One of the things that are hardest for businesses to embrace content marketing is that it involves a change of mindset, as well as a change of strategy. You have to start thinking like a publisher.
Are you ready? Now I know that your company might build great widgets or offer super fantastic B2B services; but to get your message across today, in an era where content has become the new basis of digital marketing, you really do have to start thinking like a publisher.
So to get you thinking, here are 7 things to ask yourself before launching a content marketing campaign.
1. What are your goals?
First off, you need to decide what you want to achieve with content marketing. Increase sales? Build brand awareness? You name it! This can be a short term or long-term objective but this is an important step of any content marketing strategy.
2. How are you going to measure your success?
It’s not just about sales. Decide how you’ll measure the way customers and prospects are interacting with your content. Then fire up Excel and create a file, ready to record your data (See my post: Does Your Content Marketing Add Value?).
3. What kind of content are you going to produce?
It’s important here that you remember that great content marketing is about providing great ideas and information for people. Your content should be helpful, educational, unique, credible, engaging and fun sometimes.
It should be delivered in a variety of forms: blog posts, videos, podcasts, resource libraries on Delicious, Slideshare, Scribd, etc.
4. Who is going to create the content?
If you are having a content writing and marketing team for your organization, absolutely fine. But, If you’re a small company or a sole trader, you might be responsible for content marketing! If that’s the case, you might need to look at your skills or abilities. Have you got time in your day to produce the content or learn new skills? Or do you need to outsource?
One of the biggest mistakes I see companies make is that they get the wrong people to create the content. Either the team isn’t big enough, or just not qualified to create compelling content. For example, your IT staff aren’t necessarily the right people to write your business blog, just because they get PHP code and understand the tech stuff.
5. When is the content going to be created?
Content, like money, doesn’t grow on trees. You have to invest time and resources into producing it. And if it’s going to be part of an online content marketing campaign, you’re going to need it fairly regularly.
So like a publisher, you’ll have to know in advance when it’s due to be published. Personally, I find a content publishing calendar indispensable because it keeps you on track and allows you to have some kind of overview as to where the content is going.
6. Where are you going to put the content?
Don’t just target Facebook, YouTube or your blog. There are a number of social media sites out there with active communities and one of these could be just where your clients or prospects hang out. Don’t just go for the popular or well-known. Spend some time researching other sites. Or better still, post on as many as possible and then look at your metrics.
7. How will your content generate business?
If you invest in creating meaningful and valuable content for your community, don’t leave money on the table by forgetting to include calls-to-action in or around your content.
There’s so much more to think like a publisher and engaging in content marketing. This is just for starters!
What about you?
Struggling to get your head around content marketing?
Not sure whether to jump in at the deep end or lost in strategy? You’re very welcome to share your thoughts or questions in the comments below.