Creating an effective content supply chain for your digital marketing
20th August 2015

content_supply_chainA recent article by McKinsey noted the following, ' astonishing 84 percent of marketers do not have a formal content strategy or distribution process to feed their growing bevy of marketing channels, and they lack any kind of formally managed content supply chain.Despite this, content budgets continue to increase.'

A supply chain is something which we normally associate with manufacturing and industry. It's a term rarely associated with digital marketing or even marketing. But it does encapsulate the main principles that are needed to keep a digital marketing campaign going. These include

  • A steady and reliable source of content
  • Resources for distribution of content
  • Ability to gauge effectiveness of that delivery

Lets explore? all three of these.

A steady and reliable source of content

Sources of content originate from the a well defined content strategy. If you know exactly what you are going to need, then identifying the sources of content becomes quite easy.

Some good sources of content include:

  • Employees of the company - many a hidden writers are found within the business itself if the right incentives are in place.
  • Content Agencies with a clear mandate, direction and access to resources. Constant monitoring is important.
  • Guests writers who are experts on related topics, paid in cash, kind or acknowledgements
  • Interns who can research and write on topics assigned to them.

Resources for distribution of content

Once you have a steady source of content you need to find effective ways to distribute content. For this you need two things - a content holder and a linking sources

A content holder is the place where the content is stored or displayed, ideally the company website or blog.

Linking sources are how the content gets distributed. Good linking sources are social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn. Company newsletters are excellent linking platforms. Where ever you can give a link to the content which is accessible to a lot of relevant persons is a good linking platform.

Ability to gauge quality and effectiveness of that delivery

Analytics have to be embedded in everything you do. You need to know what is being viewed, how long, by whom in terms of demographics. Which topics hold the maximum attention. Which topics lead to buying behaviour and which are dead ends. You need to analyse the data regularly and mould your content supply chain? accordingly.

Quality control is also important in the content supply chain just as it would be in a normal one. Boiler plate articles that are boring and just fill space must be weeded out. Grammer, spelling and other content hygene must be ensured. The content must be uptodate, relevant and interesting.

One simple test is to see if it would hold your own interest. If it does not appeal to you then ? the likelihood is that it won't appeal to others.

In conclusion I love the metaphor of the 'supply chain' applied to content. It helps to highlight the fact that there is a stream of content that has to flow and breaks or inefficiency can threaten the entire system.



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