Feeling a little dull about your new content marketing efforts? Don’t worry, because despite what you may think, you’re certainly not alone. Getting started with a new content marketing strategy is no small task. It involves figuring out goals, strategies, tactics, deliverables, and other words that sound way scarier than they are.
That said, instead of feeling like you’re starting on a completely blank slate, here are a few questions you can answer about your business to help you craft your content marketing strategy.
1. What is the ultimate goal of my business for [insert time period here]?
I usually plan content strategies in quarters. For those working in the startup world, things can change at the drop of a hat, so three months is a safe period to plan for. So, over the next three months, what does your business want to accomplish? Think of this goal as the overall mindset of your company, not just your marketing team. Do you want to build your brand nationally? Or perhaps you want to become profitable? All actions you take should ultimately lead to something that will help accomplish this goal.
2. What are the goals of launching my content strategy?
Some examples of content goals can include, “educating my current audience about my industry,” “educating potential customers about my product,” “generating leads,” or “forming relationships with industry influencers.”
3. What questions does my audience want answers to?
You’ve defined a general idea of your audience by answering the previous question. Let’s say, for example, your audience is your current customers and you want to educate them on how to make the most of your product. What are the most commonly asked questions about your product? These are the things your content should address.
To provide another example, say you’re a service provider who wants to reach potential clients. What types of questions are people asking themselves when looking for a new [insert your service here] provider? Be the resource they are looking for.
4. What types of content will my audience best respond to?
Content marketing isn’t exactly new. In fact, some argue that all marketing and advertising is and always has been content because without content, there wouldn’t even be ads. Backing away from the literal definition of content, though, there are different ways in which you can deliver information. These, for all intents and purposes, are the types of content. It’s important to distinguish what media will best deliver the message you decided upon in question number three. Further, planning which types of deliverables you will focus on throughout the quarter will help you stay on track. For example, you may plan on creating two infographics over three months, three blog posts per week, one SlideShare per week, and one larger white paper.
5. What actions will I take tomorrow?
Planning is great, and once you’ve got your strategy’s skeleton lined up, you’ll feel very accomplished. The next step, though, is to move forward. It’s easy to create a plan and then let it sit in your Google Drive for the next three months and wonder where the time went and why you never ended up doing any of that. Once you’ve completed your plan, decide what the next steps are for the coming week. These don’t have to be giant actions, just tiny steps towards your bigger goal. Perhaps tomorrow you’ll create a content calendar with some concept ideas, assign a few blog posts to your colleagues.
Next, we’ll start talking about measuring and analytics. 🙂 What would you add?