Hilary helped us consider a more holistic picture of how content marketing can serve individual organizations. Follow these simple guidelines to build a plan that enables you to reach your audience more meaningfully.
Do your homework. Figure out: who’s coming to the party?
Find out what your audience’s buying cycle is, how they search for your product or service, their conversion behavior, and their experience after the conversion.
What problems are they experiencing? What are they unhappy with?
Study the trends: what’s popular with your audience now? What’s considered up and coming? What are the past hits?
Use Google’s tools: familiarize yourself with Google Adwords, Trends, and Analytics to answer some of these questions.
Build your playlist: what should you talk about?
Shortlist your topics. Separate them into the most popular themes, emerging topics in the field, and the perennial favorites.
Prioritize your topics. Popular topics should go into heavy rotation; perennial favorites: moderate play; and new topics: less frequent airplay.
Find out how to repurpose existing content. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time you post.
Build an editorial calendar that works for your team. If you have one person that can dedicate 30 minutes a day to this schedule, consider what can be accomplished.
Remember that popular topics are of interest to the larger population of your audience.
The least popular content that people want to read about is about you or your company tooting your own horn.
Speak your audience’s language. If you understand their search expectations and know the terms they use to hunt for and talk about your product, you’ll understand how to engage them better.
What questions are you answering for your audience?
The goal is to help educate your audience while promoting your products and services.
And finally, learn by doing!
At Neoteric Design, we provide content marketing worksheets for our clients. We like to road-test our tools to demonstrate that these principles can be applied flexibly for different organizations. The worksheet is structured to be revisited every few weeks. Goals can be adjusted and tasks scheduled accordingly. When our team launches a new project, we generate a batch of new material for our website including the workload of image production and copywriting. We can repurpose that content into news and social media announcements to build a conversation around the problems we solved. Our calendar outlines the platforms where we post industry-related discussions versus where we celebrate our clients. With numerous publishing opportunities beyond our blog, content wrangling and production may seem overwhelming. We advise: keep it simple! Start with a just a few items and then build over time. Think of content marketing on the web as “always a work in progress.”