Thursday, February 11, 2010

Case study in content strategy: RBI

If you're like most of my clients, you've got plenty of content--and that's great, since content is the king of social media. But do you have a content strategy?  If not, your online offerings are like that well-packed but unorganized garage/attic/storage bin.

I'm starting a series to look at good examples of social media content strategy, including how organizations are using social media to aid their content strategies. This article in Folio looks at the content strategy for Reed Business Information, publisher of more than 400 business-to-business or trade publications as well as 200 blogs, covering a wide range of industries.  It's a revealing insider's look that you can use to think through your own strategy--and, as a bonus, how you might change your media relations approach to RBI's publications. Here's what I came away with:
  • Understand your audience and the platforms they prefer:  RBI sees value in using social media across all its publications--both to reach them with content and get content ideas--but Dan Blank, its director of content strategy and development, notes, "Some markets are much more mature in their use of social media, requiring a different level of involvement."  Likewise, if an audience or market of yours is best reached another way, social media won't be your channel of choice.
  • Find out which social media platforms can best help you source and share other's content:  For these business publications, it's Twitter, which Blank says "has had the biggest effect in terms of communication, gathering information and connecting with new people." 
  • Keep a calendar of planned content, and use social media to gather content before you need it:  Blank notes that, at RBI, "if a team looks at their editorial calendar for the next three months and identifies a few key topics they are covering, they can now develop those conversations on LinkedIn and Twitter to shape the focus on articles, find sources and get quotes."
If you have a great content strategy case study to share or have figured out how to organize your content-laden attic, leave word in the comments or email me at info[at]dontgetcaught[dot]biz.  I'm eager to share examples in all sectors.

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