More and more, brands are recognizing that a strategic approach to content is becoming important. Content is moving from being among the final considerations of a Web-development project to being front and center in a digital-marketing strategy.

Engage via Conversation

It's easy for brands to get drawn into the hype around the latest format, platform, or tactic. A couple of years ago, brands were all asking for a "viral," whereas now they all seem to be asking for iPhone apps.

But content is merely a means to an end: Content drives conversations, conversations are how you engage with people, and engaging with people is the only way brands will be able to survive in the social-media-disrupted world we now live in.

Formulating a content strategy can be a difficult process, partly because of the many considerations and partly because of the number of stakeholders. So, to help, here's a simple 10-step systematic process for formulating a content strategy.

1. Principles

Set some principles. Doing so allow the brand to have a healthy and robust discussion around authenticity, transparency, and humility, as well as an opportunity to define the engagement policy.

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image of Steve Sponder

Steve Sponder is the founder of Sponder, a digital marketing consultancy.

Twitter: @stevesponder

LinkedIn: Steve Sponder