A Unique Perspective on Sagittarius from the Directors’ PA.

AUniquePerspectiveofSagittariusMarie

I received a random phone call from someone I met recently at a job interview – I didn’t get the role but he knows someone looking for my skill set. Ok, I think, nothing to lose – why not?
A few days later, I’m meeting Claire and then Nick and Paul. The company sounds good – I’m interested. I’m offered a new role within the company – what do I think of the title? Directors’ PA? Sounds good I think, something to get my teeth into.


I joined Sagittarius in June with the brief to ‘sort out the boys’. The people are great and very welcoming. I sit in my first meeting and I realise I have a mountain to climb – so many abbreviations, lots of terminology and everyone seems to really know their ‘stuff’.


A week later, I’m sitting on the Eurostar heading to Paris for the day for our first international conference, again the team are really welcoming, involve me in conversation and I get to know a few of the team a bit better.


I get involved in a pitch for a new client – it’s one we’d really love to win – I’m on catering and timekeeping duties – the pitch goes well, really well and we win a new client. I’m enjoying being back in an agency environment where every day is different.


I sit in many of the weekly meetings that take place and can share that information with those who have missed the meetings. My notes are used as a point of reference for the team and for allocating tasks. Now that we have expanded and have teams based in 4 offices, our morning company stand up is a great opportunity for the team to ‘meet’ and share their goals for the day – I’ve worked with other team members to resolve technical issues and make these useful for the team.


Fast forward a few months, (quite literally, I’m really not sure where the time has gone) and I now have some of my own projects including working with our Head of Talent to get a new online appraisal system in place, making it easier to manage and giving the team a structured approach to their appraisals and career development.


I’m getting good feedback that meetings are happening when they should with a meeting room but there’s still work to do, including trying to maximise the time in Nick, our MD’s calendar. I can talk CI CD, Octopus and tentacles (well, enough to relate to them). I can add tickets to Jira and move them along – I understand epics and swimlanes. I’ve edited my first video and I’m getting to grips with the new Google calendar. I’ve been involved in content population on one of our client’s websites, supporting the training of our new team members and juggling Nick and Paul’s diaries.


Today? I’m off to put the finishing touches to our Christmas party and make sure everyone gets a Secret Santa gift, attend a meeting to make sure we are on track for GDPR compliance in May, a spot of crafting at lunchtime, arranging several meetings, confirming a lunch appointment and then partying the night away.

Whatever your business, be it a regional or global brand, the content you produce plays a vital role in your success. You know that… hence you’re reading this.

A well formulated and executed content strategy not only drives more traffic, at the core, it defines what your business is and helps build a strong connection between you and your audiences.

So let's quickly look at why developing a coherent content strategy is important and how setting clear goals and understanding your audience will elevate your online performance. 

What is a Content Strategy?

It's basic right? Content is at the core of how you define the way your business presents itself and an effective strategy should look to ensure that tone of voice, messaging and the core values are surfaced across all channels, from service or product pages on your website, to blog posts, through social media updates blah blah blah.

But let's keep it simple - your content strategy should be a clear roadmap that connects your marketing activities to your business goals. Align to your customer’s wants and needs and engage them at every interaction point and boom, you're in business. 

Who are my Audience?

You likely start all your projects with this chalked on the wall because your business knows “exactly” who its customers are right? Sounds obvious but we often find its not been done forensically enough (not based on data), is too old (more than 12 months ago - forget it) or its a spin off from some brand work that was legitimately aspirational but doesn’t face the reality of who you your business is actually engaging today.

So start (or circle back) with audience research, building out those personas to understand their ambitions, their lifestyle, their pain points or concerns, and crucially their wants and needs - in your context. 

Do I need to tailor content?

As part of your research find out where your audiences spend their time online and how they interact with content: Some may spend time thoroughly researching a product or service, whereas other audiences may want their content to be quick, snappy or easily digestible in the form of a video, infographic or short blog posts.

 

Ultimately, the key is to produce a strategy that creates the type of content your customers want to see:

  • What are the problems that your product or service will help them solve?

  • Who are they most influenced by?

  • What voices influence their behaviour?

  • What type of content do they consume?

  • Where do they consume content and engage with brands?

Different Content, Different Objectives

 All content is not born equal: When producing your strategy, it is important that the objectives for each individual piece are defined, that these fulfil your marketing objectives and tie to the overarching goals for your business.

There are various content frameworks that exist to aid content development in this way, but one that is popular and effective is Google’s hero, hub and hygiene method: It provides a framework on developing content to achieve different goals and gives guidance on the effort needed to create each type of content.

Hero Content

Hero content is essentially campaign content, it is big splash ideas designed to appeal to a large audience with the aim of telling your brand’s story at scale. 

Ways of measuring hero include the amount of PR mentions or links from authoritative domains plus social interactions and mentions of your brand across all channels. 

Considering the scale of hero campaigns, this content is not regularly produced and is reserved for peak promotional times where it’s important for a business to stand out from their competitors.

Hub Content

Hub content is the stuff that keeps your audience engaged, it expands on the themes of product or service level content, educates users and helps create a connection between themselves and your brand.

Hygiene Content

Hygiene content is the bread and butter of any website, it is the BAU content for products and services, it is SEO focused and targets important keywords at a product, service or guide level.

How do I manage all this?

Content development is only one part of the ongoing work needed when working with an effective content strategy. We call it “feeding the beast” because it really is the fuel in your brand vehicle and once you start you really can’t stop (if it’s delivering results) but that’s where performance measurement comes in.

Your greatest gift in managing the outputs from your hero/hub/hygiene style efforts is to understand If your content is working. To truly deliver results your business must first understand the objectives and goals of each piece of content to effectively measure its success. That as a guiding light from day 1 will let you slow down, speed up, stop or start new content briefs and projects.

Remember - content strategies are not set in stone. They are living breathing things and should adapt and pivot as insights become available and your brand naturally evolves.

If ever you want to chat content and explore new initiatives we’re always here to help.

want to speak to one of our experts?

 
Marie Heinsen
Marie Heinsen
EA to Co-Founders & Head of Sagittarius Agency Services
Marie is the Directors' EA at Sagittarius and enjoys the fast-moving pace of agency life. Prior to a career break, Marie worked for a small events agency where she could be found producing, co-ordinating and organising conferences within the Healthcare sector. Marie has also worked in a field marketing agency in a client service role.
Marie Heinsen

Marie Heinsen

05 Jan 2018 - 5 minute read
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