Michael Stangl

Why one quarter is more important than three

Understanding the strategy part in the lifecycle of content creation

„Just do it“ is more than just a successful slogan for a well-known brand in the world. Because of its connection to sports, this appealing request has become also a motivation-slogan. If it comes to a more complex task, like in business, justing doing something might be only waste of capacities.

Like a product has its lifecycle there is also a cycle in the life of content: analyse, collect, manage and deliver. Yes, it might be more fun to just create content, share it with the world and enjoy all the (hopefully) positive reactions. But that would be the „just do it“-way and might not lead you to the business aim you are looking for.

Analyse, or more professional said the strategic part of the content lifecycle, ensure the success, sustainability, and efficiency of all activities. It’s just one step out of four, but you should never miss it, as also Rachel Lovinger in her very passionate article outlined.

Kevin P. Nichols and Anne Casson described that a clear strategy also helps to define the „content needs“ and makes the relationship between a business, the brand and its customers more visible.

When it comes to this first step, every business or organization has to find its own approach and analyze the situation properly. Maybe you find some best practice examples online in the www, nevertheless, there is no general formula for developing a content strategy.

Consider all external and internal conditions for your analysis like technical solutions, competitors, internal resources, existing know-how and so on. But most important stay focused on the audience, you want to reach. The user-centered approach will be found very often in publications or academic articles. You have to see the final outcome (delivered content) with the eyes of the customer. Fade-out every existing individual experience, make it simple and try to attract the customer by considering his or her needs and the context they are getting in touch with your content. There is even more than just knowledge or cognitive conditions. Factors are emotional and physical too (see figure on the following page).

Figure: User context (© Daniel Eizans, 2010. Retrieved from: https://alistapart.com/article/a-checklist-for-content-work)

For the development of a strategy, you need a full and detailed understanding of the main target group. To make it easier, one possible way might be describing the typical customer (or different typical customers). Make a map of all these users and consider which kind of content will attract them through relevance, simplicity, and clarity.

Defining the strategy might be a long-lasting procedure, but it makes the practical work easier and more successful. Do it this way!

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