This post originally appeared on Cision U.S. at: http://www.cision.com/us/2016/10/the-new-marketing-mandate-for-the-advocacy-era/
To achieve a desired level of success and sophistication, every Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Communications Officer must put real effort into their content strategy, including where multichannel fits into the mix, and how their content programs are being measured.
At Cision, we’ve identified the five key pillars of a strong communications strategy:
LISTEN to your audiences across channels.
We all know that monitoring what customers say online and on social media is important. However, brand listening needs to go way past this. You need to understand the buyer’s journey from beginning to end – across all channels – including traditional channels such as print and broadcast. You need to understand your audience’s knowledge gaps and motivating factors. And you need to understand what conversations are happening beyond your customers – including influencers. Furthermore, you need to be doing it in real-time.
TARGET key influencers and decision-makers.
Influence is not just about the size of someone’s audience; it’s about the quality of their interactions and the ability to motivate other people to take action. In fact, a micro-influencer with a niche but dedicated following can be much more useful than a big-name influencer whose audience isn’t engaged. Harness the real-time insights you gathered when listening to your audience and identify who is driving conversations in particular communities, what they care about, and how they prefer to interact.
CREATE an effective earned media and content strategy.
Even today, brands’ earned media and content strategies are very often created in separate silos. This is very ineffective. Before partnering with your brand, influencers will research you, just as much as you research them – looking to see how well you’re attuned to your and their audiences. Demonstrate your value through thought leadership and engaging multimedia content. Conversely, a content strategy that doesn’t factor in an engagement strategy, incorporating earned media amplification in combination with paid and owned channels, will fail to achieve audience impact. It all must work together as part of a holistic customer and influencer relationship strategy.
ENGAGE audiences in a coordinated way across channels.
The only way to get your content in the right hands is by sharing your stories across multiple channels – including using earned media to generate interactions with key influencers. Your content can’t just be on your own social channels, or on your company website. And you can’t just invest in paid advertising. While they all have their place, they need to be part of a synchronized, multichannel strategy. What’s particularly exciting about earned media’s potential to engage new audiences is that earning media pickup and sharing it via paid and owned channels can lead to more earned media – further amplifying your brand story in a virtuous cycle.
ANALYZE performance and attribute financial impact.
Today’s marketing and communication professionals are being held to stricter standards than ever before. You need to be able to connect the dots across all channels and program levels – from top-level strategy to tactical performance to real ROI. What’s working? What’s not? And can you quantify the financial impact your communications and earned media are making? A sophisticated analytics approach looks beyond individual campaigns and traditional performance metrics, focusing on conversion rate, pipeline, customer satisfaction, revenue and client retention with accurate data.
Check out CNW’s blog for more on what CMOs need to understand about their communication strategy.
About Ken Wincko
Ken Wincko is the SVP of Marketing at Cision and PR Newswire, where he manages the company’s global marketing strategy. He is also a member of the Executive Management Committee. He has more than 20 years of marketing, product and business development experience in bringing innovative marketing programs and solutions to market for both B2B and B2C organizations.
Prior to Cision and PR Newswire, Ken held senior-level marketing and product leadership roles at Dun & Bradstreet, ADP, Citigroup, and IBM. Ken is an advisory board member of the CMO Council. He is a frequent speaker at major industry conferences and has been covered in publications such as the Wall Street Journal, TechTarget, Information Management, The Demand Gen Report, and MarketingSherpa.