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Ask a content strategist: Part I

One of the things we do here at Resolution is geek out on content and social media questions that we get from clients and associates on a daily basis. For us, the only thing better than content marketing is probably talking about content marketing. Here (and in the following series of posts), I will try to address the commonly asked—but rarely answered— questions. Here are the answers, with context and love.

What is a content strategy exactly?

We have to start with the de facto definition (and my favorite). “Content strategy is the planning for creation, delivery and governance of meaningful, useable content,” says Kristina Halvorson, the queen of digital content strategy. In its essence, a content strategy deals with the planning aspects of managing content throughout its lifecycle including aligning content to business goals. It influences the development, production, presentation, evaluation, measurement, and sunsetting of content, including governance. What content strategy is not, is implementation. The actual content development, management, and delivery is the tactical outcomes of the strategy that need to be carried out for it to be effective.

What is the value of a long-term content strategy vs. a campaign-by-campaign approach?

The cliché is true: content marketing is a marathon, not a sprint. Brands in the region are now coming to terms with the fact that they’re publishers. They have not spent the time required to develop an effective editorial strategy through trial and error and to build trust with users. That’s why it’s imperative for brands to commit to a content push of at least six months, if not a year or longer. In an ideal world, they’d be signing on for 5-plus-year commitments.

What social platforms should I use?

You need to consider two things: your marketing objectives as a brand, and where your audience is. For a brand that’s in the B2B sector, emphasis on a platform could differ hugely from a B2C brand. Along the years, we’ve learnt that even the bigger, shinier platforms are not always the best places to be in. Go to where your audience is, they don’t have the time or interest to be where you want them to be.

How does a brand calculate ROI on content?

This depends on your objectives. Are you looking for tactical remedies or long-term results? Your ROI measures should be set when your strategy is being created. One of the best measures remains brand lift—the measurement of how people think about you in relation to your marketing objectives. In other words, it measures how well you’re building the relationship you desire with users.

What metrics should I look at when measuring success on social?

There’s been a great debate here at Resolution MENA on the question of metrics. For brand managers to find solace and make better decisions, we as content strategists need to establish the groundwork for them. In a world of attention span entropy, what matters is the time users engaged with your content and their repeat visits. These two metrics have proven time and again that they’re correlated. From there, you can start seeing if your content is compelling enough to get your audience to come back and consequently contributing to an increase in brand lift.

Now that you have some of the answers, take another look at your content marketing strategy to see where you can make optimizations to better meet your business objectives. If you have any more questions, we will address them in following posts so send them to us at mena@resolutionmedia.com.