If your content marketing strategy isn’t documented, getting buy-in from stakeholders will be pretty difficult. Gaining team collaboration around the strategy and measuring its effectiveness will be tricky as well. What are you waiting for? Without a documented strategy for your custom content, your 2016 successes must have been hit-or-miss at best.
Maybe you’ve been stymied in your attempts to document your strategy because you haven’t put a fine point on it yet. If that’s the case, I suggest starting with the basic concept that, with content, more isn’t always better. Quality content that will help you build a loyal audience—that will pay dividends for years to come—should be your goal.
So, let’s get started documenting your content marketing strategy to improve the likelihood that your campaigns will hit their marks in 2017:
- Define goals: This is the basic foundation for your strategy. What needle are you trying to move with your content marketing? Consider priorities such as brand awareness, customer engagement and lead generation, for example. Ask yourself what hurdles must be overcome to accomplish your goals, who in your organization must approve the plan and budget, and which measurements and deadlines will determine successful achievement of the goals.
- Create a mission statement: Define a specific audience, the information you will provide on your products and services as it pertains to your goals, and what your key targets will gain from consuming your content (i.e., your value proposition).
- Choose topics: Your content must differentiate your brand to break through all the noise and garner attention. What topics are the best fit for your audience? To determine this, you can survey your customer database, delve into Google Analytics, analyze other company data for insights, and simply gather input from the people around you. In addition, consider the niche you are targeting, and who your competitors are. Plus, determine who on your team has the expertise to write the content; if no one, consider outsourcing your content production to a content strategy vendor.
- Identify content formats: How will you tell your stories—through text, audio or video? Where will you distribute the content—blog, podcast or webinar? Develop a plan that supports a custom approach for each channel selected, and make sure your formats tie back to your goals. Consider that some content types demand consistency (blogs, newsletters and podcasts) to meet customer expectations, while others can be less scheduled (infographics, webinars and research reports).
- Determine distribution and measurement: How will your key targets find your information? What are your distribution pathways; that is, do you have assets or partnerships you can leverage, and/or a paid budget? Once your audience locates you, be sure they are guided to a lead-generation form for capturing their data. Also, ensure that you have the necessary technologies in place to enable collaboration and measurement. Choose key performance metrics that support goals and are actionable—can be tied to sales, cost savings or customer loyalty.
- Develop a business statement: Take all the above information and create a one-page business statement to serve as a proposal for a specific project. Outline the problem (we’re trying to win business on price, not value), solution (build awareness of our brand value) and summarize the plan (become the leading information resource in this area).
Once you have your content marketing strategy on paper, you have a foundation for moving forward with marketing campaigns that are on point to engage consumers and positively impact sales.
As with her writing and editing, Peg brings her finely honed attention to detail and her adherence to high-quality standards to bear in her role as managing editor of Content Boost. As team leader, she encourages her staff to strive for excellence in the copy they craft and in the relationships they forge with clients, striving for an optimal customer experience. She caught the marketing bug after seven years as an editor and supervisor at Gartner Inc., the world’s leading IT research and advisory company, and was drawn to the spirit and talent exhibited at Content Boost. Tracing back to her early days working local beats as a journalist, Peg consistently digs deep for insights that bring value to her writing. Outside the office, Peg loves to read when she’s not trying to keep up with her cycling buddies or the weeds in her garden. She can be found enjoying the local scene in her hometown of Fairfield, Connecticut.