The Art of Channel Strategy

Brands face adversity all the time. First it was the ad revolution. Then it was the dotcom revolution. Then it was the social revolution, and now the maker revolution (see Steve’s post for a bit more on this).

Where there’s a dark storm cloud on the horizon, there’s a clear day to follow. You know, #Ridethewave and all that.

But that’s not what I’m here to talk about today. Today, I’m here to offer you an umbrella; an umbrella that’ll keep you safe and dry as you pass underneath this dark cloud.

That umbrella is strategy. There are many guises a strategy can adopt - content, channel, business, and a whole host more - but the sentiment’s the same through and through (I’ll be chatting about channel strategy, as it’s my bag - but it’s super transferable).

A strategy is a frame.

You could spend forever and a day devising the best, most outrageous, extravagant and innovative creative concept; it might be world-changing, life-affirming and revolutionary. But without a solid strategy, it’ll flop. Guaranteed.

Here are some pointers to stop this from happening.

Start with your concept, and it’ll flow through social outputs naturally. Many people fall at the first hurdle by saying, “Oh, we need to utilise Twitter, Facebook and Instagram … now how do we do it?” Tailor your social resources to your content, not the other way around.

When your idea hose is perfect and your social nozzles are aptly fixed on the end, it’s time to water the garden (I desperately wanted to change this metaphor, but it was so cringey I couldn’t help but keep it in).

As any good gardener knows, over-watering your plants will drown them, and under-watering will starve them. Your strategy will help you to get the right balance and the right schedule to allow your flowerbeds to flourish proud and tall.

So, set up a calendar; a year long list of to-dos, categorised by output channel. The more detailed this is, the better. Stick it on the wall and get your content out on time, all the time.

The beauty of this arrangement is that it allows for a great deal of transparency on your end. It lets you see which content is connected and how; it lets you see what’s coming up and what’s just been; it lets you keep track of salient calendar events, track launch dates, and a whole lot more besides. Investing a lot of time in a channel strategy might seem dull and unwieldy, but it will save you heaps of time in the long run; no more faffing about thinking what to do next.

Often, a creative mind can see regiment as a bit of a downer - a stifler. It might seem like it interrupts your imagination and puts a cap on your big ideas, but really, it’s absolutely vital. Why? Because strategy breeds consistency. Consistency is key to progressive development. Progressive development is key to mastering your craft.

Happy gardening,