In the past twelve months I have seen quite a shift in the strategies I have developed. I find myself integrating more closely with all departments as well as unifying content and messaging across all channels and platforms.

Developing a Content Strategy for your clients isn’t anything new. However, in my experience it hasn’t always been easy to accomplish. There are many barriers, both internal and external. But as agencies have begun to integrate departments, this task has become easier.

Here are five tips for developing effective content strategies.

  1. Develop a Unique Tone and Voice. The voice you develop should be unqiue. In some cases it may be very professional and in some cases it may take on your own personality. Just avoid being dull or mimicking your competition.
  2. Break Down the Walls. If you or your client operate in silos, you must break those walls down. Communication is essential, and if you can not do it internally how do you expect to speak intelligently to a consumer?
  3. Integrate Multiple Team Members and Departments. By bringing key people together you should be able to develop a consistent message while keeping everyone abreast of client strategies and communication plans. The best part of doing this? You may be able to leverage content created in other departments. An example; using Public Relations content for your Social Media Calendar.
  4. Recruit Talented Writers. As content creators we will need to provide a reason for people to consume our content. This is especially true in Social Media where differentiation is needed to stand out from the rest. These writers should not only understand how to write creatively, but they should be cross-trained in Search Engine Optimization and writing for the Web (and Twitter).
  5. Measure Everything. In the digital world you have the ability to immediately gather data for analysis. How many people retweeted your post? Did you see a spike in Web traffic? Were there many comments on your blog entry? How many impressions and interactions did you see on Facebook? Measuring engagement by time of day, content topic and channel should provide you with enough information to refine and optimize your strategy.

Another great tip is to use Social Media to reach out to your fans, followers and key influencers in your community to test ideas and content. These people may help you refine your strategy before you implement and in some cases uncover key content topics that you may have missed.

It’s clear that a new age is dawning with more agile and adaptable marketing agencies. As our clients continue to ask more of us, finding efficiencies across service lines and developing a comprehensive content and communication strategy is essential.