Communicating Efficiently Online

Expanding communication opportunities bring both benefits and challenges to marketers today. While the availability of a wide range of communication options can be empowering, it can also be overwhelming. Which to use? When? How? How can you ensure that you’re not just wasting your time?

Marketing staff at both large and small organizations are finding themselves faced with significant opportunities today, but these opportunities can translate into a significant amount of work. What can they do to ensure that their time is being spent most effectively?

Actually a number of things.  While the channels are changing, the basic principles of effective communication remain the same. It all starts with a thorough understanding of both the target audience and the desired outcomes. As Stephen Covey so famously said in his wildly popular book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, it’s important to start with the end in mind.

The use of this wide range of communication tools to share messages, primarily online, has come to be called “content marketing” or “content management.” Content marketing and content management definitely offer great opportunities for businesses of all sizes, but management is a key word here. Many organizations and individuals are creating and disseminating content, but they’re not managing that process well. That results in both wasted resources (time and money) and diminished outcomes.
Content management can certainly be complex. But, from a high level, the keys to effective content management are:
  • Alignment with existing brand. Whether you’re communicating online or off, through traditional or new media channels, the messages must be consistent and aligned.
  • A focus on driving traffic to a web site with some specific end result in mind (e.g. a sale, a request for information, a prospect).
  • Careful selection of the various communication channels you will use based on a thorough understanding of your audience and how they consume content.
  • Careful development of content based on your understanding of your audience and what is important to them/the type of information they need.
  • Coordination of content across these multiple channels through initial publication and repurposing — this is where efficiencies come into play; content can and should be created once and used multiple times.
  • Careful and ongoing evaluation of results, making changes as needed.
  • Commitment to ongoing, frequent and relevant communication — including two-way communication, with audiences.

The rewards of effective content management are many. It’s rewarding to follow results — real results — that occur through your efforts. It’s also instructive to learn from both your successes and those things don’t work quite so well. In the online communication environment it’s very easy to experiment, learn and make changes.

Content management and content marketing are two buzzwords that aren’t likely to go away anytime soon. How could you use aligned, authoritative and useful content to better engage with your target audiences?

by Linda Pophal


Tags: , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Complete the math problem before submitting a comment. * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.