Content marketing—it’s a newer phrase, but in reality, organizations have been implementing it for quite some time. Many think that content marketing means creating an eBook or guide—and while content marketing does encompass these two tactics, it’s much more.
Content marketing is becoming a thought leader. It’s developing loyal customers. Getting new customers. Being the expert. It’s for any industry.
You likely already know the reasons why you should invest in content marketing. But just like any other aspect of business or marketing, you will need a plan to get this off the ground. Here are 12 questions to get you started on creating this plan:
- What is your goal? Make sure you define this first, so you understand what exactly you need to measure later on in the process.
- Who is your audience? Whether this is current clients, prospects, employees or a combination, you must know your audience, as well as their demographics and behaviors.
- Where does your audience go to find information? The answer to this will heavily impact how you promote your content after it has been created.
- What are your key messages? Think about what value you can offer your audience, rather than what you want to sell them.
- What is your brand personality? If your organization were a human, what would its personality be like? Once you know, keep this personality consistent across all pieces of content.
- Do you have the ability to create visually appealing pieces? That is, do you have a graphic design team in-house, or will you have to outsource? Most content marketing pieces should stand out visually.
- How much are you willing to spend on content marketing? Keep in mind that this can include the time spent by employees who contribute, costs associated with graphic design and any additional costs to promote the content, if you choose to place ads anywhere. We highly recommend creating your own content and not using your budget to purchase content developed by a third party.
- Who at your organization could contribute their expertise for some pieces? It’s important to have a variety of perspectives and expertise levels for your different pieces of content. Start with selling your employees on blogging for the company blog.
- What types of content are you comfortable creating? Start with what you are most comfortable doing. But then think about why you aren’t comfortable creating other pieces, and determine how you can change that. Can you get more contributors that are comfortable?
- Do you already have a strong online presence, whether through your website or social media? If so, consider using your already-established influence to promote your content. If you don’t already have one, start developing an online marketing plan immediately. The two go hand-in-hand.
- What avenues could you use to distribute your content? Aside from promotion on your website and social media, where else can you distribute your content? Do you host events where you can bring copies of the latest eBook? Do you send direct mailers that can include a link to view an on-demand webinar?
- How do you want to measure success? Can you include forms on your website that potential leads have to fill out in order to download your content? What about providing post-event surveys that include questions on how relevant your content was in attendees’ decisions?