One of my favorite subjects over the past couple years is the rise of content marketing. Like many fads you might have expected the content marketing craze to ride off into the sunset. Well that’s not the case as content marketing is here to stay and for good reason – it works.
Content marketing is the curation of valuable content (or marketing copy) that is high-quality, relevant, consistent and integrated with the goal of maintaining (or changing) a behavior, and attracting and retaining clients. Good content is not good enough; it should be unique and with a point of view so that your organization becomes known as a thought leader in your specific industry.
The Content Marketing Institute explains content marketing slightly differently:
“Not a single solution or deliverable. It’s a process and a mindset. If you approach your content marketing initiative knowing that it will constantly evolve, and that you’re guiding its evolution, then you’re practicing content strategy.”
So, before attempting to develop the overall strategy, it’s important to first ask yourself some key questions:
- What’s the ultimate goal of your content marketing strategy?
- What do you hope to accomplish with such a strategy?
- What are the risks to the brand?
- How can you track the effectiveness of your strategy?
In order to develop the best content marketing strategy possible, we’ve put together a short checklist of to-do items.
Identify your purpose
What are your key goals that you want to communicate as part of the content marketing strategy? Is your mission to provide educational content? Is it simply to engage your client base? Do you want to provide content that requires an email opt-in, and therefore generates a database for nurturing leads? Who are the key stakeholders you are seeking to target with the strategy?
Develop your content marketing calendar
A content marketing calendar is crucial to ensure that your message remains on-track, topical and fresh. The calendar itself should be collaborative and not owned by one individual but rather owned by an entire team that is responsible for keeping your campaign messaging and content marketing strategy connected.
Utilize all available resources
By ‘resources,’ I mean both people and tools, since both are key for effective content development. Regarding the human component of resources, it can include the actual content writers, editors, subject matter experts and project managers. It’s also recommended to have outsiders involved; people who can tell you what your audience is saying, what they need and how they want their content delivered. In other words, “talk to your target audience.”
Regularly develop compelling content
We all know that effective content marketing strengthens your brand image, but without compelling content, your strategy might just fail. Make sure, as you develop your strategy, that you are not only addressing a short-term campaign/project but also making a good stab at the long-term initiatives (the big picture).
Think outside of the box
Put aside past initiatives, even if they were moderately successful, and try new approaches to your content marketing. If you’ve never interviewed your clients, now’s the time! Never organized a focus group? Give it a shot! You never know what will work if you never try it.
More and more organizations are effectively incorporating a content marketing strategy into their global business model. Why? Because your content marketing initiatives are much more likely to succeed if there is a solid strategy to support them.
Have you come across any content marketing strategy tips you found to be of benefit? Share your thoughts and success stories in the template below.