According to a study conducted by Content Marketing Institute, 86% of B2B marketers claim they are already using content marketing. Sadly, the latter seems to be a term which is easily thrown around these days without a deeper knowledge nor commitment to work out a proper content strategy. Be it B2B or B2C, there is heaps of potential hidden for almost every sector out there.
During my practice I’ve worked out a winning content marketing checklist covering all the basic steps you should go through prior to launching your initiative.
1. Which problem are you solving?
Start by asking yourself a simple question: which problem does this content solve for my target audience? Content marketing is not advertising! You have to provide answers to questions that are relevant to your customers.
2. Sources for inspiration.
Say you’ve got the first part down, but are struggling with finding ideas for a new piece. Your sales department is a goldmine when it comes to getting inside your customers’ minds. These are the people who are in daily contact with your audience, meaning they have a good overview of their concerns, problems and most frequent questions. Don’t let it go to waste! Hence if you need inspiration consider the following sources:
a) sales people b) customer service c) customer research d) Google search
3. Create a plan. Be consistent!
If you’re serious about content marketing then prepare to commit! I would compare this to taking a dog: you don’t take a puppy for a week or even a year. It’s a new family member you need to nurture and educate for many following years. The same goes for content marketing. Create a long-term plan, make sure you have the resources to make it work i.e. be realistic in terms of your capabilities, set up a content calendar and stick to it!
4. What happens next?
The fact that content marketing has nothing to do with traditional advertising doesn’t mean it’s meaningless. Each piece of content should have a purpose. Be clear about what should happen after one has viewed your content. Should they leave their contact details or check out a product page? Be clear enough, but remember: they’re here looking for an answer to their personal questions not your latest promotion. If you can mix these two then you have a winning content strategy.
5. Set relevant KPIs.
Every single move you do in marketing can be measured, content marketing is no different. Make sure you have your relevant KPIs in place before you start, otherwise, you can’t really measure your success or failure rate.
6. Do not build your house on rented land. Gather data!
I would like to credit Joe Pulizzi from Content Marketing Institute here, because Joe was the first to put it out there. Working on platforms like Facebook, Instagram and so forth means you never fully own the data that goes through these channels. A single change of an algorithm can rob you from all these treasures. Aim for immunity: try your best to gather all customer data and store it on independent/personal platforms.
Ideally, your content should convert to sales, which requires a detailed overview of the customer journey: from finding your content to signing the deal. Try to cover each step on the way and eliminate unnecessary hurdles for the customer.
Hope you find my checklist helpful. If you don’t feel like reading, here’s a video covering all 7 steps:
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