Ice cube with cherry in the middle

Stop Selling Ice to Eskimos. 3 TIPS For An Inspired Content Strategy

Ice cube with cherry in the middle

This post was originally featured on our CSO’s blog back in January 2012.

Digital content, be it in pc, tablet, or mobile form, is the lubricant that will keep the eCommerce machine smoothly running in 2012 and beyond.

Imagine a brand surviving pre-internet without TV, Press or Radio Advertising?  Unfathomable, right? Digital branded content is the 21st century equivalent of brand advertising, fact.

Without a digital content strategy in 2012, you might as well fold up your play pen and go home.

So, if content is the lubricant then what’s the oil? Online conversation is, hear me out.

The advent of the internet has enabled individuals to connect and empowered them to share and converse on a mass scale like no other time in history.

These conversations and connections are the corner stone of human needs, the heart of marketing if you will. Satisfy your customers’ needs, wants and desires and you will sell.  Ignore these basic human instincts and you might as well be selling ice to Eskimos.

I think you get the picture.

Right, before my brief intro gets you all riled up and ready to sell, consider these 3 techniques to help shape your killer content strategy.

1. Research Your Content Through Online Communities

Online communities are groups of people sharing common interests.  Forums aka bulletin board systems (BBS) are early forms of gathering places for such communities.  Social sharing sites such as YouTube, Flickr and social networks (led by Facebook) have taken communities to a whole new level by providing a more dynamic environment where content sits at the heart of the commune. A marketers wet dream.

Visit the relevant communities in your niche and listen to the conversations.   Jot down the main themes (you’ll need  them below).  Note what brings out their passion, fear, excitement, joy.  Note their questions . Do you have answers?   Your content should add value to these conversations, answer questions and address confusion and uncertainty.  You’re now ready for the next phase…

2. Theme Your Content with Twitter Hashtags

Twitter is by far the single largest conversation on earth. It can no longer be ignored. Before rushing into producing content, let Twitter further inform and fine-tune your themes.  In terms of online conversation aggregation and theming, the hashtag is probably the most powerful conversation aggregator since the invention of digital sliced bread. Research which hashtags are more popular and let them inform your final theming choices.

3. Prioritise Your Content with Google Search Predictions and Trends

A content strategy is only as good as its execution plan.  How do you know how much content to produce of each theme and when?  Let Google tell you.  Google search volume predictions are second to none in informing content priorities, after all these are the terms your audience is searching for, an insight into their minds if you will.

Google Trends take your prioritisation efforts to the next level. Trends allows you to take into account seasonal fluctuations. Now you’re ready to rock and roll! 😎

Note: The above steps are not your content strategy, they’re tips to help inform and shape it.

In a Nutshell…

The internet has empowered individuals to connect and inspired people (your customers) to share ideas, thoughts, feelings like no other time in history.  Don’t sell ice to Eskimos, before you embark on your content strategy consider the above research tips summarised again as follows:

  1. Research Your Content Through Online Communities
  2. Theme Your Content with Twitter Hashtags
  3. Prioritise Your Content with Google Search Predictions and Trends

Happy content marketing 🙂

About Omar Kattan
Omar is MD & Chief Strategy Officer at Sandstorm Digital. His experience includes 10 years in traditional marketing and advertising in the Middle East and a further 10 years at two of the largest media agencies in the UK. Follow Omar on Twitter for updates on the latest in digital, branding, advertising and marketing.
Dave Spencer
Dave Spencer

I've been using #2 and 3, but have been overlooking #1!  Thanks for the tip, brother!

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