Create what your audience needs (not what you want)
We’re all selfish, especially in our business lives. We want to accomplish our tasks, push projects forward and drive growth.
When we start planning content with sales goals or product features at the centre of the process, we create promotions and product guides. We tell customers what we want them to know without thinking about what it means to them.
If we start with the needs of our customers, their interests and problems, their opportunities and hopes, we create content that helps them as it drives sales, sharing and a deeper ongoing relationship.
Develop a content strategy and framework
Think about the purpose and goals of your content. Consider what content you want to publish, for whom, where, when, how and why. Ask yourself who your intended target audience is – who do you want to engage, for whom does the content deliver its value? Our Best Practice Guide on Implementing Content Strategy can guide you through these stages.
Match content with your audiences and goals
Consider the purpose of each piece of content and where the content will fit into a purchase or customer lifecycle.
- Transitional content enables a transition along the sales funnel.
- Transactional content persuades and enables prospects to complete a transaction.
- Relationship-building content builds trust, respect and loyalty in ways that transcend individual transactions.
Conduct a gap analysis in search
Look for gaps on search engine result pages (SERPs) to identify valuable search positions that you do not currently own. Identify the type of content you should produce to raise your search rankings. Review the keywords used by your audiences, the volume of searches for a particular term and how these can be improved.
Take a look at your competitors to see how they are performing and where you need to improve.
Use Google’s Keyword Tool, your analytics and other tools for analysis.
Adhere to governance, planning and coordinating the distribution of our content
Without governance, strategy is merely a good intention. Follow best practice guidelines around standards relating to the creation, curation and distribution of content within a content schedule.
Deliver the right content to the right person at the right time
Consider how different content types can be distributed in different formats on different platforms to achieve different goals. See our Periodic Table of Content Marketing for guidance.
Content innovation and agility
Digital places emphasis on being able to respond in a timely manner. Identify opportunities where it is appropriate to put content out there, and then objectively and progressively adapt it over time. Consider the 70:20:10 rule which translates to spending.
- 70% of your effort on the low-risk, bread-and-butter, tried-and-tested content. Optimise it, amplify it and refine it, but don’t break any rules with it.
- 20% of your time innovating off what is known to work and what may engage more deeply with specific audiences, but is still likely to have broad appeal. This content stretches and tests the boundaries that constrain the 70%.
- 10% spent on brand new high-risk ideas that, if successful, could become tomorrow’s 20% or 70%.
Content marketing reports
For more content marketing advice, see the following reports:
- 100+ Practical Content Marketing Tips: A how-to guide for editors, writers and content creators which presents the lessons we’ve learned from 10 years of writing for this blog.
- 15 indispensable content marketing tips
- Implementing Content Strategy – Digital Best Practice report, written by Dr Mike Baxter, which provides a framework for evaluating your current content strategy and content planning processes, helping you make the most of your content in the future.
- Digital Content Strategy Best Practice Guide
You can learn even more about content marketing at our two day Festival of Marketing event in November. Book your ticket today and see how you can break through the noise.