Plan it, Plan to Sustain It: Content strategy mirrors business growth models

The business growth model that InnovyzStart uses also applies to communication strategy. It’s because the act of chasing business growth is strategic. Your content is chasing audience engagement, and you need to be strategic about that, too.

If you saw Jana Matthews’s presentation at SouthStart Conference 2013 in Adelaide, or have read my notes taken from the session, this article will speak to you in a familiar language. This article takes the InnovyzStart framework and uses it to create a strategy for continuous and strategic growth in content and audience engagement.

What the ANZ InnovyzStart model teaches us is that business growth needs to be strategic to be sustainable. So does your relationship marketing. You can spend all of your time engaging with your audience, but it is not going to help your business if you a) can’t sustain it, and b) if you don’t plan it.

Relationship marketing is the buzz-​phrase of the day, and engagement is what is driving our metrics, regardless of the channel in which it appears. Your customers need to be engaging with what you do, and so do their customers need to be engaged in what your customers are doing. You can’t drive engagement if you don’t know the specifics of what you are trying to achieve and why.

Keeping your content working for you is an intensive, and time- and resource-​intensive process when you do it correctly. If you aren’t using your own resources in-​house, then for you (or for your clients) it’s an ongoing financial investment. Therefore, you want to make sure that you (a) have a good strategy and future plan, and (b) that your strategy is sustainable.

Am I sounding like a broken record yet? Plan it, plan to sustain it: two phrases you need to put on your wall.

Enter the Innovyz model. Remember, the Innovyz model moves from Discovery to Continuous Growth.

Discovery » Validation » Efficiency » Scale » Continuous Growth

Communication and Content Strategy works on the same basis, and always starts with discovery. It is for this reason that content always needs to come before information architecture: you have to research and describe what you want to achieve. It’s only when you have a solid idea of what you want and why that you start drawing plans.

The Innovyz model works on five channels, so that you have a big-​picture view. It makes it very easy to show you how your content strategy relates to all parts of your business, and moves through five stages of growth.

This image explains content and communication strategy in the sustainable Innovyz Framework.
This image explains a content and communication strategy in the sustainable Innovyz Start Accelerator program’s framework for growth.

What this framework shows us is that there are specific stages of content and communication strategy:

  1. Research
  2. Report on current performance
  3. Determine what you want future performance to look like
  4. Create a strategy, and a plan for the future
  5. Review, measure, adjust.

You have to undertake a lot of research; that research will give you information about your audience, how you (or your products) are solving their pain points, how your content is currently performing across all channels, what works best in which channel (and when, and how, and why). It will give you specific metrics, and it allows you to support your goals with existing metrics (therefore giving you a benchmark for future measurement).

Then, you need a strategic way of reaching your goals, so that you are doing it in the most efficient way possible. Your strategy is embedded in your research: where, how, when you place your content; how your content relates to your business strategy; how and when to write, re-​purpose, publish. Strategy drives efficiency.

Finally, when you start seeing those efficiencies working for you, you need to drive growth through continuous measurement, and ensure that growth is continuous and consistent with your business strategy. That requires regular and consistent review and adjustment.

Just like driving business growth, none of this is rocket science. It is, however, hard work — which is why 80% of new businesses fail, and why content strategy is considered only when a website isn’t performing as a customer expects.

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