Corporate Social Responsibility - That's so Selfish!.

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We introduced this at Sagittarius last year – allowing everyone to have a paid day volunteering and doing something for “the greater good”

So, why is this selfish? Let me explain…

I have volunteered with RDA (Riding for the Disabled Association) for the last 10 years – every July my best mate (she is an Instructor) and I go up to Gloucestershire for a long weekend to help at the National Championships hosted at Hartpury Agriculture College and University - it's a privilege on so many levels to be able to get involved with this event and these people.

I first volunteered in 2006 and at the last moment I broke a leg (horse related incident) and the job of " runner" looked like it might be tricky for me, so we swapped our job to Scorer’s - this involved hanging around the scorers cabin and writing scores upon the board in the prize giving tents. The cushiest job at the Nationals as we actually only did five minutes of work per hour and we got to watch the dressage and the show jumping from the stands most of the day.

Occasionally, we had to answer questions and explain scores and placings to the waiting competitors - but this was the best bit really - helping them understand what they had achieved and how good they should feel about this. The surge of emotions and pride watching riders and families achieve and overcome, enjoy and compete stays with me every year – rain or shine!

The opportunity to volunteer at RDA every year is such a life lesson to me - it makes me feel humble and lucky, ungracious and spoilt as well as happy and positive about life - we see the best in people at this event - people from every walk of life, with every range of physical and mental limitations - working together to achieve something. We never see tears and tantrums, blame or unacceptance.

The team spirit and camaraderie is amazing to watch – us “ground crew” integrating with the riders and their families (many of which are non-horsey – let’s not forget this is often therapy for them, and respite) It reminds me about some of our core values here – collaboration, being remarkable, humble and helpful, and innovation – you would not believe how inventive we have to be sometimes – e.g. how do you explain to a blind rider about riding a perfect circle when she can’t see the markers? And how to communicate differently with riders that just don’t quite see the world the same way I do.

Thank you Sagittarius for giving me the day off, paid, to do this and thank you RDA for including me in this - you have no idea how important it is to me and what a difference it makes to my life. I can only begin to conceive the difference it makes to the riders and their support teams.

Everyone has the ability to make a difference – our CSR days are designed to help you grow as a person – learn stuff that you may not come across in a digital agency world, and to learn about yourself as well as others. You can do this individually or a small team. It's great for us as a business too, it's good to put something back into our communities.

It is selfish….. as it will make you feel good about yourself – trust me on this.

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?

 
Claire Battle Thumbnail
Claire Battle
Head of Talent
Claire is the agency's Head of Talent and is responsible for employee recruitment. Claire has a long history of working in recruitment and IT and enjoys working in a dynamic agency environment!
Claire Battle Thumbnail

Claire Battle

22 Aug 2018 - 5 minute read
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