Why everyone is now focusing on topics
Within our industry, communicators are becoming increasingly aware of the many benefits of focusing on a topic. Especially when it comes to telling a self-contained story or promoting an image.
Classic communication has largely had its day. Nowadays, it is increasingly important not only to convey corporate goals, but also to demonstrate an attitude. A topic is oriented towards the goals and the perception that a company wants to achieve. Of course, it has to be adapted to the corresponding target groups, which thrive on a wide variety of channels. Once a topic is identified, it is easier to build and adapt the content around it.
But what does that exactly mean?
What is the necessary basis for approaching the issue from a topic perspective? First of all, we have to establish strategic guidelines for communication measures. We have to ask ourselves: What do I want to achieve with my content? How do I manage to attract the respective target groups? Through which channels do I reach them? How do I trigger the desired follow-up actions through cleverly placed content?
Once this has been clarified, the next step is to identify topics with the aim of strengthening the image through qualitative expertise articles. Or the coolest possible campaigns that stay in people’s minds. But reacting to trends in social media and the net community is also a possibility. In other words, creating a cohesive image to deepen trust in one’s own brand and strengthen customer loyalty. Customer acquisition through interesting content is also our goal.
Why focus on the theme now?
Nothing works without a topic. Because a topic is crucial for success, it is the central means for passing on content and achieving goals. I would like to illustrate this with an example:
It does not generate profitable added value if a pharmaceutical company talks about the pros and cons of household insurance. But if it positions itself as a professional contact in its field, it not only creates trust in its own brand, but also in the products it sells. Topics such as the treatment of illnesses or useful tips for maintaining one’s own health are a good way to strengthen the image. Where do you prefer to buy? From a company that is interested in the health and well-being of its customers? Or from a company whose marketing activities consist exclusively of placing advertisements – in other words, mere self-promotion?
Of course, not every topic is automatically suitable for everyone. Young people have different wishes than older people. Athletes have different needs than pregnant people. Once I have identified a topic, I can adapt it to the target groups. If I want to develop a new target group, an adapted approach and the choice of the right topic will pay off in reaching the goal. Thus all the factors to be considered are closely interlinked – but they always come together at one central point: the topic!
Thinking in terms of the topic helps
Thinking in terms of the topic helps to implement the company’s goals effectively. Thinking in terms of the topic also helps to determine the target groups that are to be served with the respective content.
Of course, intersections can also arise and be used here, so that a basic content is created on which all other measures can be oriented. Finally, the topic is in the spotlight and should present a coherent picture. It is important not to lose sight of the concept at the content level. It’s no use establishing yourself as an advocate of a vegetarian diet on all channels while promoting the latest grilled meat pictures on Instagram. This does not create a well-rounded image that is carried to the outside world, especially not a credible one.
You notice that it is important to integrate the expertise of all the specialist departments that carry the communication to the outside world. Topic management, managing editor and media management have to work together in a central place. Transparency and collaboration from all parties involved at a common collection point is essential to prevent a contrary external image.
We collect everything in one topic, this is where everything happens, this is where we collect, prepare and plan. The advantage? In a topic structure, all departments that are relevant to the topic can participate. Or rather, for whom the topic is relevant. Information is no longer lost, everyone knows what’s going on, and on Instagram it’s not grilled meat that’s promoted, but the veggie alternative, just like the rest of the campaign. The image of the company remains round.
We want to abolish silos with this way of thinking. Sounds revolutionary? In a way it is, because now everyone is working in the same place and putting the topic in the spotlight – which guarantees much more effective output. To provide even more transparency, we also use a planning table. This shows the chronological sorting and also the topic planning for certain channels, regardless of whether they are campaigns or tasks. You can see at a glance which topic is prepared for which period and should be communicated. If there is a rescheduling, everyone involved can see this and adapt, as they all use the same table as a guide – and all without Excel!
…to put it in a nutshell
Planning from the topic is not only much more dynamic and goal-oriented, it is also collaborative – if applied correctly – and breaks down silo thinking. In our campaigns and tasks, we can more easily transport and control corporate goals and perceptions, we can use our own brand expertise to strengthen our image. We have the appropriate mindset; what does it look like for you?