What IS Content Strategy?

When posed with the question of what exactly is content strategy is, I would respond by replying that it’s what we post, and why we post it on social media. If we are creating something of our own, it’s also what goal you hope to achieve by creating this post. For example, if I wanted to communicate to my readers that I am someone who enjoys the Netflix original series Stranger Things, I could tweet about how I am dying for the second season to come out in 2017 by saying, “When you finish Stranger Things and have to wait till next year for season 2” and including a gif of someone rolling their eyes in disgust for having to wait that long. This tweet, therefore, communicates that I have watched the show, communicates that I cannot wait for it to return, and using Twitter, instead of Facebook, to express these feelings allows me to reach a more millennial audience who would understand my frustrations.

However, individuals personal content strategy is a similar, but different, approach than the approach that businesses need to use to promote their ideas and to attract audiences. The four main points for using a content strategy are the audience, competition, media, and trends. Your business needs to be aware of what your audience needs from you and how your content can help them personally. Any good business needs to be aware of their competition so you can keep your audience base and not let your competition get the upper hand. Media is another key point in having a content strategy because as a business you need to be constantly engaging with your audience and others through different outlets of media such as social media, or possibly television. Trends are how companies can stay afloat. By knowing what is “in” or “hip” at the current time, you can figure out the correct ways to incorporate the latest trends into your content to appeal more to your audience. However, keeping up with trends is definitely something I believe businesses need to improve on because as a teenager, I have more knowledge of when something is not trendy anymore versus a company who may still be using Harambe memes, even though they are no longer funny to the general public.

Content strategizing can be difficult for businesses because it requires a large team to uncover all of this data in order for their business to stay hip, connected to their audience, and connected online as well as off by providing content that can help their audience. However, even though all of this strategizing  is hard, that doesn’t mean that companies shouldn’t put just as much effort into this research as they do into their regular everyday advertising. Finally, companies need to find better ways to improve their strategy by having clear ideas of what they’re going to be tracking, more meetings to see how each part of the company are proceeding and to see how to move forward, documenting what exactly your strategy is, and avoid R.O.T. at all costs. “R.O.T.” stands for redundant, outdated, and trivial information. Audiences won’t be engaged in information that isn’t up to date, saying the same thing over again, or something they could have figured out on their own.

Although many businesses claim to have business strategies, you often see businesses losing audience because they didn’t fully develop their strategy and ended up wasting time and money. Keep up your analytics and keep up with your audience!




How Branding Failures Can Improve

Over the years, brands have tried to come up with new and more catchy ways of advertising their company and products to seem more appealing to customers. Skittles came up with the idea that one man in their commercials should turn everything he touches into Skittles. Sounds like a good idea right? However, the commercial turns dark  when you hear the man say that he cannot hold is newborn baby boy because everything he touches turns to Skittles. Oops. Way to escalate the situation too quickly Skittles.

But Skittles isn’t the only company that has tried to ramp up their advertising only to be criticized or to have their efforts backfire. Other companies over the years have received terrible reviews over one issue or another. Here I am going to give you 3 examples of how companies branding can be beneficial, and ways in which it can be improved to its full potential.

Example 1: Vera Bradley

Vera Bradley is a well-known company that produces anything from purses, suitcases, to laptop covers as well as backpacks. They are very focused on reaching out via social media by asking people to tell them about their favorite items of purchase and asking them to hashtag pictures of their merchandise. They are supportive of Breast Cancer Awareness month by selling bags during their “Carry Pink” campaign and are very supportive of feedback about their products. However, Vera’s most recent campaign slogan, “It’s Good To Be A Girl,” could have been executed better than it was. The campaign was supposed to let women contribute on social media about why they enjoy being a girl, but instead, the campaign didn’t think that not ALL girls want to accessorize with handbags, or “belt out every lyrics to their favourite song.” Needless to say, Vera Bradley knows that THEY love about being a girl, but not considered that all girls experience being treated as a girl the same way.

Source: https://www.entrepreneur.com/slideshow/272286

Example 2: IHOP

IHOP is a wonderful restaurant that allows family and friends to enjoy a cup of coffee while eating delicious pancakes all for a low price. They are great at advertising their newest editions to the menu and having discounts for kids and seniors on a regular basis. However, recently in a Tweet, IHOP made a reference to some pancakes in a photo saying, “flat but has a GREAT personality.” Even if they were referring to pancakes attached to the tweet, that comment comes off more as misogynistic than referring to fluffy, delicious pancakes. Let’s not crack jokes at the female anatomy while trying to sell a product, shall we?

Source: https://www.printsome.com/blog/2016/marketing-failures/

Example 3: Budweiser

Budweiser has captured audiences attention from commercials about friendship at the Superbowl, to reminding audiences to stay safe by reminding people that their “Friends are Waiting” to keep people from driving home drunk. Budweiser certainly knows how to work emotion into their commercials when the time is right, but their advertising record isn’t spotless. Recently Budweiser made a rather large advertising blunder by coming up with the hashtag #UpForWhatever. An image of one of their beers reads, “The perfect beer for removing “no” from your vocabulary for the night.” How did Budweiser manage to write these words and not see the implications is beyond me. Next time Budweiser, let’s not accidentally promote date rape.

Source: https://www.printsome.com/blog/2016/marketing-failures/

Overall, most companies are very thorough when it comes to advertising and how to come up with catchy slogans, pulling us in with emotional commercials, and even catchy hashtags. However, some companies come up with ideas that may not have been the best idea and it backfires on them allowing them to reflect on their mistakes. Advertising continues to evolve and will continue to, but until we are all perfect, let’s sit back and laugh at our past and future failures.