audiences' needs and to produce content that is exceptionally personalized to your target market. He also suggests that content is most effective when it is aligned with your company's social media strategy and can be very powerful when visual storytelling is involved.

From my examination of these two articles and my studies in the Medill IMC program, I recommend you consider the following three actions items to make your content stand out among your target consumers:

1. Find the right fit. Ensure that the content you are producing is actually valuable to your target audiences and that the channels you are using to reach your audiences are ones that consumers truly want to be reached on.

2. Measure, measure, measure. Your content is only as good as your audience thinks it is, so test your content to see what is working for users and what is not. Replicate what works and ditch what is not.

3. Stay alert and trend-spot. As a marketer, you need to stay abreast of your audiences’ content desires and leverage the latest content trends, such as personalized storytelling and integrating your content messaging, especially on booming platforms such as social and mobile.

By following these quick and easy tips, you should have a great start to auditing your content strategy to find out where you may be going wrong and how you can make your content resonate more effectively with audiences in 2015.

Rachel is a full-time IMC student at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, Media, and Integrated Marketing Communications. With a bachelor’s degree in IMC, Rachel has background in marketing communications, social media, and public relations. Contact Rachel through Twitter @Hammons_Rachel or LinkedIn.

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