Just as online research leads to discovery of content (i.e. new streaming shows to binge), the marketing discovery process leads us to a content strategy.
The Savoir Faire marketing discovery process generates deep knowledge about a company, including the company’s prior marketing efforts and results. It’s our opportunity to ascertain company goals and outline what a marketing program needs to do to attain those goals.
Marketing discovery process
The marketing discovery process illuminates the elements needed for a content strategy. When Savoir Faire begins working with you, we dig into a variety of attributes of your company, including:
- Your history: Where you’ve been and what you’ve done informs us on aspects such as rate of growth and key milestones we may use for content.
- Your core competencies: Sharing what you do better than everyone else in your field offers us areas of focus for content.
- Your services and/or products: This may seem obvious, but the discovery phase is often when we find disconnect in existing messaging about your top services or products.
- Your competitive landscape: Discovering what your competition is doing and the outlets they use helps us untap potential customers you didn’t realize were out there.
- Your past marketing efforts: Analyzing what you did before we met is key, as there’s not always a need to remake the wheel; it just might need some new spokes and some air in the tire.
- Your current technical capabilities: This gives us an idea of what you have already set up for analytics, how you’re measuring marketing efforts, etc., so we know where the gaps exist and how we can fill them.
Most importantly, this is when we discover your goals, where you want to end up and what you want to accomplish. Your goals are the destination that inform the plan of action or strategy.
The marketing discovery process often unearths nuggets of gold that we roll into a content strategy. Our team members use this discovery time to home in on how their areas of expertise can help reach your goals. When we discuss that list above, we listen for:
- Opportunities based on knowledge you don’t even know that you know (Trust us, that knowledge hides in your noggin, but we’ll suss it out).
- Messaging that informs the look and feel of a website and other digital assets.
- Insight on how to organize and present information on a site from a macro level and also how to utilize keywords and search terms on a micro level.
Content strategy and content marketing
Some people use the phrases “content strategy” and “content marketing” interchangeably – but, while they do cross over sometimes and inform each other, they are different.
A marketing content strategy is the game plan we create, follow and adjust for a company. It governs the actions we take in regard to content. We implement the strategy via ongoing content marketing.
Content strategy guides the creation, delivery, and governance of useful, usable content. This is a great definition of content strategy from the book, “Content Strategy for the Web,” by Kristina Halvorson and Melissa Rach.
Further, content marketing is the creation and circulation of content that fills a need for potential customers. It provides solutions to pain points or deeper knowledge about your company’s area of expertise. Content marketing strengthens the trust of your brand. Analysis of ongoing content marketing also teaches us ways to improve the larger content strategy.
Point of Interest
For example, let’s look at Savoir Faire’s ongoing Points of Interest (POI) newsletter. The newsletter emails to subscribers twice a month and provides six nugget-sized marketing content tactics or news items in the form of mini blog posts.
POIs are content marketing born of the content marketing strategy to position Savoir Faire as a leader in the realm of small- and medium-size business marketing. The POIs have a variety of categories such as email, content and search engine marketing – subjects that are of interest (and often confusion) to small and medium-sized businesses. For a time, each POI email consisted of six nuggets in a single category or topic. However, analysis of the POIs showed that POI newsletters with a mixture of categories performed better than those with just one category. Thus, we altered the POI strategy based on that discovery from one topic to mixed topics.
We’ll continue monitoring the performance of POIs and, depending on the results, we may adjust the strategy again. Content marketing analysis helps inform and further develop the existing content strategy, hence the crossover mentioned earlier in the post.
Comprehending the differences between content strategy and content marketing helps you provide content that benefits your customers and demonstrates value for search engine rankings.
Discovery informing strategy
When Savoir Faire’s team first meets with a client, and the client immediately says, “We need a blog,” our first question is, “Why do you need a blog?”
A content strategist asks and discovers the answers to the “Why?”, “How?”, “Who?” and “When?” questions related to content.
A blog may very well be a solid part of your eventual content marketing program, but we’ll determine that together by going through the marketing discovery process and developing a content strategy. Discover more about the Savoir Faire approach to marketing discovery here.