A successful marketing strategy depends on many factors. One such factor is consistent and well-branded content.
However, if you own a business, you know that content creation can be challenging – even for your marketing team. While one team member may be excellent at writing content, they may not know how to create graphics. Another may create eye-catching graphics but need help keeping things on brand. If your marketing team doesn’t have a clear, well-defined strategy and system, all of your content could fall into the black hole that is the internet – never to be seen by your ideal client.
You want to tell your company story with content, and you want that content to stand out and connect with potential customers. If your business has no content, there is no way for a buyer to discover your company and understand if you and they are a good fit. If your business has inconsistent or contradictory content, the same issue occurs.
Recently, the Business Success Consulting Group CEO discussed content marketing with Wendy Lieber, CEO of ContentBacon. During their talk, they addressed many of the issues connected with content marketing and came up with a solution. That is: developing a consistent and clear content strategy.
Listen to the podcast for the entire discussion, and read on to learn more about content strategies.
Three Keys for Building a Practical Content Strategy
Before developing content for your business, define the following key points:
1. Know your audience.
There’s an old saying that if you try to market to everyone, you market to no one. This means you must understand your ideal customer, what makes them tick, what challenges they face, and how your company can best help them.
2. Develop goals for content strategy
Break your content strategy into three buckets:
- Content that supports general awareness.
- Content that drives interest.
- Content to support potential, current, and past clients.
Then develop goals for each bucket.
3. Map out what content will fill each bucket and accomplish the goals you’ve set
Now that you understand your audience and goals, you can map out the type of content that needs to fill each bucket. You can measure each idea’s efficacy against your goals, allowing you to refine and evolve the content map as you move forward.
Creating content on various platforms
Once you have completed the three steps above, you can create content for each platform on which your company does outreach. These platforms can include:
- Your website
- Social media
- Your blog
- A news outlet
- A podcast
- Your newsletter
- A magazine
- And others
There are as many platforms as there is type of content, which means that your content needs to be customizable to the platform. This can get overwhelming quickly, so here are some places that many businesses focus on:
1. Establish a foundation.
Which platforms are fundamental to your marketing success?
For most businesses, these are platforms where they control the content, such as their own blog, newsletter, and website. Often, content creators can focus on building content for these spaces and then find ways to share that content across platforms on social media or article publication sites.
2. Create integrations.
Building integrated systems allows you to track efficiency and keep hold of valuable contacts gained through content. For example, if you share a blog through a newsletter, integrating the blog, newsletter system, and your CRM will help you seamlessly gain subscribers while also seeing what content is most interesting to your readers.
3. Outsource areas in which you have no specialty.
If creating content on a specific medium seems overwhelming, outsource the work! Some people specialize in writing blog posts, building newsletters, and posting on social media. Utilize their skills to develop your content creation system.
You Can Build Systems for Content Creation
Using the above information, you can build your roadmap to creating and distributing content. Here is a basic roadmap that you can follow to develop your own content creation system:
1. Determine who will be creating content.
Will you hire an outside specialist, tap your existing marketing team, or do it yourself?
2. Answer basic questions.
Who is your ideal audience, and what do they need and want? On what platforms do they congregate? What questions do they want answered?
Get the answers to these questions in partnership with those you hire to do the work.
3. Develop your strategy goals.
What do you want to accomplish with the content? How often do you want to publish – and where?
Again, it is vital that you communicate these goals with anyone with whom you are building a content plan.
4. Build your content map.
Map out the content and refine it, so it answers all of the questions you’ve asked above.
5. Create content.
Work with your team or content specialist to create the content you want to be placed around the internet, or you want to distribute through the mail, billboards, etc.
6. Distribute content.
Disseminate the content on all the platforms you’ve established and ensure it is published on your defined schedule.
7. Review metrics and refine.
This last step often gets missed. Be sure to review the metrics and refine your plan regularly. Over time, your clients’ needs will change, as will their preferred platforms. Keep this in mind as you review statistics and metrics – and be ready to pivot and refine your system.
Are you ready to build business systems that support growth and scalability? Connect with Business Success Consulting Group today!