Build brand reputation and trust, increase awareness, and improve the bottom line.
Set SMART goals for your content marketing campaign to know where to focus. Make sure your goals are Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, and Time-bound.
For example, goals can be to gain more leads, increase profits, drive more sales, get new form signups, drive more traffic, enter new markets, reach new customer segments, or increase brand awareness. For example:
- Specific: Write and post two SEO articles each week.
- Measurable: Track KPIs like clicks, sessions, users.
- Attainable: Use a task management system and content calendar to ensure you have time on your calendar blocked for each blog post.
- Relevant/realistic: Review your top-performing content. Compare your site to competition and see if there are content gaps to fill to serve your audience better.
- Time-bound: Schedule and publish your two articles on a specific day like Mondays and Fridays.
Use your buyer personas to decide what’s important to your audience and use this to seed content ideas. State the problems that your solutions will solve and figure out the people who need this solution or the group of people you could serve best.
To create a buyer persona, make a list of customers and include details like demographic, revenue, and engagement information:
- Analyze the list at a company level. Use tools like Tableau to create a range of graphs and charts. Evaluate the average revenue by industry and employee size, the number of customers by industry and country, and a number of customers by employee size. This will help segment your customers.
- Analyze the list at an individual level and add details like gender, job title, department, and seniority on primary product user or buyer.
Set up interviews with your existing customers. Pull their names and email address into a spreadsheet, then upload the sheet into your sales automation or CRM tool. Then send them emails or surveys about your products, the benefits they are getting from it, and what they were using previously.
- Note down all the answers in a spreadsheet to have all answers in one place, and segment your customers.
- Draft personas using their about us, use case, previous solution & pain points, benefits of using your product, buying trigger, buying process, and choice factors.
Decide the type and amount of content you’ll need to create or repurpose and add that to a content calendar. Fill your empty calendar with topic ideas and the format of those ideas.
Ensure that the calendar is accessible to all team members, so they know what’s happening that day. Content formats include landing pages, blogs, white papers, ebooks, videos, infographics, and social media posts. Consider your audience’s preference when creating content and content formats. You may want to invest in content calendar software, like HubSpot, Google Calendar, or Trello.
To build a content calendar on these or other tools:
- Build a list of content ideas based on your goals: like case studies are for driving sales or surveys for thought leadership.
- Decide on how often you’ll publish the content: if you’re creating blog posts for SEO, you might publish 3-4 posts per week. But if its high-value resources like eBooks or white papers, you may only publish 1-2 per month. Content calendar lets you differentiate levels in different tabs for weekly vs. monthly, LinkedIn vs. blog.
- Use your content idea lists to fill in the dates as per the frequency you just established. Schedule out all steps of the content creation process in your calendar.
Create the type of content that’s useful for your audience to gain their trust, and let your content goals help you determine the type of content to use.
The most effective types of content include:
- Blog posts to connect with the relevant audience, boost traffic, and send quality leads to your site.
- Videos to establish authority and a more personal feel to your message. They allow you to connect on an emotional level with the audience.
- ebooks to let your audience know that you have a wealth of knowledge about your industry. They are excellent for setting you apart from your peers.
- Case studies to show off what you do better than your competitors and what clients love about you. They are great for inspiring trust and offer authoritative content in your niche.
- White papers to nurture prospects, generate leads, and help close sales. You can also use them to redefine a market space, attract attention, or stand out as an industry leader.
- Infographics to attract attention from a broad audience. They’re fun and easy to read and are great for starting a viral campaign.
Create multiple pieces of content around the same source material to lower costs, expand audience reach, and advance production.
Producing a variety of content types will help you reach and connect with users at different points of the digital sales funnel. For example, Marvel takes Captain America: The Winter Soldier movie and repurposes it online in various ways, including:
- Video: Through interviews with crew and cast and extended TV ads and trailers.
- Blog posts: Posts a series of blog posts on their website to provide more information on cast and characters.
- Podcast: Push out the content through The Week in Marvel podcast.
- Images: Hosts a gallery of pictures from the movie on their site and their Pinterest channel.
- Game: Launches a game about the movie for mobile devices.
To repurpose a single source into a full stream of high-quality content:
- Identify the content your company produces.
- Segment content topics for different audience personas. For example, a single presentation can yield an ebook, video, or series of blog posts, social posts, and images.
- Tackle the most in-depth content first, like an ebook or white paper.
- Spin-off other content from your main piece.
Consider your content goals. Do you hope your audience will sign up for your newsletter? Interact more with content? Or purchase your product? This will determine where you’re sharing, how you’re sharing, and the frequency. Then analyze content distribution methods and figure out the ones that are ideal for your business. This includes:
- Paid promotion to get more people to see your content.
- Email marketing to send content to an audience that already has a relationship with your brand.
- Social distribution to increase buzz, engagement, and brand awareness. Use tools like Hootsuite or BuzzSumo to figure out the best time to share content, where to share, and the messaging that’s most effective.
- Search engine optimization ensures people can find your content organically through search.