Content Strategy

January 1, 2012

Have you seen the site XtraNormal yet? If not, I’ll wait while you go take a look. Essentially, it’s a site that allows you to create little skits using a variety of characters and then record that skit to video. THEN, you can upload that skit to YouTube and suddenly have a viral video on your hands.

Well, if it were that simple, everyone would be doing it. But I’ve had a series of clients find some value in the light, easy-to-create skits and I’ve also taken to doing a few myself – see my YouTube channel for an example or two.

The reason I mention XtraNormal is because 2012 looks to be the year of content strategy for a lot of companies. No matter what channel you operate or with whom you communicate (B2B, B2C, public sector, media), the use of content to achieve your goals has never been more important. You want eyeballs, audiences want information. The sticking point is finding the best way to deliver that content so everyone emerges from the content orgy satisfied.

Suffice it to say, there’s no silver bullet. This is still the misunderstood world of social media where everyone things content is free on the Internet and that social tools and engagement are also low- or no-cost. At the end of 2011, that belief took a hit as some agencies jettisoned their smoke-and-mirrors social media practitioners and went back to the hard work and clear communication that had proved successful in the past.

I expect more of this happen in the early part of 2012 and then I think Q2 will be the golden age of content strategy. Companies will be working toward establishing new channels in which to engage their audiences and they’ll require great writers, interviewers and communicators to help them do that.

Over the next couple weeks, I’ll do a few posts on how content strategy works and how anyone can use it to reach their target market. Until then, take a look around your office and see who’s just faking it until they get lucky. The trick isn’t knowing how to schedule a status update, sent an e-press release or host a tweetup, it’s knowing how to identify audiences, craft messages and then communicate those messages in the appropriate channels.

What are your thoughts on how social media will shake out in 2012?