Take stock, Improve & Maximise.

Take stock Improve and Maximise

The first month of 2021 is almost over. Already the personal things you kicked off on January 1st are floundering and best-laid self-help plans (call them cliches if you will) are falling by the wayside - be that

  • “I will exercise 3 times a week”
  • “I must eat healthier”
  • “I’ll complete that overdue DIY project”
  • “We need to tackle all the technical debt on the website generated in 2020”

the list goes on…

Personally, I’m not one for “drastic action” type approaches, they seldom seem to have the desired outcomes and are not dissimilar from the type of ‘spur of the moment’ decisions that often created the problem originally!

The global pandemic throughout 2020 impacted everyone - every business, every organisation. Those brands that had already made recent or historic investments in the Sitecore Experience Platform (XP) realise now that the speed of customer shifts and expectations make it imperative for them to ‘take stock’, ‘incrementally improve’ and ‘maximise’ the ROI from their platform. One can never neglect the holistic digital estate if true digital transformation benefits are to be realised.

Take Stock

The level of expertise necessary to keep abreast of the speed of changing digital consumer needs during the last 9months - and the fast-evolving customer habits going forward - means your valuable Sitecore investment needs to be assessed for the great post-pandemic economic wave that is rapidly heading your way. You must:

  1. ensure it is being maximised to its potential
  2. validate its ability to deliver efficient customer solution touch-points
  3. verify its use has been optimised for effective and relevant customer experience

We here at Sagittarius see this a great opportunity for Sitecore customers. Those that have not taken stock of, or more commonly shielded away (ostrich head in the sand!) from wanting to know the true current ‘state of play’ of their Sitecore digital ecosystem should undertake a fully independent assessment review. The assessment itself contains critical Sitecore technical and marketing evaluations providing a ‘no stone unturned’ insightful takeaway.

The findings of our innovative assessment contain constructive and actionable outputs (no sugar coating or unnecessary work recommendations) that we openly share and guide you through. Your business will be able to fully comprehend and appreciate (both the technical and non-technical) the incontestable truth regarding the Sitecore digital solution you have in place and how its connecting to the wider enterprise ecosystem around it. Our expert findings may surface issues and challenges that are causing strategic friction that inhibits the wider organisation’s digital ambitions and is invisibly impeding business effectiveness.

Incrementally Improve

Often our assessments uncover well-architected Sitecore implementations with only a minor set of technical or business implementation issue that potentially need addressing and these can be factored dropped into your BAU continuous and interactive Sitecore development work stream. However, it is not unusual to discover some notable technical ailments in the Sitecore solution, that is of pan-organisation importance and require clear explanation to the most senior stakeholders. The kind of challenges where the negative cumulative effect will ultimately result in an ineffective customer experience and may stretch beyond the remit or bandwidth of your existing technical team making it tough to fix the reported pain points.

Fortunately, our deep experience and laser focus on the Sitecore Experience Platform enables us to not only produce a rapid and meaningful assessment for you but to work collaboratively to co-create an actionable improvement plan. We ensure that it is aligned strategically with business goals, relevant technical teams or partners, and delivers incremental organisational, business and customer value - all with measurable phased indicators.


Maximise

Now that you’ve taken the journey from initial assessment, and through some continual progressive development, we are able to the maximise and optimise your Sitecore digital platform and associated ecosystem to drive greater utilisation of your investments and to protect and advance it so that the marketing, data and other operational aspects of your business are able to flourish.

Our ‘maximise’ stage is driven in parallel with the incremental improvements phase so that the customer experience isn’t an afterthought. This ensures that there is a constant forward trajectory in how you think about your Sitecore platform and how integral it should be in achieving your business objectives.

If you need our advice and guidance on making your Sitecore instance ready for what the post-pandemic economy will bring, then get in touch with us today!

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?

 
Kingsley Hibbert
Kingsley Hibbert
Chief Technology Officer
Kingsley is the agencies CTO and as part of the c-suite is leading the charge to support our rapid growth as we break into new and emerging markets! He has a wealth of technical experience and expertise having previously worked in Senior Sitecore roles at brands such as PRS for Music and Epsilon.
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