Are you utilizing a content marketing strategy in your business?
If your answer was no, then you need to pay close attention to what I share in today’s post 🙂
Content marketing, has proven to be an extraordinarily powerful way for marketers, especially bloggers, to create value for business.
“The idea of a brand approaching customer engagement by providing education, delight, and general usefulness offers a new model for enriching your interactions with customers at every stage of the buying journey”…….Content Marketing Institute
A content marketing strategy will help transform your business from a subservient department that merely describes the value of a product or service into an enterprise-wide function that can capitalize on the benefits of content-based engagement.
Below you will find a step-by-step guide of easy-to-complete practical exercises that will help you view content marketing as a logical extension of your brand’s core values and set the infrastructure necessary to implement a distinctive, engaging, and scalable content marketing program.
Keep in mind as you develop your own content marketing strategy that you remember that it’s a continuously evolving process that follows a strategic path, based on your organization’s goals, assets, and unique value propositions.
Step 1 – A Purpose-Driven Content Mission
- If you are just starting out with content marketing, you need to find the purpose that will drive your strategy.
- One easy trick for doing this is to look at your business funnel and identify the point where your team is struggling the most to reach its goals…..use the following to help you:
- Are you a start-up that needs to gain awareness in the marketplace?
- Are you having difficulties distinguishing your business from your competition?
- Do you get lots of leads, but have trouble “closing the deal”?
- If you have already begun to create content but are struggling to get the results you were expecting, you might want to start with an honest assessment of your content efforts:
- Are we doing true content marketing, or are we simply trying to make content fit into our traditional marketing processes?
- Is any of the content we already have worth scaling?
- Do we have a sustainable process – or simply a bunch of unrelated projects?
- Do we have the support we need to be successful?
Step 2 – Compose Your Content Marketing Mission
- Once you have identified the challenges you need to address (i.e., your content’s purpose), use this information to put together your Content Marketing Mission Statement — an outline of your company’s reason for creating content and the priorities and perspectives it will uphold in pursuit of that mission.
- Your Content Marketing Mission should govern every piece of content you create from now on and it should speak to some key components of any successful marketing endeavor:
- The core audience target: The type of person you can help most with your content
- What will be delivered to the audience: The types of information you will provide through your content
- The desired outcome for the audience: Things your audience will be able to do once they have consumed your content
- Answer the following questions to help you make up your unique mission:
- What is our goal?
- What target audience can help us satisfy that goal?
- What valuable experience — separate from our product or service — can we deliver at a key stage of their journey?
- What makes OUR approach to delivering this value different? What is the DIFFERENT story that we’re telling?
Step 3 – Generate Some Starter Ideas That Fulfill Your Mission
- With your mission statement in hand, you now can start to come up with a few general ideas for addressing the key business goals your organization is looking to achieve with content marketing, such as:
- Increased sales leads
- Greater awareness in the marketplace
- Increased customer loyalty
- More favorable industry reputation
- Greater marketing efficiency
- Choose a business goal to focus on, and write down your ideas.
- Feel free to get imaginative and explore “out-of the-box” topics and ideas, even if they don’t seem executable right now.
Step 4- Find Your Target Audience
- First, find out the answers to these key questions:
- Who is our content meant to reach?
- How can we provide value to them, beyond our products and services?
- How can we use our content to support them through their buyer’s journey?
- Ideally, your content marketing should be crafted to benefit one audience at a time.
- To do this, you will need to identify your primary personas and ask some key questions to uncover the Unique Value Proposition (UVP) you can provide through your content.
- Start by describing the ideal customer who might benefit most from the content you create:
- WHO is the persona? What traits characterize her?
- WHAT roles does she play? What does her typical day look like?
- WHERE is there a gap in her needs/wants (beyond our products/services)?
- WHEN does she need to close this gap (i.e., where is she in the purchase funnel)?
- WHY would she care about us, as a company (aside from our product)?
- Next you will need to revisit your initial ideas (as instructed above) and align them with your “personas”
Step 5 – Find Your Unique Story
- Now it is time to start thinking about how to take it to the next step and forge an emotional connection with your target audience.
- One way to approach this is to create a story around the desirable qualities and unique value proposition that only your business can provide.
- To do this all you do is take a generic content idea and turn it into a story that addresses the audience’s interests in relation to your company’s unique value proposition.
- Start with a topic you have used in your content — or one you have seen your competition use in their content.
- Next, ask yourself why that particular topic is important to your target audience.
- Then, write down your answer and take that answer and ask why THIS matters to your audience.
- Now you can create a story angle with REAL emotional impact
Step 6 – Establish a Strong Foundation
- With your strategic direction set, it’s time to establish a strong foundation that will support all your content creation and distribution efforts.
- Start by thinking about these essentials, and then revisit and refine your decisions as additional needs and opportunities take shape.
- The Team: Determine who will be involved in content creation, and what specific tasks each team member will be responsible for.
- The Workflow: Establish what tasks need to be completed to bring a content idea to fruition, what order those tasks will be completed in, how you will keep the process organized, and who will be in charge of making sure each content asset makes it to the next step in the process.
- The Tactical Plan: What topics will you cover? How often will you publish, and on which channels? What editorial guidelines and quality standards will you set? How will you track and measure your progress? These decisions should all factor into your tactical plan.
- Once you have your core team in place, you’ll want to establish a collaborative workflow, along with the materials and processes you will need to govern your content efforts and keep them aligned with your editorial strategy.
- Once your creators are on board, you’ll need to systematize your content production processes with a few key materials:
- An editorial calendar-helps you plan the topics you cover, keep track of content assets as they move through your workflow, and schedule publication across your chosen media channels.
- Who are you creating content for?
- Keep your target audience top of mind to ensure you are delivering on their needs.
- Why you are creating content?
- Your content marketing mission and goals will impact what you publish, where you publish, and how often, as well as how your team organizes and categorizes/ tags its content.
- What resources do you have at your disposal?
- How can you stand out?
- Publishing guidelines-outlines your preferred editorial style details, tone/voice, and other rules you want content creators to follow.
- At a minimum, your publishing guidelines should outline:
- The defining characteristics of your brand identity (as it relates to the content you will publish)
- The preferred voice and style your content should be written in
- The editorial standards your content efforts should be held to.
- A channel plan-governs how, when and where you publish content.
- As well as any rules of engagement that your organization would like to set for interacting on those channels:
- Your website/blog
- Guest blogging on others’ sites/publications
- Social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc.)
- Live events
Like any marketing discipline, content marketing requires some advanced thought and planning in order to achieve the best results.
If you enjoyed this post and found TONS OF VALUE, please take a moment and share…..Thank You 🙂
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To Your Success,
(source of content research click here)