How do you keep your message on track? In enterprise content marketing, maintaining message consistency can be tricky. With so many channels to serve and so many people feeding them with content, it’s easy for the messaging to get muddled.
In fact, the new report, Enterprise Content Marketing 2019: Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends—North America from the Content Marketing Institute found that coordinating content marketing efforts among multiple departments and brands was the biggest challenge for 74% of respondents. And, 45% noted that message consistency was problematic.
Let’s look closer at why content teams have these challenges and how to overcome them.
First, What Does Message Consistency Mean?
Message consistency relates to an alignment across all your content about what your brand stands for and the challenges it solves. It does not, however, mean communicating the same thing in each channel in every instance.
You have the freedom to communicate on different topics, using different communication rules. Your voice should stay consistent but your tone can change depending on the type of format and channel. You want your audience to be able to make associations between your message and your brand.
Target is a great example of a brand that does this well. Their key message is offering more for less, and they deliver this message in lots of fun and quirky ways. The brand is always telling its story in creative ways, but it consistently ties back to its central theme of offering better products at the best prices.
It’s also important to note that each of your buyers will likely have vastly different journeys, so consistent messaging across touch points is essential.
Today’s customers are very savvy and conduct lots of research. The reality is, before they say yes to your brand, they are likely to digest and consume a large amount of your content. And they’ll likely be doing this across channels so your message needs to remain on point.
Of course, it will change and evolve depending on where the buyer is on the journey. Awareness content has a different objective than the consideration stage, so it’s about adapting the message for each stage of their journey.
Message consistency is about communicating on all marketing channels in a manner that rings true with your brand’s attributes. But don’t create content just because you want to increase the quantity of your messaging as this can dilute your brand.
So, how can an enterprise ensure consistency? Is being too big the most significant challenge?
Internal Alignment: Is Everybody on the Same Page?
Think about how confusing your messages may be if you don’t have internal alignment. If each part of your content team has conflicting understandings of the brand’s mission and message, there will not be a consistent vision delivered to your audience.
Alignment to a core message is a foundational necessity for content marketing. It’s about delivering a consistent story to your audience so they are engaged and excited about the possibilities.
So, why does internal alignment miss the mark sometimes? Much of it could be because of team structure.
Team Structure Could Be Exasperating Consistency Issues
Across an enterprise, you may have multiple brands and players. Depending on the structure, this could result in lots of silos. Silos can be such a thorn in the side of any content marketing strategy.
The study by CMI found that very few enterprises use a centralized content marketing structure, which is most likely inhibiting content collaboration. But such a structure could have great benefits, including ensuring message consistency.
One of the keys to centralizing your content team’s efforts is a robust content marketing platform. When you have a sophisticated platform, then all projects are visible to all parties. It also means that the vision and crux of your message never get lost.
When you have software in place to facilitate workflows and collaboration, silos get busted, and alignment is attainable.
Technology’s Helping Hand for Message Consistency
Technology is vital to content marketing for the enterprise. Most enterprises use it, as was uncovered by the CMI study. But how does it empower message consistency?
- Visibility: by using a content marketing platform, all those involved have visibility of each piece of content and are more likely to ensure consistency
- Better workflows: defining workflows ensures that specific quality control steps (reviews and approvals) happen in an efficient manner
- Big picture view: when teams understand how each piece of content works together for a specific objective or campaign, it’s easier to stay on message because everyone sees how it’s all connected
- Access to messaging guidelines: using a software platform can provide everyone on the team with access to the brand’s messaging guidelines, and because your messaging is fluid, everyone stays up-to-date
- Easier collaboration: when all team members can communicate and collaborate in one central place, the goals for message consistency are likely to be addressed before anything is published
Consistent Messaging Is the Product of a Content Marketing Calendar
Many enterprises do have a content marketing plan with a detailed roadmap for content production. But not all content follows this planning. Past research has found that 45% of content creation is still generated ad-hoc. If content is being produced on the fly and under duress, it’s likely to suffer from message inconsistency.
This is because well-conceived content has a plan behind it based on a specific message and objective. The best way to ensure consistent messaging in the enterprise is with a content calendar.
An enterprise-wide content calendar enables more visibility between silos and integrates all content ideation, planning, production and promotional efforts, much more so than spreadsheets and general project management systems.
We Can Help
By using a content marketing platform like DivvyHQ, your enterprise will have a robust yet easy-to-use tool that offers you an abundance of features to keep messaging consistent. See how it works today by trying it for free.