Are You a Content Strategy Agency?

Are You a Content Strategy Agency?

Are You a Content Strategy Agency? 1364 2000 RooneyPartners

By Weld Royal

Content has the power to launch groundbreaking products, propel careers, and turn startup businesses and small nonprofits into household names. Behind every Star Wars’ Yoda, Warby Parker, or The Nature Conservancy are research, planning, innovation, and tough decisions. Often those efforts are handled by a content strategy agency.

When people hear I work for an integrated communications and marketing agency, a question typically follows: Are you a content strategy agency? My answer is yes!

Their question typically signals uncertainty over the results of a substantial investment in video, SEO articles, social media, or some other form of content.

For anyone with the same question, here are some considerations.

1. You’re not alone
It’s no wonder the content strategy agency question comes up. Today’s businesses and nonprofit groups navigate a maze of platforms and channels to reach their target audiences. Content is a pivotal tool that enables organizations to connect, engage, and influence their customers and prospects. To succeed, it should be customized for those audiences and speak to their hopes and frustrations, passions and concerns. It should also be scalable, cost-effective and delivered in appealing ways.

Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy said it best in a Vanity Fair interview about the future of the Star Wars franchise: “As we look at where Star Wars is going, we don’t just assume it’s only going to be on television and in movie theaters. That’s another evolution we’re having a lot of conversation around.”

2. Borrowing from Star Wars
Lucasfilm’s Kennedy points to the importance of investigating new distribution channels – an imperative content marketing agencies take very seriously. An overabundance of platforms and choices has also created challenges in standing out with a cohesive message. A content strategy agency has processes to sift through abundance by analyzing the competitive landscape, understanding audience behaviors, and innovative storytelling. Processes include development of a content calendar, themes, topics, keywords, and rigorous reporting that support business goals.

3. Is George Lucas looking over your shoulder?
Imagine leading a production involving some of the biggest names in Hollywood. Kennedy talks about succeeding by focusing on the past, present, and future simultaneously. People and processes that span organizations and time determine the success of content. Does an outstanding past storytelling franchise point to a future direction? What tools are needed to support that future direction?

To succeed, a content strategy needs backing from a range of stakeholders, and a collaborative workshop that brings together those stakeholders is one way to think about the past and present, and plan for the future. Content strategy workshops often include participants from marketing, communications, product, tech, and leadership. They work in a structured way to define goals, identify obstacles, figure out roles and responsibilities, and lay the foundation for a robust strategy.

Every year for more than a decade, the Content Marketing Institute has surveyed marketers about content planning and strategy. Its most recent results found that the percentage of respondents with a content strategy is increasing, but less than half of those surveyed had a documented one.

If not, why not? Developing a content strategy may be the fastest way to see a return on your investment.

Successful content is not just production. Its success starts with creating a strategy to reach audiences, and then applying production to support that strategy. Content strategy agencies can efficiently align efforts with larger business objectives. A content strategy agency can help an organization use data and insights to plan and create content that motivates audiences and achieve organizational goals.

Weld Royal is a Senior Director at RooneyPartners. Weld has held senior corporate communications and content roles developing strategy and teams for global brands including Panasonic NA, the NYSE, and Northwestern Mutual. She spent the early part of her communications and content career in Juneau, Alaska, at the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation.

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