According to Google Trends, searches for content marketing have been skyrocketing. Obviously, I am not the only one over-whelmed by this shift in marketing. Below is a quick primer on how to jump start your content marketing strategy.
DEFINE YOUR GOALS
Begin by asking yourself, “How will this project support our business goals?” You might also want to think about how content marketing fits in to your overall marketing strategy and goals.
HIRE A CONTENT MARKETING LEAD
If you can only hire one person, consider hiring a content marketing lead. This role will be responsible for content ideation and prioritization, managing writers, creating workflow and scheduling timetables, developing SEO and social optimization strategies, measuring and communicating content effectiveness.
CREATE CUSTOMER PERSONAS
Personas are detailed representations of the different segments of your target audience. They can be fueled by data driven research that map out the “who” behind the buying decisions of your products or services. If you don’t have access to data, consider conducting a survey, an email questionnaire, a focus group, or interviews for previous or existing customers. Customer personas can help inform everything from more effective copy, to channel strategy, to product development.
DECIDE ON WHICH TOPICS TO COVER
Once you know your goals and have better insight into your customers and their needs – you should begin to formulate ideas on which topics you want your content marketing to cover, and how these topics will meet their needs.
DECIDE ON CONTENT FORMATS
From blogs to podcasts, from videos to webinars – there’s no limit to amount of ways to deliver content. But when settling on which content formats you want to utilize – consider (a) the customer and (b) their needs. You don’t want to spend a lot of resources into producing a weekly video series if a majority of your customers prefer direct mail or listening to podcasts on their evening commute. This is why creating customer personas is so important. At the same time, don’t be so paralyzed by perfection that you don’t publish anything at all. When looking back at the goals decide what can you do to make incremental improvements to your program.
If you create internet content without thinking through search engine optimization (SEO) and keywords, you run the risk of short changing your content marketing strategy. Choosing the right keywords and using them in an optimized way can help marketers navigate increasingly personalized search results.
SOCIAL MEDIA PLANNING
Social media usually is a core way to market your content marketing, but you need a plan that supports a custom approach to each channel. Let your goals dictate the decisions you make in regard to social media content. For example, if the goal of your content marketing plan is to increase email subscribers, would it really make sense to broadcast all your blog posts on Facebook and Twitter?
MEASUREMENT AND KPI
KPIs (key performance indicators) are the high-level metrics you and your management team have selected as the most critical to evaluate your content marketing program’s performance – such as the number of email subscribers earned, completed registration forms, sales increases, etc. Measurement can be as simple or as complicated as you make it. Don’t measure simply for the sake of having some numbers to present to your upper management. If you aren’t certain what you should be measuring, ask yourself these two questions: Do these metrics support my key goals? Can I take action on these metrics?
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