How to Get Started
Do you spend hours each week contemplating your marketing strategy and considering how you can improve your results? Are you one of the estimated seventy percent of marketers who do not have an integrated or consistent content strategy in place?
One of the first steps in developing a sound content strategy is to determine your goals and what you need to accomplish. Establish the objectives and how you will measure success.
Document Your Strategy:
Think like a publisher. Magazine publishers strategize and outline their editorial calendar on paper every year. A calendar provides a roadmap for how the publisher will develop content for each issue. It allows them to create content that works together to tell the bigger story. Your content strategy should do the same.
Successfully documenting your strategy will help ensure a higher success rate. A recent survey from the Content Marketing Institute indicated that forty-four percent of marketers surveyed stated that their organization did not have a documented and a further ten percent were not sure.
Begin with Measurable Objectives:
Consider the goals for your content and how it should evolve over the course of the year. Metrics you can consider include: Site Traffic Generated; Brand Recall and Awareness; Improved Website Conversions; and Increase in Market Share.
Your existing customers and employees are a great resource to utilize for discerning what are the biggest concerns or challenges your prospects are facing. Take an inventory of this information and develop ideas to provide the answers via your detailed content strategy throughout the year.
What questions do you get asked all the time? There are several online tools you can utilize to help determine a myriad of questions you can answer for your target market. Start with the obvious questions and see where your research leads via sites such as Google Search, Answer The Public, Soovle, and YouTube.
From YouTube through premium news sites, there are numerous channels to leverage your content online. Identifying and strategically honing your content to meet the strengths of each channel can drastically increase the overall success of your content plan. Create content that maximizes the potential for each channel including newsletters, third-party e-blasts, video, social media, webcasts, podcasts, ebooks, whitepapers, premium content sites, and industry publications.
Earned and Promoted Media:
Earned Media: Without a doubt earned media is sought after by content marketing strategists. Studies show that ninety-two percent of those surveyed report that they trust earned media. The downside is that you don’t own the content and can’t control the messaging. Additionally, cultivating relationships can be time-consuming, and there are no guarantees.
Promote Your Content: In an ideal world, if you write it – they will find it. The reality is that having your content found can be a challenge. If you lack the time and resources to devote to earned media OR if you are looking to augment your earned media strategy with a guaranteed result, paid content promotion might be a good fit for your business.
From search through social through premium website promotion, choosing the right strategy to promote your content is important to help achieve your goals. Pay-to-play can help bring your content from obscurity to the “land of the found.”
Once your content strategy is documented and executed, you’ll need to measure your results. Evaluate your results by reviewing your website, social media, and email metrics and how your strategy generated leads and sales volume.
Results from your content strategy should grow over time. A goal of your strategy should be to become the industry expert – the organization that your prospects think of first when they are looking for solutions to their problems. Being consistent in cross-platform messaging and frequency is a key ingredient to ensure optimum results.
If developing content is difficult for your organization, hiring a professional writer or consulting with a content marketing expert may be ideal to help you launch your content strategy. I95
Sandra Rodenas is a marketing professional with over 26 years industry experience. Her education includes both an undergraduate (UNF) and an MBA (WU) in marketing (graduating with honors in both). She is owner of Your Own Marketing offering customized marketing services for businesses in Maryland, Delaware, and Washington, D.C.