Developing A Creative Strategy For Your Content Marketing Campaigns
It's essential to understand the creative strategy is developed to support your business objectives, and prevent reinventing the wheel every time a content campaign and offer is launched.
What Is A Creative Strategy?
It's the plan for your creative. It keeps you from trying to be all things to all people. It keeps your content focused on key benefits, prioritized in a hierarchy governed by what you want the "take away" to be: the core idea.
The creative strategy provides direction for a year or more of content and campaign creation. It's important to define the creative strategy up front. The core creative concepts based on your competitive positioning and brand characteristics can be planned and agreed upon. The basic message each content element should support are defined in hierarchical order in the creative strategy. This is strategic thinking that focuses the content creators efforts on staying within Corporate guidelines of meaning and expression.
Marketing automation software doesn't write content for you, it doesn't generate new ideas and captivating concepts that pull readers and users towards your blog and site.
What does "pull" your audience is useful, interesting and engaging content. Having guidelines for the production of content ensures a level of consistency in the message, and adherence to brand voice and language constraints.
I think there are four essential building blocks of excellent creative executions, which I call the Four Green P's.
The 4 Green Ps Are:
Creative is about using appropriate concepts, ideas, themes, words and images to instantly achieve the desired framing of perceptions to pull the reader into consuming the item.
Creative is about taking the foundational premise of the business — your positioning — and stating it succinctly, in a surprising, attention–getting manner. The value of a creative strategy is in the brainstorming to produce that foundational premise — and only doing it once. Thereby providing direction to all your constituencies providing content elements. It's the playbook for the year.
On the web, you must pretend that every potential sale is a person that's decided to buy because they're thinking and acting exactly like a robot - the Googlebot to be exact. Because that's what happens. The qualified leads which make it to Sales have made it to sales based on their behaviour, and the creative aspect of marketing has a huge influence over that consumer behaviour.
Your business needs to be findable; understandable once I find it; desirable enough to keep me interested; unique and getable while I'm learning and researching; and memorable enough to become top-of-mind.
Strategic planning and resource allocations and operations all play a substantial role in how you do what you do. And your customers don't care about that at all.
What influences prospects to become leads, and leads to become customers is the how you help them. It's all about HOW you present and say what you solve.
I think 99% of the businesses I've worked with over the years are reactive. They don't have a strategy, they have reactions to fires - and spend the bulk of their time being tactically defensive.
"Get more blog comments, I don't see any comments", says the CEO to the CMO. The directive gets passed down and the reason for getting more comments is lost. How the messaging of the comments is presented is not considered, and the business begins to suffer from a lack of a consistent voice, attitude and message to market match; and a lack of coordinated effort.
That's how business messaging begins working at cross-purposes, which leads to eventual consumer confusion. What you stand for as a concept in your customers minds gets eroded to "What Do You Stand For?"
I think only about 65% of all marketing departments have a marketing strategy of some sort, some kind of planning document that gets revised every few years.
Fewer than 1% of businesses have a creative strategy. Absolute silliness. How is it possible to harness, direct and increase the energy of marketing without a basic plan for creative - from words to images.
Here's a simplistic example: the corporate objective is to be a price leader in the category. What would be an appropriate creative solution to support aggressive market growth via price leadership?
The usual responses I receive are about bright colours and a low price message to support the price leadership objective.
That's not the only approach.
What about stressing value?
Is value an appropriate message? It could be, depending on the stuff you do. Who's good at using 'value' as a marketing foundation.
Creative requires planning to avoid dead-ends and non-performing creative solutions. There must be an image to message match, and an image to target match that matches the stuff you do, and that builds positive responses within the reader/viewer.
It's about doing something that creates revenue. The stuff you do, your product or service doesn't create revenue. Customers who pay you for doing the stuff you do create your revenue stream. This is the most succinct way I know of helping you comprehend the essential role marketing plays in building business.
Customers are the source of your revenue, not the stuff you're selling. The only way to predictably increase revenue is to either:
- get more customers
- sell more stuff to current customers
- sell more stuff at higher prices
...Or combine it all together
Content Marketing achieves those three customer imperatives. And the Creative Strategy ensures your messaging is consistent and recognizably your brand.
Call us today to get your "Customer 1st Content Marketing Strategy" for achieving increased revenues at reduced risk. We'll get you started. You'll see results.
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