Tuesday, October 16, 2012

7 steps for creating a content marketing strategy

In my previous post, I mentioned that content marketing is easy. Well here's my thoughts on how to create and run a successful content marketing strategy:

1. Have a strategy
Yes, I know this I'd obvious. But if you set-off without knowing what you're doing, you stand a chance of going nowhere quickly (See my posts on agile digital strategy for my approach on doing this)

2. Have a strategy that can be measured
Yes... I've purposely made this a separate point and I think you need to be clear exactly what your KPI's are and what success looks like. These figures should also be stated within your business justification (e.g. for further resource to assist you or to explain why additional effort must be put in).

3. Create an editorial calender
Your content plan should not be a hand-to-mouth process of a weekly meeting to just plan the next few days of content production. Products are seasonal, demand is seasonal, budgets are seasonal and therefore content needs to be seasonal... or at least adapt to the changes needed over time.

4. Build an editorial team
Ok, not every organisation can have a full-time team of one, two or more people doing their content marketing. However this doesn't mean you don;t need to have the input of (offline) Marketing, Comms/PR, Product/Proposition and your own digital marketers (and/or agencies).

5. Don't just create content, share content!
It's simple enough to forget, but you're not just encouraging visitors to enter and read your content, you're hoping they share it via more traditional (email) as well as social channels. Therefore do what you can to encourage this via the use of social sharing functionality (usually via the typical array of social buttons) on your site.

6. Make it usable and beautiful
Ok, maybe not beautiful, but at least consider that your content isn't just for the search engines..... it has to be read by a human too!

You however notice that I've really not focused on Search Engine Optimisation in a post about content marketing. "Surely that was a slip?" you're thinking "SEO is key here, why not cover it?".... Well to tell you the absolute truth, we all should know that content marketing IS about SEO anyway and a lot of the points mentioned above should consider this all the time. I'm also keen not to promote a specific formula for search engine spamming within a content strategy.... or maybe I'm saving that for a later post?
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