Why content strategies need to be living documents

Wed, 10/01/2018 - 10:28

A comprehensive content strategy should include everything from a description of the target audience and the tone to be used to a detailed breakdown of the content to be created going forward. And these should be put together before embarking on any form of content marketing. It helps content producers to stick to the plan and not lose sight of what’s important, as well as gives them the ability to backup any ideas or campaigns they’re presenting.

The thing is, these strategies cannot be set in stone. Because they are created long in advance, they cannot be. Content strategies need to be living documents, so that, at any point, someone can go in and alter it to suit the needs of the brand and the consumer at the time the actual content is being published. Why? Well, the following reasons might be enough to convince you.  

Content should be kept up to date 
Content is created to engage with consumers on behalf of the brand. It’s meant to communicate with the targeted audience on a personal level, answer any questions they may have and provide some entertainment at the same time. And it can’t do any of these things if the content is stale. If you’re producing content that was decided on a year ago, it may no longer be relevant. If there’s a lot going on in the world and if your brand is ignoring the society in which it exists, the target audience is going to view the content as inauthentic because it doesn’t connect with them on a human level. 

Sure, there is a lot of content out there that is evergreen. But you can’t only create evergreen content. You need to create content that is up to date with what is happening in the lives of its consumers and relevant to what’s happening with the brand at the moment. Your strategy needs to include current content that communicates with its audience in a way that interests them at that particular time. 

A static content strategy could land a brand in hot water
No one can predict the future. No one can tell what issues are going to arise. What popular figure is going to end up in the middle of a controversy. And what the loudest conversations are going to be centred on. That’s why a year old content strategy could end up with a brand stuck with its foot in its mouth. We are living at a time where people are becoming more aware of societal problems every single day. It’s all about context and dated content could be offensive in the context of a different time. Think about the poorly-timed Pepsi ad and the backlash that followed. Although, to be honest, there probably wouldn’t be an appropriate time to release that kind of content.  

Better ideas may come about
Let’s just be honest here, content strategies are usually created by someone sitting at their desk, trying to come up with a hundred ideas in the space of nine hours. There aren’t many people who could strike gold with every idea. Better ideas may come to them later and having a living content strategy gives them the ability to add those ideas and improve on ideas that may be a little too basic. If the content has yet to be produced, anyone should be able to go in and improve the strategy. And there is always room for improvement. 

Having a content strategy which is a living document allows you to keep up with the times, avoid saying the wrong thing at the wrong time and constantly improve ideas. 

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