Saw an interesting question come up in the Content Strategy LinkedIn group the other day. The question reads:
What’s the hardest industry to do content strategy for? This question came up at a lunch meeting today and I didn’t have an answer aside from just guessing. (If I had to pick, I’d say education, mostly based on past work experience).
Curious if other people had thoughts. Of course, there are easy and hard orgs to work with no matter what type they are.
Now Greg guessed education but I would have to disagree – strongly. But before we dive into the debate of whether it’s harder in one industry over another, let’s just consider what a content strategy is.
My definition for a content strategy is having a plan that encompasses the creation, transmission and sharing of messaging in multiple formats to communicate with an audience.
Looking at that, I think I just gobbledygooked all over my blog.
So what am I trying to say? Content is more than whitepapers and webinars, its emails and newsletters and website copy and blog posts.
Greg did admit that there are easy and hard orgs within each industry. I am going to go out on a limb and assume he means the ‘hard’ ones are the few that are not embracing content marketing and the people within that are trying to introduce the concept are hitting a wall.
So let’s think about his question and his best guess being the education industry. Yes, I can see the education sector as a good guess. But I have also witnessed numerous universities, colleges and even local, public schools that are creating video content, sending weekly/monthly newsletters, have online community boards packed full of information and they are sharing it via email and social channels.
The ‘strategy’ piece of writing, producing and publishing content is to have a plan behind it. Don’t just create a newsletter on the fly, send it out and not consider the next one. Don’t create a whitepaper or video without knowing who is going to see it, how they are going to get it and whether they will share it. Don’t create a blog and write tons of posts, then lose steam and just put it on the back burner.
The content is the easy part; the strategy is where you need to cowboy up.
Not all industries will be easy. If you are building a content strategy within the education industry, for example, you need to reach a few different audiences. You have parents, the students themselves, the town/city board and the faculty and teachers. Your strategy should encompass content that caters to each of these groups and is delivered in the manner that the group prefers to receive information. For students, you may create YouTube videos and post them to Facebook while parents would prefer a printed newsletter mailed to their home.
I don’t think it will be the industry itself that makes implementing a content strategy any more difficult, it’s the stakeholders within the organizations that lie within that industry that may make it difficult.