What does a digital strategist do and how does it help you?
What’s content without a strategy? Ignored, mostly. Our digital and content strategist Deepa explains what she does, why she does it and how her work gets your business seen!
Here at Sookio we specialise in creating content, and my job is to find the best places to showcase that content, to ensure your audiences see your hard work. That’s the brief explanation for what a digital strategist does, sounds simple but there’s a lot of different elements that help distribute that content.
Content strategy basics – why, who, what, how
In plain English, content strategy is planning and management of content from the initial ideas through to creation and distribution. This could be for blog posts, videos, infographics, whitepapers or your brand’s daily tweets and Facebook updates.
Why: First, it is important to define why you're creating content. This is one of the first steps to developing a content strategy.
Defining the reasons for your campaign will help you to create the best content, distributed in the right places that lead to conversions.
Who: Next you should look at who you want to reach with your content, this might not always be your customers. For example, you might be a software company recruiting the best developers, and you can use content to attract people to apply. That’s your why and your who.
What: Next up is what – this is the kind of content you create. Using the same example, you could create an infographic that shows developers the benefits of working at your company.
How: Then you should look at how you will distribute your content to people. The infographic could be used on a landing page on your website or on your social channels. You can then use targeted Google AdWords or social media advertising to drive traffic to that page, and job applications.
That’s a very basic guide to how we build a content strategy, and the kind of questions to expect as the client. We use these elements to learn about your business and goals, which we use to plan the kind of content to use.
Planning the content creation process
Once you have defined your content strategy it’s time to start creating! The content creation process is about managing all the creatives involved – copywriters, designers, and videographers - gathering information and meeting deadlines. I also work with you, the client, to ensure you’re up to date on the progress of the project.
Typically I’ll keep up to speed with what everyone’s doing using project management software like Trello or Basecamp, as well as with good old-fashioned face-to-face meetings.
It’s my job to set milestones for the project, stick to deadlines and keep the client informed. You’ll also be talking to me when it comes to signing off a piece of work so we can move on to the next stage.
Distributing your content
Distributing content isn’t just adding it to your site and hoping people will come - we’d all be pretty bored if it was that simple! You have to promote your content.
During the planning stages I’ll discuss the best ways to distribute your content based on your budget. Usually we suggest paid advertising, not only does this help your content go further but you can target the best customers too. For example, Facebook Advertising allows you to define exactly who your content is shown too. You can choose the genders, age groups, locations, interests and even buying behaviours of your ideal customers, and target your content to them.
The ideal distribution strategy takes into account the best channels for your business, based on where you customers are, and how this fits in with your budgets and timelines. We like to take a very defined approach here at Sookio, finding you a smaller group of your exact customers rather than a broad-brush approach that reaches a random set of people.
Once you have chosen where to distribute your content, it is time to launch it!
Time to start number crunching
I love numbers and data. We’re lucky in the digital age to have access to so much data about our marketing campaigns, but it’s only useful if we know how to analyse it.
When planning a content strategy we always take into account what we can measure and what the ROI (return on investment) is. Without this measure it is hard to know if your campaign is a success, which also makes future projects harder to plan.
It’s important to set goals first, in the why part of your content planning.
How many leads or sales do you want to make from your content campaign?
To get these conversions how many website visits should you get, or clicks to your ad?
How many visits do you expect from Facebook versus Google AdWords?
If we define all of the above in the beginning we can then use these metrics to report back to you. We like to report regularly through a campaign, not just at the end, tweaking as we go. This might be adding more keywords to an AdWords campaign or changing the targeting on a Facebook Ad. We may even suggest producing further smaller pieces of content to complement the existing content you’ve launched.
Planning makes perfect
To get the best from your campaign (and, let’s be honest, your budget) planning is really important. Content marketing has been proven to work for brands of all sizes, that is why it’s so popular. That’s not to say it is easy, you should create content for a purpose and with a goal in mind, not just because you think you should have a blog or film a shiny corporate video.
It’s rewarding work creating fantastic copy for clients or designing beautiful infographics, but we find our work all the more satisfying when it helps you grow your business too. It’s my role to ensure the hard work of all our creators gets seen and heard by as many people as possible, and it's great when it does!