Six steps to an integrated content strategy

Because of the wide range of communication channels and variety of content available at our fingertips, having a solid content strategy is key to helping brands achieve business goals and measure overall performance. An integrated approach helps ensure a consistent message, which is key to generating brand awareness, thought leadership and demand generation.

Check out these six tips for developing and implementing an integrated strategy.

Secure a sound infrastructure. Before launching your content marketing strategy, it’s important to develop a strong foundation by getting your messaging, website and collateral in place, while ensuring there’s no communication gap between PR, marketing and digital departments.

It’s critical to select the right team and process to design, develop and deliver content. A skilled team and content manager decides where and how to obtain fresh, compelling content and ensures that the internal team is educating contributors across various departments. 

Adopt a teamwork mentality. That said, the concept “team work makes the dream work” has never rung more true. An integrated approach can only drive returns if everyone is on the same page. To make the most of your content, break down department silos and align goals that focus on cross-promoting content.

Here’s a quick example: Pitch and place an industry survey with a trade media outlet; then promote it via social, create a blog post about it and use the blog post as a content asset in a drip campaign for lead gen; feature it as a resource on your website; and use your marketing automation tool to evaluate its success.

Maximize content channels. When it comes to quality content, don’t limit yourself. It needs to be distributed across multiple channels for maximum reach, which is why working across departments is more key than ever.

Using multiple channels optimizes the chances for different audiences to find and share your content. Reach of content can be tested using social media monitoring tools and marketing automation, allowing you to get a sense of which platforms are contributing to the success of your strategy and making necessary tweaks as you go.

Work smarter, not harder. There are countless resources that make content creation and distribution simpler. It’s important to take an integrated view of both processes to feed outlets quickly and reach multiple segments of the market.

Scrambling for new content often gives rise to hasty execution and subpar performance. Repurpose material instead starting from scratch. For example, a three-part whitepaper series can provide content for the development of a webinar and several blog posts. Take advantage of the content you have in front of you and present it in a fresh, new way.

Customize content for your buyer. 77 percent of buyers need different types of content at each stage of their product research process, according to Pardot. In order to reach your audience on a more personal level, an integrated content strategy should be customized for each unique prospect.

The sales journey begins with awareness and informational content, such as videos, infographics, and whitepapers. As prospects move closer to the consideration and purchase stage of the buying cycle, they need more detailed information, such as product datasheets, customer testimonials and ultimately pricing information.

Make it personal. Traditional approaches to PR and marketing don’t exactly cater to the more personalized experience that audiences require today. To produce content for a micro-targeted audience, companies must utilize automation to segment prospects by sales stage, industry, role and title, for example. Nurturing must be directly relevant to the prospect's needs at each stage in the conversion funnel.

Upon completion of these steps, your integrated content strategy will resonate with sales prospects and aid in a smooth journey along the buying cycle. Check out the full article, “Six practical tips for an integrated content strategy.”

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