Of the numerous quotes that could describe marketers and the future of content marketing, leadership author John C. Maxwell may have summarized it best when he said, “Change means traveling in uncharted waters, and this causes our securities to rise.”
COVID-19 has cast a huge shadow on content marketing strategies for CMOs planning strategies for the future. Consumers are stressed out, some big chains have gone bankrupt or have closed many stores, and hundreds of thousands of unemployed workers are waiting to see what happens. And although the pandemic is unchartered territory, it’s still critical that a viable yet flexible plan and one that’s proactive rather than reactive be put in place.
Content Marketing Strategy for 2021
Like a professional sports team’s winning season, it will require a team effort for brands to enter the victor’s circle, even with a good strategy. The difference with brands is that everyone’s input should be invited, gathered, considered, and agreed on in putting that strategy together. Sales and marketing also need to be even more collaborative than ever.
The content manager’s role will be key, as well. Having this position in-house instead of freelance is desirable to better ensure continuity during these important times. Plus, living and breathing the brand every day offers a much-needed deeper perspective and understanding.
Content alignment with sales is high on the list because sales will depend even more on these resources due to travel restrictions and bans on large gatherings in many areas. Sales will also rely even more heavily on available content materials as resources to send out to customers and reference information.
Going Beyond Content Marketing
It would also be a good time to reassess the company’s goals. Is it one to simply get as high an ROI as possible, or might it have evolved or somewhat transformed? If that goal is a short-range one, might a longer one over three years be more suitable for the times?
Has the brand’s target audience changed or expanded, and, if so, how and in what way(s)? How might future content be changed to better satisfy their interests?
Because more people are using digital platforms, is there a need and reason to expand a brand’s offering to attract more consumers and keep them engaged? Might additions and/or improvements like an editorial calendar, self-selection tools, assignment selling, more video content, pillar pages, and historic optimization increase traffic and business?
Any marketing and content should always focus on the customer, but it sometimes gets sacrificed by generating more publicity to placate others in senior management. The need to focus on customer content is more important than ever today, as a previous article discussed how more consumers are willing to try new brands. Customer content needs to address and answer consumer questions by remaining trustworthy and balanced.
It would also be a good time to review current technology with the workload ahead to see if it will satisfy marketing’s needs for production and distribution over the coming year. Some must-haves include management software for social media, competitive intelligence software, a video hosting service, a reliable CMS (content management system), and other project management tools.