Critical Issues to Address in Content Strategy

Maybe I'm wrong, and in that case this post is not for you.

The main
difficulty businesses and individuals have with social media is the constant demand for fresh and topical content to attract and retain attention. Which is not the same as eyeballs.

Because what everyone wants is described by that overused and oversimplified term — engagement.

In addition to looking at what people click on and how often, everyone
is keeping score of how engaged people are to their content by tracking
and counting subscribers, links, and trackbacks, number of comments and
likes, the list goes on.

Every day you look deeply into what you have, often the eyes of your
team mates, or your own reflected in the mirror, and work on reaching
further. Because to make this happen, you need to figure out a way to make it sustainable, to make publishing a natural part of your processes.

Not an easy task, given the formerly sporadic and outsourced nature
of content generation for any kinds of marketing and communications
materials. Plus, most organizations still require internal reviews —
regulatory issues come to mind as an example of why. I've been there, I
do know.

To be successful and own your social conversation, in addition to thinking socially, you need to also figure out how you're going to get your organization to be in it for the long haul. You want to do that, because that's where you need to be for your investment to be worthwhile.

The way I see it, there are 3 crucial challenges to overcome if you want to implement a successful content strategy.

(1.) resource allocation

The main question here revolves around people — Who's going to do
it? How many hours per day/week do you allocate to this activity? What
kind of knowledge, skills, and training do they need to pull it off? How
are they organized?

However, there is also the budgetary consideration connected with the
people allocation. Would your money be spent better elsewhere, for
example? What's the optimal balance to reach here between content for
social, and that for other forms of communication?

We talked about some of these costs when we asked are you ready to become a media company?

(2.) workflow planning

What's your organizational structure? Who needs to be in the loop and
under what circumstances? What are the steps in the project(s)? What's
the frequency of production? How do you manage document versioning and

Having editorial calendars is a good idea, of course. How do you get
it all done? How do you figure out an optimal output flow to provide
enough information and value?

Figuring this out will help you with resource allocation as well.

(3.) governance

This is always a biggie because it helps you define expectations,
assign decision-making roles, and track performance. Governance relates
to all the things you manage to make the rest happen — processes,
decision-flows, policies and guidelines, etc.

Rules of engagement with social falls under here. How do you regulate
personal use of social networks during work hours? Do you address use
cases of what to do or not to do on personal time that could impact the

How are people going to use data that is company property, for
example? Good corporate governance is about establishing patterns that
lead to positive results, both in terms of the laws and rules and how
they are applied.

You may have heard the term also in association with
Board of Directors governance.


How you connect the dots between these three will help you make your
effort whorthwhile. Sustained effort begets sustainable results.


[reposted from archives]


Valeria is an experienced listener. She is also frequent speaker at
conferences and companies on a variety of topics. To book her for a
speaking engagement click here.

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