This is the continuation of our discussion on Content Marketing 101. In the prior post we explored the concept of content marketing, and outlined the fundamental steps in developing your content marketing strategy.
This installment continues with an overview of THE CONTENT STRATEGY and THE CONTENT PROMOTION STRATEGY.
Ready to continue your pursuit of content excellence? Good.
THE CONTENT STRATEGY
You have the content marketing strategy in place. Now you need to identify if you have the content needed to execute your strategy.
Chances are you might have some valuable content that already has been produced, but most likely you don’t have a lot of what will be needed. No fear though. When you created your strategy, you identified your goals and your audiences. Couple that with the “larger story” to be told, and you now have insight into the direction of your content creation.
You could start with creating content that answers the questions in each one of the engagement stages that we discussed earlier. Keep it simple to begin with. Start answering the questions that you are most frequently asked about your products, services, or how you go about doing business with you.
Begin to pay attention, and learn about what is important to your audience. Create a plan to audit existing clients, conduct an analysis of the feedback you get, and create a content creation process to begin addressing those topics.
Creation of the content itself will benefit from a workflow process, identifying who will be doing the writing for articles, video scripts, podcasts or infographics, and also a review of your information architecture and user interfaces.
Don’t skimp, or try to cut corners with content creation. It is far better to have fewer “great” content pieces, than to have a great number of pieces that do not engage your audience.
THE CONTENT PROMOTION STRATEGY
This third stage is where most people want to start when they consider marketing. Most of us are enamored with marketing channels, especially digital marketing channels.
Once you have the content marketing strategy in place, and you are beginning to produce your content, you can then begin thinking about how you are going to promote your content to get it in front of your target audience(s).
When you discovered your buyer persona(s) during the first strategic step, you learned quite a bit about where your best prospects are “hanging out” online, and also about their content consumption habits. You will now put this to good use as you choose the distribution channels that are best for getting your content in front of them.
Begin to measure all of your efforts for effectiveness. Measure them against each other, and determine your best performers based on frequency of consumption, as well as conversion.
Don’t limit yourself to digital channels. Consider distributing your content with traditional tactics like print and direct mail as well.
Most importantly, create a plan for your content promotion strategy. Be consistent with your plan, as your repository of great content, in the right hands, will bring great reward to those who persist in bringing value to their audience
Content Marketing is quite different today than it was even a year ago. Factors outside of our control have brought us to the place where we can no longer just give “lip service” to the creation and distribution of valuable content. Build your strategy. Create your content. Promote your content wisely. Then reap the reward.
by: Michael Richards