How do the words “content marketing” make you feel? Overwhelmed? Excited? Or, maybe, a bit lost? No matter where you are in your content marketing journey, one thing is for sure —it isn’t going away any time soon, and for good reason. A strong content marketing strategy is essential for any marketer when it comes to creating value with your key audience and ultimately, driving action for your business or organization.
Today, more and more of our conversations with clients revolve around the topic of content marketing, and more specifically, how we can help them create a strategic content marketing plan that is not only effective, but also manageable. There’s no denying it—getting started on a content marketing plan can be overwhelming. From defining your key audiences to allocating resources to executing a campaign across a seemingly endless array of platforms, formats and devices, it becomes a lot to consider. But here’s the good news: By prioritizing your key audiences and focusing your efforts on telling the right stories on the right platforms at the right time, you can be successful.
If you are struggling with how to manage your company’s content marketing plan, here are five helpful reminders to help you prioritize your efforts and get back on track:
1. If you aim to delight the masses, you will fail. Because content marketing is all about creating value to a clearly defined audience, drafting your strategy in hopes it will appeal to the masses and go “viral” will only leave you disappointed. Instead, think about the smallest audience possible – perhaps even just one person – and what piece of content you can create to build long-term value among this trusted and loyal tribe.
2. Remember the power of three. Creating smart content takes time. To be effective and efficient with the content you create, think about three different ways you can use or repurpose the content. This can be reusing pieces of it on another platform such as a blog or new social channel, or it can be repurposing something into another format, such as a video, a tweetable quote, or SlideShare presentation.
3. Reuse the good stuff! We often think that once we’ve created this wonderful piece of content that our loyal audience has engaged with, we are done with it – it’s time to move on and create something new, right? Wrong! Don’t be afraid to reuse or repurpose an old piece of content that was successful or well-received. Chances are, not everyone you are trying to reach saw it the first time around. Give yourself permission to use it again!
4. Serve up content where your customers are in the purchasing cycle. Remember to create different types of content based on where your audience might be in the purchasing cycle. This should include basic “hygiene content” that takes care of an everyday customer need, “hub content” that tells a deeper story or provides more in-depth information that connects people to your brand, and “hero content” that is designed to be shared and create broad awareness through widespread distribution and sharing.
5. Your brand isn’t about you, it’s how others experience you. Today, marketers don’t get to tell people how they should feel about their brand, product or service. Your customers get to decide that for themselves based on the type of content and interactions they have with you both online and off. Don’t use content to simply talk about yourself. Instead, talk about your product or service in a way that is tailored to your audience’s needs and interests. Use this as an opportunity to convey your brand’s values and personality without being overly promotional. Create content that tells your story in a way that allows your customers to feel good about doing business with you.
While there is no simple and straightforward way to create an out-of-this world content marketing strategy, the good news is, if you keep you customer in mind at all times and serve up the information they want in a way that they want to receive it, you will succeed.
We love having internal conversations at Bellmont Partners about best content marketing practices to share with our clients. In fact, our team just finished reading The Content Code: Six Essential Strategies for Igniting Your Content, Your Marketing and Your Business, by Mark Schaefer, which provided some great insights and case studies on crafting sound content marketing plans. What other books or resources do you use? Who are some of the other content marketing experts you follow? Let us know in the comments – we’d love to hear from you!