Creating a Content Development Strategy for a Global Brand

As a senior digital marketing expert at Medtronic Diabetes I was drafted to a new team within the organization focused on developing thought leadership content to attract the audiences we knew we wanted to address (physicians, scientists, engineers, investors, global experts, etc). Up until this point I was working with a team to attract potential customers (the users of insulin pumps) and win back previous customers. So this was a new venture with an entirely new mindset.

It has become pretty obvious that the role of digital advertising has been changing and decreasing in effectiveness as consumers develop banner blindness, ad blocking technologies become easier to install in your browser and more money is piling into online from offline. Content Marketing has become more critical as a way to introduce yourself to your customer months before they know they might be your customer. But it takes a well honed strategy, a detailed understanding of your brand voice and customer personas, a plan for lead nurturing, content development experts, and tools to provide analytics.

With the goal to establish an authentic environment that creates value for our global partners and customers we defined our content goals as:

  • Infuse our Diabetes Group vision into content
  • Convey our inspiration- why we do what we do
  • Look for opportunities to contribute and add value to our stakeholders
  • Take advantage of rare, timely, and critical events, highlighting our value
  • Create from a global perspective

We certainly had our challenges. We were concerned about gaining executive commitment for monthly content. We were only a team of 3 and wanted to recruit author/experts from across the company, but would that leave us vulnerable to employee poaching? And, of course, we have significant regulatory oversight and were not able to talk about product development, our competitive advantages or product-specific information without providing pages of disclaimer and safety copy. Our workflow consisted of an online marketing communications approval system that routed projects through no less than 4 reviewers, usually 8 were required, and took a minimum of 2 weeks.

Loving challenges as I do, and knowing we needed tools to help us, I began to research SAAS products in this area. I identified our need as:

  • Find a more efficient way to collaborate and report on ideas for content development
  • Allow several people to review outlines, copy, images, and video for proposed content ideas
  • Make the best use of our small team to guide and direct authors in producing content
  • Create 4-6 solid, new pieces of content each month
  • Create from a global perspective so that content created in the US could be extended to our marketing teams in the other regions.

There is a sea of content development applications that allow brands to create, source, syndicate, publish, and measure performance of content. As you can see in the graphic below, there’s a tool for practically everything. If you don’t identify what your specific needs and priorities are, you could easily go down a rabbit hole.

I reviewed tools to help create content assets, platforms where you can publish assignments and find authors, collaboration tools allowing you to team think and edit, and so much more. In my next posts I will review some of the the tools I found, which ones I found valuable and the outcome.

Thanks for reading!