Last month we took ourselves off to Digital Shoreditch Live in anticipation of futuristic content trends, cutting edge digital strategies and free pens. Instead we found the talks that really resounded* came in the form of back-to-school, pragmatic advice.
Anybody in charge of Content – either in-house or as a service offer for clients – knows not only that it is a tough sell to clients and managers, but that it can also be a tricky beast to manage.
As Somebody Wise once said:
“Content is like the school pet. Everyone wants a go, but nobody wants to take responsibility for it.”
Here the most constructive, practical wisdom we heard at DS15, all of which addresses this content conundrum:
Arm yourself with the facts. You know it’s going to be hard convincing anybody to part with budget for Content. Make sure you have some strong statistics (e.g. ‘B2B companies with blogs generate 67% more leads on average’) to back up your case – theory and persuasiveness usually doesn’t cut it.
Be realistic. Be pragmatic in your pitch. ROI should be achievable and budget should be reasonable – particularly where Content is a relatively new approach.
Prove it. Don’t be defeated by a measly (or non-existent) budget at the beginning. Start with something small but effective – an active Twitter account or a lively blog – and demonstrate that good Content can make a serious impact on audience engagement.
Keep tabs. Know how each bit of content will or should be measured (shares, likes, increase in sales, sign ups…), and keep tabs on performance. Measuring the success of your campaign is crucial in justifying and increasing budget spend, as well as incentivising your team.
Make it happen. Being an editor or Head of Content goes far beyond creating a strong Content Strategy. The real challenge lies in committing to it, organising resources around it and making sure it doesn’t get pushed down (or off) the list of priorities. Be realistic, organised and keep energy high.
Own it. Appoint a Managing Editor of content who approves everything. Content by committee is chaos – the tone is quickly diluted and momentum is almost always lost by the time it’s signed off (by 8 people).
Avoid asking for feedback. If you ask for feedback, that person will feel compelled to offer some. For a quick and painless sign off, ask for sign off or approval. Works wonders.
*Particularly useful were the Sticky Content talks at DS15. I highly recommend you visit their website and sign up to their excellent blog.