Don't jump into any new marketing endeavor without knowing how deep the water is first.
Take time to research and understand best practices.
The ever-growing popularity of and reliance on content marketing is forcing many companies unfamiliar with the approach to jump in head first — without knowing how deep the water is. Here are the best practices that every company should know before embarking upon on any content marketing endeavor.
1. Understand Your Goals
Consider your overall business and marketing goals before jumping into content marketing. Determine what role and how content marketing can help meet those goals before getting started.
2. Segment Your Audience
Your audience comprises many components. Content must be segmented for the audience components in order to sound authentic and to engage them.
3. Build Buyer Personas
Who are your ideal customer? A buyer persona is a fictional representation of the traits, basic demographic characteristics, motivations, needs, worries, and pain points of your target customer. Understanding how your product or service helps your ideal customer lets you focus your content marketing to find customers with the same characteristics.
4. Assess Shareworthiness
Content that creates a buzz is likely to have a broader reach, because readers who find it valuable are more apt to share it on their social networks, whether it's a like, retweet, or cross-post. Think about the content you produce. Is it likely that readers will want to share it with friends, family, coworkers, and/or followers? The most productive content is content that has value for the reader.
5. Audit Existing Content
It's plausible that you have material already available or that can be easily converted into usable forms for content marketing. Consider speeches, white papers, presentations, sales materials, product brochures, and sales scripts as possible sources of ready-made material.
6. Coordinate and Integrate
Your content marketing should complement other components of your overall marketing campaign. This means creating a complete marketing calendar that incorporates both traditional, offline marketing tactics with newer, online tactics. This means combining things like television and radio advertisements with social media and blogs. An integrated approach like this allows for message reinforcement and resonance among your viewers, readers, and listeners.
7. Make It Count by Counting
You will never know how effective your content is if you do not measure its impact. Measuring involves multiple components, from campaign measures such as open rates and click-throughs, to action measures such as newsletter sign-ups and downloads, to financial measures such as revenue per customer. Connecting the dots among these various measures allows you to identify what worked and why, allowing you to adjust future content accordingly.
These seven steps can help you form a comprehensive, cohesive and quantifiable content marketing plan. At Inbound 281, we help clients create content marketing strategies and materials that deliver high-impact results. Inbound 281 helps forge two-way relationships with your customers that result in more sales.
To learn more about how Inbound 281 can make a difference for your business or organization, contact us.
This article was originally published in Nov. 2017 and has been updated.