Yesterday my cube neighbor Linda and I atteneded the first ever Fargo-Moorhead Content Strategy Inaugural Meetup (that’s not a mouthful or anything). It was very well attended and we both send many thanks to Dean from Sundog and the rest of the attendees.
After introducing ourselves around the table, one of the attendees from a smaller non-profit asked a question that left me baffled:
So, what’s your content strategy?
Now my background is in small business and non-profit marketing and I could have rattled off some corporate jumbo about engagement in genuine voice and what not, but rather I sat back and started to actually question if we could summarize a content strategy for the largest non-profit healthcare organization in the country in just a few words.
The quick answer - No. With the longer answer we may not be able to summarize it in one sentence, but I can share some of my guiding principles when thinking of content strategy:
- Be genuine: If your company culture is young, fun and hip - show that off, but if not, don’t pretend to be hip and funny. Be true to your organization.
- Be consistent: As with marketing, you want your audience to know what you’re all about. Don’t be changing up your tune every time an intern thinks of something cool.
- Be organic: No matter how many times you post on Facebook or Twitter, your audience will engage with the posts they feel are organic and come from somewhere other than the marketing department.
- Know your audience: Make sure you’re pushing out content for the right user and organization. It boils down to making sure the content is good for both the reader and organization pushing it out.
- Write good:(Yes, I know that is not grammatically correct) You need to have good writing. Do you have someone in your organization that always seems to have a way with words or can verbalize your thought better than you? Reach out to them if you’re stumped. If you’re going it alone and can’t write to save your soul, it may be time to hire a writer. Expensive? Maybe, but its better than having bad writing.
- Make it useful: Are you pushing out content about your cat? Unless it’s a page about your cat or his funny happenings, your cute cat pics are useless for anyone looking for real content.
- Short and sweet: Tell your audience what they want/need to know and be done. Period.
One last thought to leave you with: While this is a blog on all things Social, I thought it was so very appropriate and relevant to talk about content, because without a solid content strategy, you can’t develop a solid social strategy. Content is like the people that live in a house. The conversations that happen make a house a home and gives it purpose. The actual platforms like Facebook and Twitter are the foundation, the graphics are the paint, but the thing that makes someone’s house a more desirable place to be is the conversations that are happening in and around it.