How to create a great content strategy for your company

By David Strom
Does this sound familiar: You don’t have a coherent content marketing program at your company. You have multiple stakeholders and content authors scattered across several divisions, with no single person in charge overall. You don’t have an editorial calendar, or even know what one is. You don’t have any content strategy or an editorial advisory board, or have a clue how to create either of them. You have a corporate blog but haven’t posted anything in weeks, or maybe months. You began a corporate YouTube channel years ago but don’t know who is in charge of posting videos there.

Sadly, most of these aspects are all too often the situation when it comes to how many companies treat their content. I have been in many organizations where content is often a dirty word, and a lack of understanding of how to produce great content is pervasive. It doesn’t have to be that way. This isn’t a hard thing to turn around, and indeed I came across recently a great case study of one company where they did exactly that.
This week, my podcasting partner Paul Gillin and I interviewed Giuseppe Caltabiano for our latest episode.

He is the VP of marketing integration of the IT division at Schneider Electric, a company with 180,000 worldwide employees and a producer of data center power conditioning equipment. When he took the job, he was brought in to fix their marketing efforts, and he realized that he had to turn towards managing their content to do so.

His story is an interesting one, because within a year he was able to create the things that I mentioned up top: pull together a unified edit calendar (the company had several), set up an editorial advisory board (ditto), and assemble a solid team who understood the importance of great content and how to formulate a strategy.

One of the things that Caltabiano did was to focus on their corporate blog and use it as the center of their content strategy. He planned content that would target readers who are at the very early stages of their journey as potential customers. They also supplemented the blog with an internal email newsletter and with paid promotions too.

He uses what is called a “big rock” strategy for his content. This means stories are centered around anchor feature topics that can be repackaged and reused in multiple formats and on multiple platforms. “Content leads to three times as many downloads as traditional marketing campaigns,” he wrote.

Another element was the role that pilot projects played in getting executive buy-in to his plans. “If your bosses are pleased with the initial progress, they’ll give you the money so you can” run with your plans. They are now setting up pilots in other places around the world to expand their reach.
“We learned that email newsletters drive more traffic than other owned channels, SlideShare and YouTube are great for B2B content, and that we need weekly governance calls with employees from each country to solve any immediate problems that pop up,” he wrote.

So take a listen to our podcast interview, and see if there are ways that you can reinvigorate your content plan with some of the innovative ideas that Schneider used. If you need help formulating your content strategy, Paul and I are happy to consult and help get you started.

Self-promotions dep’t

While you mull that over, here are some of the other things that I am doing:

If you missed my announcement of a twice weekly email newsletter about IT security, please go here and sign up (the second entry box will give you a free subscription). I choose a dozen or so links for each issue and write up brief reasons why these news items are significant.

If you are a security vendor, besides sending me a press release about your latest and greatest, you also might want to get involved with two conferences that I will be the master of ceremonies for early next year. The first is at CES in Las Vegas on January 5th, and will be a special daylong conference focused on cybersecurity similar to what was held last year. I am putting together the program now and interested in finding speakers who have some great stories to tell that goes beyond pushing a particular product.

The second conference will be familiar to those of you that have attended the DEMO conferences in the past, with one twist: it will be held in Dubai on February 28th. Called eSecurityDen, it invites security vendors from around the world to submit seven-minute pitches and receive coaching on how to present their product to the audience. I am looking forward to putting this all together.

For a limited time, you can subscribe for free to my new security-related twice-weekly newsletter here: http://security.inside.com

David Strom, david@strom.com, 314.277.7832, St. Louis MO

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