Best Practice

Content Strategy Best Practice Guide

By Neil Perkin,
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Overview

The aim of this research was to identify best practice approaches, techniques, challenges and opportunities around digital content strategy.

Research methodology

The methodology involved two main phases:

  • Phase 1: Desk research to identify relevant issues, examples and models.
  • Phase 2: a series of in-depth interviews with a range of senior digital and non-digital marketing practitioners, Heads of Content, UX and Content Strategists. Interviewees for the research covered sectors as diverse as financial services, media, public sector, NGO and FMCG.

What you'll learn

This best practice guide:

  • outlines some key definitions
  • sets out a core process for content strategy in the digital age
  • defines some key strategic models that enable the smart application of content in the service of achieving marketing objectives.

Included in this report are the following:

The content strategy process

We define the importance of tying back to a solid strategic process that is aligned to answering the fundamental questions of strategy:

  • Where are we now?
  • Where do we want to get to?
  • How do we get there?
  • How do we know when we’ve got there?

Our research has demonstrated this alignment to be critical to effective content strategy implementation.

Insight and persona generation

We discuss the key thinking and methodologies around successful persona generation, how brands are using personas to inform strategy and how relating content to a solid understanding of the customer journey through customer journey mapping can establish a firm foundation for success.

Aligning content with brand strategy

Defining a content marketing mission, and a key model for relating content to brand purpose and essence.

Distribution and format

We set out a key model for building an effective content ecosystem (borrowed from YouTube) – ‘Hero, Hub, Help’, look at an example brand that shows exemplary practice in this context, and consider the best ways of linking format selection with objective.

Optimisation culture

The practitioners interviewed for this report stressed the importance of developing a testing culture to ensure continuous, not just episodic, test and learn. When combined with a structured content calendar, this can bring both alignment and optimisation of resources and impact.

Content and technology

The marketing and content technology landscape is more complex than ever so how might practitioners best navigate through this complexity and make smart decisions about technology? Technology will play an ever-increasing role in the content marketing process and ecosystem, so how can marketers set themselves up for success?

Contributing Authors


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Neil Perkin

More reports from Neil Perkin

Neil Perkin is a renowned blogger, writer and the founder of Only Dead Fish, a digital and media consultancy that specialises in applying strategic understanding of social and emerging media technologies to help businesses innovate and optimise their effectiveness within the new, networked communications environment.

Neil is a consultant with Econsultancy, a regular keynote speaker across Europe on content strategy, emerging media, digital marketing innovation and social technologies, and writes regularly for BrandRepublic, FutureLab, Marketing Week and The Marketing Society among others. He has been named by BIMA as one of the most influential people in the UK digital sector for two years in a row.

Neil curates the quarterly series of Firestarters thought leadership events on behalf of Google, and has worked with market-leading global businesses including Warner Bros, HBOS, YouTube, Marks & Spencer, Leo Burnett and Disney, and is an associate of The Futures Agency, a collaboration of some of the world’s leading media thinkers and futurists.

He has over 20 years media owner experience and was latterly the Director of Marketing, Strategy and Digital for IPC Media, the largest consumer publisher in the UK and publisher of multimedia brands including Wallpaper, Marie Claire and the NME. In this capacity he ran award-winning strategy, planning and consumer insight functions and was at the centre of defining and implementing the digital strategy for one of the largest media owners in the UK.

Table of contents

1. Executive Summary

  • About the author
  • Aims and methodology
  • Introduction

2. Content Strategy

3. Content Strategy Fundamentals

4. Key Principles and Practices

5. Resources

Downloads

  • Pdf Disabled Content Strategy Best Practice Guide (1.83 MB PDF)
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