Our online words are our emissaries.
Rather than simply collecting and translating digital scriptures (a.k.a blog posts, whitepapers, case-studies), they represent a comprehensive, conclusively sound, captivating, and believable set of stories that actually tell our customers who we are.
Well, our writing may make us look smarter or just plain stupid; however, a challenge with many firms is starting and keeping their content marketing program on track.
One of the hardest struggles faced by marketers is how to spend quality time on it, or rather – how to start out with a content strategy with lesser time and resources.
Let’s take a closer look on how to start building a content plan, easily.
Start Out With a Content Goal or Target
Content marketing is the endeavor of creating and launching branded editorial content across all media channels and platforms, namely blogs, videos, podcasts etc. to deliver engaging insights and customer valued content that gain measurable results.
If there is no direction on what you wish to accomplish, your content marketing program, my friend, is like taming a wild horse running through the woods.
You might want to do more than just add to the daily flood of information that rushes through your emails, social handles or other content channels. And if you’re not watchful about what you share, you might do more harm than good.
Step 1 # Why you want to generate content that you want to share?
Step 2# What you really want to accomplish with it?
Your ultimate goal may be to make more money, but a more immediate objective could be to build brand awareness, demonstrate your firm’s expertise and/or create an engagement and build followers.
Define your Audience
Failure to define an audience can kill an initiative even before it starts.
When you define your prospects you are able to create information they’re interested in receiving.
Besides location, age, gender, a few simple ways to define and segment your customers are:
Step 1 # Ask existing customers what interests them.
Step 2# Segment the visitor base by what they are searching for on your site and what offers they respond to.
Step 3# Look up your home page and understand what type of customers it is focussed on/or not focussed on. Can prospects speak to you right away? Or is the site focussed too much on one aspect that it is not serving others?
Step 4#Consider online behavioral tools such as Omniture TouchClarity which allows you to determine your messaging based on a set of automated decisions determined by real-time modelling such as where the visitors came from, what they viewed and how they interacted with your site.
Decide on What to Share and How Often
Newsletters, email messages, social media posts and websites are the most common mediums through which content is shared. It is important for marketers to assess the strengths and match the right content type with the right medium.
Before closing in on the sharing mediums ask yourself the following –
Step 1# What is the nature of the content you intend to share? Is it plain text, images, videos or all?
Step 2# How often does your target audience expect to engage with you?
Step 3# What is the objective of your content – immediate conversions, monetizing your content, subscriptions or comments?
Step 4# Do you have any time and/or budget constraints?
For instance, through newsletters brands are able to add more touch points in one go than any other medium. However, frequency at which one would send out a newsletter can be anywhere between once a week to once in 6 months, hereby influencing the number of times you can actually engage with your audience as compared to other media options.
Websites prove to be an excellent platform to post whitepapers, videos and resource library. It is the ideal place to provide an overview about your brand or business. However, they tend to be passive and often need assistance from other mediums to drive people towards them.
Emails are an affordable and fast medium to convey your content. However, it does not work well if you intend to present long form content or if you wish to connect with audience members who don’t know about your company.
Social media is perfect for sharing information on a relatively frequent basis and for starting conversations that may be carried forward on offline mediums. However, one needs to put in extreme thought for every post, or it can severely backfire.
By setting the right goals and mastering various content sharing mediums, you will soon be able to implement a successful content marketing plan for your brand.