What’s Content Marketing? It’s the method and discipline that marketers and businesses have flocked to address the dramatic changes that have taken place in how to promote a product or service online.
The idea is simple: Consistently create, publish and broadcast content that your prospects will find engaging and valuable That’s easy, right?
Follow these 10 tips for Content Marketing success.
With so much noise and confusion about Content Marketing and how to address it, these 10 tips will help guide those interested in success.
1. | Be clear on where you’re going.
When it comes to your content, forget the chest pounding and hard sell. If you think people are interested in you or your needs, it’s time to revisit your thinking. Today, more than ever, it’s about WIIFM | What’s in it for me?
So you better frame your content around the benefits and the value that you’re going to deliver to your prospect or customer.
2. | Approach with conviction.
As Joe Pulizzi of the Content Marketing Institute reminds us, successful Content Marketing falls into 2 basic categories.
- | Content that is relevant, informative and educational
- | Content that shows prospects a good time through entertainment
If you want to be noticed, shared, remembered or acted upon, decide how to approach content creation with these two categories in mind. It will help keep you on track and guide you to better results.
3. | Focus on what hurts.
If you’re going to create content that others will share or engage with, it better be relevant to your prospects. And relevance is determined if content addresses an issue or pain point that your prospect is dealing with and would like to mitigate or overcome.
If you’re unsure or unclear on what your target customer’s pain points are, gain some valuable insights with one of these effective methods:
- | Create a survey
- | Listen regularly to your social stream
- | Set up Google Alerts
- | Do field research with interviews + a structured questionnaire
- | Talk to your sales + customer service people
4. | No conversions without a CTA.
This is so obvious, yet it’s amazing how frequently it’s overlooked by so many. It gets to the heart of direct marketing and the essential techniques for furthering the selling cycle of a product or service. For every post or content asset that you create, be sure to integrate a CALL-TO-ACTION to guide the prospect or customer to what you would like them to do next.
5. | Forget the message and logo police.
Is it time to change your Marketing Department from the message and logo police to continuous producers of valued content? And as anyone in these positions knows, that is so much easier said than done.
Letting go of the old and moving to new technologies and media may involve new cultural, skill-set, and thinking techniques that are not necessarily aligned with the current competencies in your organization. But like all change, some will find it painful and others liberating as marketing continues to transform like never before.
6. | Have a unique POV.
Come from and be clear on what you stand for and what makes your brand different. The best way to do that is by defining a brand positioning and value proposition that is meaningful, relevant and supportable by what you offer. Ensure that this proposition considers a personality that is unique to you and reflects what inspires others to turn to you for a solution.
7. | Get it scheduled and get organized.
Continuously creating and broadcasting content is a formidable task. So start by breaking it down into manageable activities and parts. For example, create a CALENDAR that organizes all of your content creation activities into the subject matter, media, and resources responsible for execution.
And always consider how to leverage your investment in a piece of content to get additional reach and pass along by taking one piece of content and turning it into many. For example, your blog interview could turn into an ebook, a SlideShare presentation or a series of short topic posts and even a podcast.
8. | Reach for engagement.
With all of the content that is being produced at a mind-boggling pace, there is one component that has a higher value above all others. It’s QUALITY—and it consists of the nuance of storytelling, language, design, timing, editing, coloration and visual impact that can turn the ordinary into extraordinary.
When in doubt, invest in the effort to make it great because you increase the opportunity to extend the reach of your content through others who will share it with their communities.
9. | Collaborate, communicate + evaluate.
Collaborate with your sales force and align your efforts with theirs. This will ensure that the content that you are investing in will further a defined and predictable selling cycle with the goal of turning prospects into customers. Do a competitor test and evaluate what your competition is doing that is effective, memorable and worth considering for your brand.
10. | Persistence can be very rewarding.
Do it! Do it! Do it! as Peter Caputa from HubSpot likes to say. Getting it done is more important than thinking about it. Study after study is now recognizing that consistency and frequency of creation, distribution, and optimization of content is the single best practice that drives traffic, promotes conversion and fosters engagement with your audience.
Time to hear from you.
So what techniques and methods have you found that are delivering the best results? Please share. Then, we can include them in our checklist.
As president and creative director of TeamworksCom, Paul develops brand strategy, engineers content to express customer value and creates integrated online and content marketing solutions to help businesses succeed. Connect with Paul, send an Email, or just call 415.789.5830.
2 thoughts on “10 point checklist for Content Marketing.”
Nicely done. Content drives interest and engagement and no one buys unless they are first interested and then engaged with your brand or service.
Thanks Marcia. You’re right on. And engagement only happens with content that’s valuable and done well.