A Complete Guide to Multichannel Content Activation

Mike Nardella
Mike Nardella
CEO of Relevize

Over the years, the evolution of marketing has been significant thanks to technological advances and digital marketing. This means marketing strategies can no longer stay the same as they did. Businesses must create targeted and powerful content strategies to maximize their return on investment.

Americans are exposed to an average of 7,000 advertising messages per day, twice the amount they did in 2007 and five times as in 1970. This bombardment of messages means that in this day and age, the concept of “build it, and they will come” does not apply. Plus, we’re not just talking about “building” a product. If your content management plan stops at ‘build it,’ or ‘create it,’ or ‘publish it,’ odds are that your strategy just isn’t as effective as it could be.

These days, your content strategy needs to incorporate content activation into its workflow. This could be direct steps your company takes to push out content to viewers or activate channel partners to send your message to a broader audience.

Today we’ll go into further detail about content activation and how to create a successful content marketing strategy that works across multiple platforms.

What is Content Activation?

Content activation refers to the processes and tools marketing teams use to execute a successful content strategy, improve customer experiences, and guide your target audience along an ideal customer journey. Content activation can include any kind of content that increases search traffic and visibility to your site, including:

  • Infographics
  • Landing pages
  • Blog and social media posts
  • Podcasts and webinars

A key success factor when creating a customer activation strategy is ensuring that a solid process is in place. This process must be defined to understand the tools and metrics used to track and promote a marketing campaign across multiple platforms.

What is SEO in Content Marketing?

The ultimate goal of any content marketing strategy is to drive high-quality traffic to your brand’s website or landing pages. As such, your content activation strategy should include SEO (Search Engine Optimization), a process for optimizing a website to rank higher in organic, unpaid search engine results. Creating high-quality content that targets the right keywords will result in increased visits to a site and, therefore, an increase in lead conversions.

Creating engaging and relevant content has grown beyond your written word. These pages include infographics, customer reviews, dynamic marketing content, videos, e-commerce integrations, and engagement forms backed up with marketing automation tools. These components may also live on their pages or within different channels, and many of them influence the overall SEO rankings of your website.

Because online search is often a top traffic source, having a high-quality marketing content hub on your company’s website is a must for good SEO practices. Retaining readers on your site is an excellent way to drive up your site rankings and measure engagement.

The Content Activation Model

The Content Activation Model was created based on research by Widen to help marketing teams plan and execute an effective content strategy. Its steps include:

1. Research and Define Your Target Audience

The research phase determines what content to create. While you may have a predefined target audience, your research might inform you that your target is too specific or broad. It might provide insights into what you or your competitors have tried and what worked and didn’t. During this step, you’ll want to establish your content goals (for comparison to the results in step 5.)

2. Create & Curate Content Aligned with Your Customers

During the creation phase, your team generates new graphics, web pages, photography, videos, writing, and more. The research you did in step one informs the purpose and direction of your content creation. The content guides your prospects along a predefined customer journey. This involves curating existing content to tie, such as related posts, videos, podcasts, social network content, memes, etc.

3. Ensure Content has a Purpose for the Target Audience

Your primary purpose for providing content pages is to guide the target audience along your predefined customer journey. You are also teaching the reader important concepts around your brand’s value proposition, including ways to alleviate pain points, increase effectiveness, or drive efficiency.

That leads us to the reader’s primary purpose for viewing your content — to gain new insights, knowledge, or resources. Sure, they may be on your predefined journey, but they’re staying on the path because they’re getting something out of it. They’ll look elsewhere if your content is irrelevant to them, and we don’t want that.

If your content does not satisfy your and their purposes, you will need to revisit it to ensure it does. You can measure these by looking at your conversion and bounce rates. Ensuring you have relevant content that meets your primary purpose will result in the prospect moving along the journey to the next objective, plus they will stay on your page longer.

4. Deploy Content Across Multiple Platforms

Your content isn’t helpful to anyone if they don’t know it’s there, and while SEO can help direct some traffic, you will still want to publish content or related links across all relevant platforms. You will need to determine what multi-channel marketing you’re engaging in. The two fundamental types of multi-channel marketing are omnichannel and cross-channel. While both will use different marketing channels to accomplish their purpose, here are the key differences:

  • Omnichannel marketing efforts utilize different marketing channels to drive customer engagement at various levels, with other goals and outcomes. Each marketing effort in omnichannel builds engagement but not necessarily to a specific result.
  • In cross-channel marketing, a team uses the same tools as omnichannel marketing, but success is measured by if there is a specific action taken or conversion. Each marketing effort in cross-channel drives the customer to the same result.

An example of multi-channel activations based on the same content might be if your CEO interviewed an industry expert about how your software solved multiple pain points at the expert’s organization. You could publish the interview video on YouTube, edit the audio into a podcast, transcribe key points into a white paper, or build an email series based on tips and best practices.

5. Track, Test, Optimize, Repeat

The benefit to using a content activation strategy rather than the “fly by the seat of your pants” model that many companies fall into is the opportunity for testing. Before launching your campaign to the world, consider a limited launch to a representative and diverse group of your channel partners and prospects. You can test different approaches, measure results, analyze them, improve the copy or workflow, and implement them. You’ll want to continue repeating this throughout your marketing campaign’s lifecycle.

3 Tips to Build the Best Content Experience

Now that we’ve covered content activation let’s look at three tips to build the best content experience possible.

1. Keep it Simple

When a prospect reviews your content, they must easily understand what you’re saying. The visual aesthetic of your content should use color, font style, bullets, and images to make the information readable. The content should be very easy to digest, capturing the user’s attention within fifteen seconds.

Having your marketing team create a template that reinforces your brand is also helpful so that your content producers have a standardized format for each type of content experience, from social media posts to white papers to landing pages. This saves time, energy, and resources and allows you to give each piece of marketing content its own flavor while maintaining familiarity.

2. Build on a Macro-Level Structure

Using best practices in SEO, establish a structure and then fit your content into that structure. Do this using a clear heading structure and short, clear paragraphs that engage but don’t overdo it. Use text formatting, including bold, italics, and quotes, to add emphasis or call out special sections.

You’ll want to use media such as video clips, infographics, and photos to break up text about every 250-400 words. (Be sure to add alt descriptions for your images so they are screen-reader friendly for those with vision impairments and search-engine friendly.)

3. Always Include a CTA

Finally, your content should always contain a call-to-action that gives the prospect/customer more value while signaling a conversion for you, such as capturing a lead, engaging a follower, or identifying a prospective channel partner. In many cases, this is in the format of a web form.

Depending on your business, you may be directing a prospect to set up a consultation meeting with a sales rep, signing up for a free software trial, applying to be a channel partner, or joining a user group.

Remember, you’ll want a way to measure your content’s success, and CTA conversions are one easy way.

How Content Strategy Influences Your Multichannel Approach

Nowadays, there are a lot of platforms that companies need to cover to get brand exposure. Such platforms include social media channels, apps, forums, streaming services, channel partnerships, and more. This can be difficult because every platform has a slightly different style, tone, and format. Your brand needs to stay consistent in the emotional connection a viewer makes by providing content experiences that consistently deliver the same brand promise.

When it comes to managing channel partnerships, the benefits of using a content hub cannot be understated. Having one place for channel partners to access digital assets, passive content, sample content experiences, and more helps keep the message on brand while bringing qualified leads in to start the buyer’s journey.

Channel partnerships offer a significant revenue stream, and maximizing channel sales revenue offers incredible opportunities for growth. To do so, you need a solution that makes it easy to see how effective each of your channel partners is, and what materials they’re using for success. Relevize can do this for you.

Relevize helps you increase the success of your channel partner program by recognizing success trends. It helps you be a better partner, letting you know what your channel partners need to bring in more leads. Give Relevize a try, and you’ll see the opportunity it provides for your channel partner program. Request a demo today!

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