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Episode 07 - The step-by-step Guide for a Successful EU policy Content Strategy

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Welcome to the White Rabbit Hole podcast.

Follow us to discover the wonders of creative digital communications for EU associations, corporates and NGOs in the Brussels bubble.

Today we discuss the importance of a solid communications content strategy for European associations and NGOs

Many people assume that Institutional communication content is dull and uninteresting. However, an organisation's success can rely in part to their content marketing strategy as a means to reinforce their advocacy. What works for one organisation may not work for another, but content plays a crucial role in creating a lasting first impression for stakeholders on the receiving end.

Implementing a successful communications content approach can significantly increase brand equity in a cost-effective way. But amplifying an organisation's message is not as simple as posting a blog and expecting engagement to roll in. A poorly executed content marketing strategy can damage your organisation's reputation.

That's why we've created this step-by-step guide to help you develop a successful advocacy content strategy and avoid common mistakes.

What is Content Marketing Strategy?

A content strategy is an approach that involves creating and sharing key messages to increase engagement, generate leads, drive action, or build brand awareness. In an Institutional communications context, your content should be targeted, contextually relevant, and provide value to your audience, e.g. by adding colour to your messaging.

The key to a strong Advocacy content marketing plan is working with you to understand your organisation, your objectives, your messaging and your target audience. It should address the entire customer experience and deliver genuinely useful information that resolves issues and builds trust by meeting audience demand

What Does a Successful EU policy Content Strategy Look Like?

The idea behind a successful content marketing strategy is to provide value and serve as a useful outreach medium to complement traditional public affairs activities. The target audience does not want to be advertised to with dry messages when scanning social media, reading blog posts or watching videos, and readers are not interested in reading sugary marketing material.

A strong marketing plan should include a content component and an analytical component.

Political objectives determine the type of content we deliver. Educational content is sometimes appropriate for an Advocacy Campaign, but a successful outreach plan doesn't end there. It should also include a well-thought-out strategy for evaluating content effectiveness, which entails monitoring website statistics and conversion data, in other words exploring the best online content marketing programs can help you understand how to taylor a plan that promotes your organisation and increases engagement and action.

As a creative and digital marketing agency specialised in content creation for European Associations, corporates and NGOs, we understand the importance of a well-crafted digital communications strategy. In the world of advocacy campaigns, your content must have a defined purpose, meet the precise need of a highly specific demographic, be distinctive, and seek to achieve positive engagement

You may consider investing in videos, as these offer a high return on investment and have been shown to increase engagement. You don't need a complete production team to create successful videos. With basic video production and now thanks to AI new powerful tools , you can create engaging content with limited resources.

Messaging can be based for example on research studies that provide evidence to back up your main points, share unique thoughts, and motivate others to take action.

Landing pages are another effective way to enhance credibility and messaging. Before developing your landing pages, make sure they have a title that speaks to a specific need, a well-built structure that leads to a request without being too aggressive, and evidence-based engagement, such as alignment with other stakeholders to support your narrative.

Social media is also an effective way to engage with your audience. LinkedIn, in particular, is a powerful platform for institutional communication and advocacy campaigns. Don't just repost your blog content with a few short subtitles. Use various types of posts to increase engagement.

Email marketing is another common technique for institutional communication and advocacy campaigns. Use emails to attract and cultivate leads by delivering unique material, such as newsletters. Take your email outreach campaign a step further by creating a whole email program to reach prospective recipients

Consider investing in podcasts to showcase your knowledge and educate your audience. This medium is increasing in popularity and is a flexible content vector that can be tailored to any subject or sector.

Another element that cannot be overstated is the importance of content in SEO. Google has been clear that content is king and has emphasised the need for a content strategy that is valuable to users. However, many businesses still struggle to understand that creating content solely to target specific keywords is dead. The key to building a successful content strategy is to centre it around user needs and target users at different stages of the marketing funnel.

Google's "Helpful Content" update is geared towards providing users with the most helpful content in line with the expected intent behind a search query. This means that Google will display content that is informational if a query needs a specific answer to a question, and so on. Additionally, Google's broad core algorithm updates, which occur multiple times a year, also target the content portion of the algorithm, meaning that content performance changes will be felt.

It is important for businesses to create valuable content that answers a need of the user and is engaging, as Google's mission has always been to provide the most useful content to users. Content that does not read well or provide value to users will be difficult to reward within the search engine results pages. This can result in less organic traffic to the website and fewer conversions,

To build valuable content that users will engage with, businesses should consider what their users really need from any piece of content, why they would come to the business for answers to their questions, which formats will be the easiest to digest for the user, and how easily the information can be found on the website. By considering these elements, businesses can improve the quality of their content and the journey to said content from anywhere else on the website.

Finally, don't forget the power of "how-to" tutorials for your blog. While research studies can add value to your blog, producing how-to tips regularly is one way to establish credibility in your field.

In conclusion, developing a strong content marketing plan requires investment, but it's worth the effort. Customising content to meet your specific needs is key, but always remember that your material should be purposeful and have a clear objective. With these strategies in mind, your content marketing plan for institutional communication and advocacy campaigns is sure to succeed.

To create content that provides true value to users, it needs to be produced in different formats, considering users and how they best digest content. This includes the use of multi-media formats such as video content, infographics, and interactive content, which are much more engaging and helpful to different types of users. Content should also answer a specific user need quickly upfront, before delving into more detail in the body of the content. It should also provide new information that users can engage with by providing their opinions, sharing the information, and so on.

Many organisations decide to delegate the content creation process to digital marketing agencies like White Rabbit. Whatever route they decide to take, it is important to continually evaluate their performance and strategies. In summary, building valuable content has never been more important, and businesses like associations must create a content strategy that centers around people's needs and targets audiences at different stages of the communications funnel to improve visibility within an organic search.

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