6 min read

What Is a Content Activation Strategy?

What Is a Content Activation Strategy?

You’ve written a gloriously in-depth guide to using your software like a pro. It is a golden piece of content marketing, guaranteed to impress anyone lucky enough to stumble upon such relevant content. It is sure to improve your digital marketing metrics and return on investment.

There’s just one problem: no one can find it.

Unfortunately, no matter how hard your marketing teams work at creating fantastic blog posts, infographics, whitepapers, landing pages, and more, the real secret to a winning marketing strategy is getting that content found.

Unfortunately, it’s getting more complicated, not easier.

“Over 2022, the average reach rate for both platforms has decreased dramatically – to 9.34 percent on Instagram and only 4.32 percent on Facebook,” says Socialinsider. Worse, “In 2023, Instagram gets an engagement rate by reach of 4.20 percent on average, Facebook records average values that go up to a maximum of only 1.90 percent.”

If your attempts to reach your target audience and win over potential customers seem to be falling flat on social media or anywhere else, there’s a reason for that. This is where a content activation strategy comes in.

The missing ingredient in many marketing campaigns, content activation ensures that people can actually find all the goodies you lovingly create – and that they’ll continue to have valuable content experiences throughout the customer journey.

What is content activation, and how do you get it for yourself? That’s the topic of today’s post.


What Is a Content Activation Strategy?

You already know about content promotion. That’s why your organization has social media profiles, a blog, a PR guy, etc.

Many people don’t know how to use those channels to promote content in multiple formats, increase customer engagement, and effectively achieve business goals. Doing so is critical to the worth of your content, however.

Content activation is just that: taking the content you’ve created and putting it out into the world where it will get found in the formats that will reach people when they are looking for it.

“Content activation refers to the processes, competencies, and tools needed to execute your content strategy and promote it efficiently and effectively across channels,” Acquia reports. “Determining a content strategy is only half the equation; putting it into action is the other. Content activation uses planning and technology to create, streamline, and bring content to life to meet business goals.”

With a good content activation strategy, you can get your value proposition in front of more people more quickly. Not only will you have an easier time convincing new customers to come to learn what your company is all about, but you also won’t have to work as hard to hang onto old ones.

Content activation is a strategy that works at every touchpoint, from the beginning to the end of the customer lifecycle and everywhere in between. The key is understanding experiential marketing.

What Is Experiential Marketing?

While content activation is getting your content in front of people using innovative strategies, experiential marketing ensures that content creates a cohesive experience from the consumer’s end.

Mailchimp explains, “Experiential marketing is the process of creating an experience for the customer rather than approaching them through traditional marketing methods.”

Another definition holds that “Experiential marketing, or engagement marketing, is a marketing strategy that directly engages consumers and encourages them to participate in a brand experience.”

Both definitions emphasize the customer going on a journey that feels as though it’s for them rather than happening at them – as consumers often perceive traditional sales and marketing efforts to be.

Experiential marketing can manifest in countless forms, from product sampling campaigns in front of grocery aisle end caps to pop-up offers on websites. The main idea is that your prospects are engaging with the value offered by the brand rather than with people who are yammering on about the value provided by the brand.

Intuitively, we all understand this: a picture is worth a thousand words, lead a horse to water, teach a man to fish, etc. These time-honored platitudes all mean the same: when we experience something for ourselves, we’re much more likely to get something from it.


Brand Activation Strategy vs. Marketing Activation Strategy vs. Content Activation STrategy

Now the question becomes, what exactly are we activating here? There are many things a SaaS company can emphasize when it comes to activation, from brand to marketing to content.

In this case, we want to optimize the delivery and utility of the content we spend so much time creating, so we will focus there. However, it’s helpful to understand each prong of a company’s activation potential because they all have value to you.

What Is a Brand Activation Strategy?

HubSpot defines brand activations as “events, experiences, and interactions that forge lasting emotional connections between a brand and its target audience. These activations are usually a specific campaign or event meant to generate brand awareness and interactivity with your audience.”

You might pursue this prong if you’re trying to increase brand awareness about an upcoming launch, for instance, in which current users or new customers can attend real-time webinars. Or your brand activation campaigns might center on a recent product drop.

Either way, the nucleus of this approach is to build the relationship between your customers (leads and prospects) and the brand’s values.

What Is a Marketing Activation Strategy?

Marketing activation is a broader term encompassing brand activation, content activation, and experiential marketing. The goal is to create consumer touchpoints – via a combination of content consumption, special events, and other experiences – that bring customers to your doorstep.

Marketing activation relies on the same basic premise that content activation does. Namely, you can create all the significant collateral you want, but until you let customers know it’s there through outreach, ads, pull marketing, and other approaches, they can’t experience it.

What Is the Difference?

The difference between brand activation and marketing activation is subtle, but it’s there.

Chron puts it best when they say, “To put it simply, brand activations create a trustworthy relationship between the brand and the consumer, and experiential marketing showcases the brand to the consumer with an exciting experience.”

All these approaches are intertwined, however. To wit:

  • Content activation is critical for getting experiences and events into the prospect’s field of view.

  • Experiential marketing enmeshes the prospect or customer in your SaaS product, so they can’t help but want to learn more about it.

  • Brand activations create the trust necessary to reel a prospect in.

  • Marketing activation ties them all together into a united, intra-departmental strategy.

Without content activation, though, it all falls apart. This prong, therefore, may just be the most important one to implement if you’re just starting out.

Elements of a Content Activation Strategy

What, then, should a good content activation strategy include?

First, you need expertly created content – no sloppy keyword stuffing, no jittery videos, and no halfhearted social media posts with more emojis than substance.

Second, you need a carefully curated approach to publishing your content, ideally with the help of automated apps that reduce the need for human intervention when doing so. From social media planners to batched blog content to content experience platforms, there are several ways to accomplish this, but that’s a topic for another post.

Today, focus on the following three elements:


Content experiences must be personalized to the individual. If a lead, prospect, new user, or long-time customer feels their experience is canned, you will lose them.

Feedback Loops

A feedback loop is a set of instructions for a computer to follow. Repeat as necessary depending on the output at the end of an iteration. The same idea applies to content activation: get information in front of the customer, encourage an action, and provide new information based on behavior.

The metaphor is a little off, we acknowledge. There is no final step in a genuine feedback loop – a computer can execute the instructions indefinitely and often does. However, in marketing, your goal is to reach a specific action from the prospective or existing customer.

If you think about it, though, there’s no end to the customer lifecycle. At least ideally, you want them always to renew their memberships, upgrade their plans, purchase cross-sold products, and tell others all about you.

The Right Data

Content activation – strategically pushing your creations into the world on autopilot – gives you a wealth of new data to analyze.

For instance, you could keep track of how long people spend with a specific piece of content, how many assets they consume in one visit to your website, which types of content lead to the most conversions, and how many pieces of content they need to experience before they’re ready to act.

Together, these data can offer significant insight into where your content and activation strategy works and where they need help.


How to Develop a Content Activation STrategy for Your Company

If you haven’t yet developed a content activation strategy, it’s time to do so now. Here are six steps that will help you get there.

1. Do Your Research

Before you start putting content out willy-nilly, figure out where it needs to go. Will influencers help you share it? Will you put it in-store (less likely for SaaS companies)? Where will you focus your omnichannel efforts?

2. Make SEO Core to Your Strategy

Remember, content activation is all about people finding the stuff you’ve put into the world. That starts with search engine optimization or SEO.

3. Develop an Omnichannel Content Experience Approach

Content activation relies on the intelligent culling of potential platforms to identify the ones that work for your specific audience. Are they older? Facebook tends to prove useful. Younger? TikTok is a win. Blogs, websites like Medium, and learning academies also fit in.

4. De-Silo Your Organization

Genuine content activation requires everyone to be on board, from marketing to sales to support. When everyone understands the goals and how to achieve them using content, everyone will experience a more seamless workflow and be able to put the right content in front of the right person at the right time.

5. Nail Your Digital Asset Management

This also requires you to provide a centralized space from which your entire company draws collateral. Designate a team to create a content hub – using a content management system or content experience platform – from which you draw digital assets whenever needed.

6. Make Customer Training Core to Your Experience

Customer training is, and we cannot overstate this, absolutely critical to the consumer experience and, therefore, to your content activation strategy. If you don’t show your prospects and customers exactly how to use your software, they will bounce to a competitor whose onboarding process is more reliable – and often, more fun.

You don’t want that. To reduce churn, your content activation strategy must include thoughtful, well-organized, highly structured onboarding and training. Your goal is to quickly get customers up to speed on your product, shave time to value (TTV) down to a minimum and eliminate confusion over new features.

Raven360 can help you do all the above. Our experience-rich onboarding software, modeled on the academy experience, allows customers to feel supported while enabling them to interact with your brand and content without the intervention of pushy salespeople or one-to-one teachers. If you’d like to learn more, schedule a demo today.

CTA - Customer CHURN Important


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