While the term “content strategy” means different things to different organizations one thing is certain: brands need to be thinking beyond surface level content creation and marketing and dive deeper into the overarching strategy guiding these efforts.
No matter the organization, there is a rising focus on content strategy as a key building block in marketing and business development.
Still in its early days, the emerging practice exists in a suspended gray area, with no singularly agreed upon definition.
For some, content strategy refers to purely creation or distribution of things like articles, video, and email communications. Developers may view it as the hierarchy for site builds. Agencies sees it as content creation. And marketing teams see it as the distribution and measurements of campaigns. For media brands with content studios, it may be a catchall for all the above.
“In terms of defining ‘enterprise content strategy,’ everyone is right and everyone is wrong,” Rob Cosentino, Epsilon’s VP of Business and Marketing Strategy tells SkiftX. Creative agencies, brand marketers, digital marketers, and CMS technologists all have a different interpretation of what ‘content strategy’ is.
“In travel, everyone is starting to solve for it at a truly enterprise level, but it’s still nascent. Even today, you don’t see a lot of Chief Content Officers within travel organizations, and when you do, often they come from just a brand marketing or just a tech background. There’s not enough masterplanning.”
As brands begin to focus more on strategic content initiatives, we may see a rise of the CCO title. According to Cosentino, successful ones will be cross-functional leaders capable of understanding editorial nuances while being data-driven at the same time. They must be able to switch back and forth between left and right brain thinking.
Who’s Doing Content Strategy Right?
For organizations leading the space, Cosentino points to Marriott. Aside from providing entertaining, engaging content through its in-house content studio, the brand understands the data science behind customer segmentation to personalize customer communications.
“Marriott applies sophisticated decisioning behind serving up each piece of content beyond simple A/B testing. They’re getting to the point where they’re applying artificial intelligence to decide which content is most appropriate for the customer at the right time.”
It’s that deeper level of strategic thinking that is providing on-going, long-term results for leading travel brands.
For the rest of the travel industry, Epsilon proposes a framework with key questions to ask when developing a content strategy:
- Substance: What type of content is needed? Who is the content targeting?
- Structure: How is content organized, formatted, and displayed? What’s the backend process for how content is coded and tagged?
- Workflow: What people, process and technology is needed for content? Who is responsible for creating the content?
- Governance: How are changes made and implemented?
“If you’re going to solve for content,” Cosentino says, “you have to look beyond the individual campaigns and solve at the enterprise level.”
Read more about Epsilon’s article on how to develop a content strategy here.
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Photo Credit: Marriott associates work together in the live studio. Mariott
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