Content may be the all important deliverable that can spell success or failure of any marketing initiative. You can have the right message, the right target audience, the right vehicles, but if the content does not deliver the message in a way that resonates with the audience, and in a format that fits the media you are using…odds are your efforts may be lost.
Content marketing is something that I have been touting where I work for the past year as a strategist, and now that I have moved into the management and execution of an actual initiative, it’s time to drink my own kool-aid. I am learning that when it comes to content, it’s easier said than done.
Content marketing is probably one of the most used buzz words in marketing circles today. Every single marketing consultant and/or agency is touting its importance and providing valuable insights as to the best content to create for whom and through what vehicles. Sometimes, it’s hard to keep up.
I recently read and enjoyed Gareth Case’s “Why Every Marketer Must Exploit 4 Dimensional Marketing” because it got me thinking more about not only the content I will create, the target audience, and the vehicles, but the realisation that you can never create enough content. I know, content costs money and time, but if you are able to create a good balance of content through the buying process, you should be able to manage your resources well.
My approach…I work for a technology company, so this may be skewed a bit…I like to “FRAME” my content planning this way…
- Foundation: Start with foundational content which in our case is typically whitepaper driven aimed at more technically minded professionals. I assume you have already established the target audience and the vehicles in preparation of creating the foundational content.
- Repurpose: Think of ways to repurpose that content into at minimum 10 other pieces of content aimed to address the needs of a specific vertical market or job function (to Gareth’s point), buying process stage (awareness, evaluation, decision, support), and format (blog, video, tweet, eBook, etc).
- Assemble: Take an inventory of the content you are creating by audience, buying stage, and format to determine your editorial calendar or content to do list.
- Map: Map the content created to the media or vehicles in your plan, and establish a timeline.
For me, since my initiative is new to the company, phase one is dedicated to awareness and education/evaluation building through blogs, contributed editorial, PR, etc. As we “connect” with partners and customers, we begin to build more evaluation and decision content (case studies, best practices, technical guides, training, etc). This is phase 2 content that begins to get weaved into the website, blogs, social media, etc. By this point, we should be building out our programs and structure to aid the purchase and support phases of the buying process (loyalty programs, incentives, customer service tools, etc.) At the end, some 9-12 months after the initial launch, we have a complete content structure that addresses needs throughout the buying process.
Oh, step 5 – Enhance: Always refine and refresh your content to give it longevity.
Where do you start?