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How to Drive Meaningful Results with a Solid Content Strategy

Posted By: SGK November 07, 2018

The evolution of experience is changing everything. If you think about the customer journey, there are so many channels consumers take to get from awareness and consideration to purchase and advocacy. Whether the journey starts in-store, on an ecommerce page, or through social media, content is needed to power every single one of those channels.

Experiences will evolve in granularity around the three core dimensions of:

- Channel

- Context

- Construction

When these elements are inconsistent, the journey becomes confusing for consumers and may lead to poor brand experiences or purchase abandonment.

To help explain how we got here — let’s take a look back in history; back when the first moment of truth happened in-store when consumers interacted first with the package on-shelf. The second moment of truth happened when consumers took that package home, opened it up, and used the product.

WATCH: Key Strategies to Drive the Omnichannel Experience  

But then, in 2013 Google started talking about zero moments of truth. So now when we think about all these channels, brands must change their thinking from the journey starting when a customer walks into a store to how and when the customer is interacting with the brand in a digital way.

The connected experience has evolved from two moments of truth to many micro moments. With the digitization of these truths, you might be asking yourself, “Is packaging relevant today?” There’s good news to share — the package is alive and well, but what is happening to packaging is changing.

Take SmartLabel for example — people are scanning the package to gain information about things like nutrition facts, ingredients, and allergens. Technologies like SmartLabel provide access to expanded information on an online channel where consumers can read content about that product.

Then we have our friend Alexa. The Internet of Things delivers relevant content in context using items that are existing and ready to use in the customer’s experience. By embracing omnichannel experiences, brands can connect and coordinate experiences from the package, through mobile devices, to using voice commerce technologies like Alexa.

Omnichannel isn’t a new concept, however, it’s not an easy thing to undertake. Multichannel is where a lot of brands are living today — many with siloed channels within their organization. This is when content is working together and moving the same direction, but the content is not being created once and deploying it widely. This is the creation of separate iterations of content that hinders the connected experience and consistent look and feel.

When you think about omnichannel, that’s where the right stakeholders are getting together upfront and having the conversation about extending the life of content. Which brings us to the realization that traditional brand management is dead — moving more toward an always-on brand experience.

How can brands interact with consumers in a seamless way through multiple channels?

The simple goal of brand experiences is to showcase the right content, in the right place, at the right time. This turns out to be not so simple.

Here are the key ways to take action and think of omnichannel implementation differently:

Strategy. Content strategy is a combination of looking at the business strategy, brand experience, customer experience, and consumer experience.

When you take these ingredients and you talk about this upfront, this drives the creation of content all the way through to syndication of content.

Omnichannel framework. Think of this framework as a way to guide you into what you really need to do once you have a strategy — continuing to think differently about content.

The size of your thinking needs to be greater than the size of the challenge.

You really have to lock arms with your stakeholders internally to change how you think about content, design, governance, and systems.

Ecosystem audit. The ecosystem is the way we think about the content landscape. Using the mece principal is the key to unlocking value in ecosystem audits. This method leads to aligned thinking, as we pull everything apart, so we can learn about the root cause and insights to put it back together in a way that makes sense.

Blueprint. It’s hard to build something right without a blueprint. The two key components to an omnichannel content blueprint are: strategic planning and best practice guidelines. This is when the team comes together with the strategy and determines which pieces of content will be created and which channels the content will go to. The second part is how to go to market with the content using a best practice playbook.

READ: 5 Building Blocks for Winning at the Digital Shelf 

Orchestrated delivery. This starts with a collection of cross functional teams and systems — guiding the entire team through the process.

When it comes to content, brands are typically looking to achieve four things:

- Lower costs

- Higher revenue

- Increased speed to market

- Increased agility

By changing the thinking and approach to content creation, brands can achieve success with their omnichannel experiences.