When time is tight and budgets are even tighter, concentrating on a single project may seem like the best way to handle content production. Today’s demand for content often puts pressure on companies to create and publish their insights quickly, which shifts the focus to getting things out the door instead of thinking deeply about their investment and portfolio of work. Even companies with the best-laid plans for building an expansive and cohesive portfolio can fall back on one-off efforts.
However, publishing in isolation rather than in a campaign means many organizations ignore the lasting benefits that a campaign-based approach can offer, such as expanding the existing client base or gathering audience insights. And while a campaign does require more resources, it also can produce greater long-term return on investment if executed well. Indeed, teams that put together a well-executed campaign can put a stake in the ground on a topic much more effectively than companies that publish just to publish. One large professional services firm, for example, built a microsite around its report on the “Workforce of the future”; the site included an interactive quiz and a series of short videos among other pieces of content. The company’s portfolio of work truly showcased its research and expertise on the subject.
So how can you ensure that you get the most out of your efforts?
Build a unified strategy. Before jumping in head first, take the time to ensure that all stakeholders are on the same page. What are the desired results for the campaign? How do they map to concrete long-term business goals? Having this alignment early on ensures that you have a unified front behind a shared purpose. It also means you will likely get the most out of your campaign, as teams will be working toward the same goal. The time and effort behind putting together a well-executed campaign doesn’t seem quite as daunting when you have support from across the organization.
Reach a targeted audience—and spur action. Companies often use their customer-relationship-management (CRM) system to distribute content, which can limit readership to those who are already familiar with the organization and its insights. Instead of only distributing content to people who read your most recent white paper or watched your latest video, you can employ different channels to reach more potential clients. But be sure that your channel strategy focuses on targeted audience segments; reaching more people isn’t better if your message isn’t relevant to them. Further, many companies fall into the awareness trap—they garner millions of views on a video or post a trending article on Twitter, but see no change in sales or inbound inquiries. By being more thoughtful about the types of people you want to talk to, how, and where—via your unified strategy—it’s more likely that you’ll reach the right kinds of people who are interested in your services.
For example, one global consulting firm built a cohesive campaign around a book published by three of its partners. After releasing the title in early 2018, the firm published subsequent blog posts and articles throughout the year, creating a steady stream of content around the book. In addition, the firm created a series of YouTube videos on topics covered in the book, and the team generated interest from outside publications as well, resulting in widespread media coverage. And each piece of content was thoughtfully put together to address a specific problem that potential clients might have. As a result, people who were interested in the book’s topic could engage across different platforms, and if the message resonated with them, they could purchase a copy.
Get data to support future decisions. A multichannel campaign will help your team collect more customer data from across different platforms to help reveal how users interact with different content. Carefully tracking user engagement on a microsite or through social media, for example, can each provide different metrics and insights to inform future efforts. Data collected during a campaign can be used differently than third-party data since it reflects your customers’ behavior and preferences. And as your campaign continues to run, you can gather more and more customer data to see how their behavior changes over time, allowing you to develop a robust audience profile. Plus, when your campaign knocks it out of the park, you will have a far easier time garnering buy-in from stakeholders for your next campaign.
Executing a flawless campaign demonstrates confidence in your product and expertise. By asking people to pay attention to a large quantity of your content, you’re showing that you’re confident in what you have to say—and that it’s a message worth listening to.