South African Scorpio Moves to Sagittarius .

the-south-african-scorpio-moves-to-sagittarius

On the 27th of September I arrived bright eyed in London town. I had left my homeland in search of bigger and better opportunities. After the initial shock of the cold and darkness set in, I decided it was time to stop leeching off my boyfriend and find myself a job. I soon fell into the safe hands of Sagittarius. I was thrilled to be presented with this new opportunity, but definitely naïve in thinking the South African culture was the same as the British. I would just slot right in, I’m friendly and chatty, and so it would be fine, surely? After a short while of living and working in the UK I realised we actually had our differences:

 

No time for chitchat

We South Africans will find ANY excuse for a quick chat. It became obvious that my need to explain or describe things in great detail when asked a simple question was perceived as rather annoying. When asked “you alright?” didn’t actually mean: “you don’t look okay, what’s wrong? What I can do to help”? It simply meant, yes, I have greeted you and now we move on.

South Africa, the unknown

I was generally surprised how far the vast majority thought I had travelled to move to the UK and how few Brits had actually visited South Africa. In some situations I almost expected their next question to be: “Do you also live in a hut with lions?” Suddenly I realised I had lots of stories to share about my far away land, which secretly I quite liked, any chance to chat!

Goodbye Old life

My first instinct in my new workplace and life was to draw differences and parallels with everything in South Africa. I found myself annoying everyone around me by saying, “back at my job in South Africa …” and “that’s so funny, in South Africa we do it this way…” I had to learn to start doing things the British way or else risk giving away how homesick I actually was.

Be Polite, not direct

As a South African I found myself to be very direct in comparison to the British, I noticed a few of my comments and questions were met with wide eyes and dropped jaws. I was shocked by the general politeness of my fellow employees as well as clients. I’m used to clients screaming down the other end of the line demanding items that are clearly not achievable, but you know, as South Africans love a good argument.

Just as I was starting to wonder if I had made the right decision immigrating to what felt like the Antarctic, I was invited by Sagittarius to attend the 2017 Travolution Awards. Sagittarius was nominated for best website user experience and guess what, we won! At that moment I felt so proud for making the move and so happy that I work for such an innovative, driven company who strives to be the best that digital agencies have to offer.

Suddenly all the long days, no sunlight, living in a cheap area because that’s all my South African Rands could afford, seemed worthwhile. At the end of it all, I have to get used to all the little British things in order to make it here. Hopefully one day I will enjoy traditional pubs, public transport and be considered a “fellow Brit” without losing touch of my South African roots, of course.

 

 

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?

 
Lauren Hill
Lauren Hill
Account Manager
Prior to working at Sagittarius Lauren was based in a Digital Agency in South Africa where she oversaw digital projects focusing on website design and development as well as Social Media. Lauren also has a Bachelor of Commerce Degree in Marketing & Management Sciences and thrives on watching brands grow and being a part of this process, from beginning to end. 
Lauren Hill

Lauren Hill

02 Jan 2018 - 5 minute read
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