If you’ve been around lately, then you know we’ve been talking about content marketing. What is content marketing? Why do I need it? While the latest buzzword in marketing keeps spreading like wildfire, we’ve gathered tips and tricks from across the industry to help you create content for your business and develop a strategy.
Build a Content Foundation
The first step to telling your company’s story is by building a strong foundation. That means knowing your company inside and out: who you’ve been, who you are and who you want to be. It’s common to get ahead of ourselves out of excitement and want to get things rolling, but taking the time to define these initial steps will keep our content creation focused and save time later on.
Define Your Objectives
The first thing you need to figure out is you company’s objectives. What is it you hope to accomplish by creating this content marketing campaign? There’s no right or wrong answers here; you’re simply defining your goals so you can measure your goals later. Some objective goals to consider include:
- Sales: what sales numbers are you looking for?
- Community: who are you hoping to engage with?
- Marketing: how will you measure interest?
- PR: what do you want people to say about your brand?
Figure out your goals for both long-term and short-term. Write them down and break it into benchmarks on how you’ll get there.
Do your research. While you’re probably still haunted by the days of research you put in back in your schooling days, the more research you do now the easier it is to make detailed decisions later. Research gives you a clearer view of the overall picture. You’ll learn who your audience is, what they want to know about, and how best to reach them among other things.
Create Your Mission Statement
If your brand could only say one thing, what would that message be? This message will be the main thing you can offer your audience and the bottom-line reason why you’re in business in the first place. Every piece of content you create must speak to this message in one way or another.
Find Your Voice
What you say is only half of the equation – how how it’s said is just as, if not more, important. Your brand’s voice says everything about your company’s personality. Are you serious or more laid back? Authoritative or a brand of the people? Some factors you’ll seriously want to consider:
- Depth and breadth of information
- Style of approach
This voice will be the style of all content you create and will determine how you write your pieces, as well as what types of images you will use to accompany them. After a time, your voice should be so consistent that your audience can tell you what the “voice” looks like.
Define Your Target Audience
Now that you know what your audience looks like, it’s time to define who your audience is. Take a tip from the gun range: aim small, miss small. In marketing, if you try to target everyone, you won’t hit anyone. Find your company’s niche and develop a strategy around them. Some questions you need to ask yourself:
- Is this niche viable?
- Will these people benefit from my company’s information, product or service?
- Does this group meet my company’s objectives and goals?
- Can they afford to buy what I’m offering
- Do these people even want to hear what I have to offer in the first place?
You’ll find that the answer won’t always be “yes.” When it’s not, you’ll either need to reevaluate your company objectives or look for a different target audience.
Find Your Target Audience
Once your target audience is defined, it’s time to find where they’re at. Does your target gravitate more towards Facebook or Instagram? Do they even value social media in the first place? Knowing your audience’s demographics and psychographics will help answer these questions and help you develop an overall targeting strategy.
Once you’ve clearly defined your objectives and targets, it’s time to develop a strategy. And every time you go to craft a new piece of content, it must first account for all objective and targeting goals. Decide what specific types of content you want to create and how you will get their message out. Strategy mediums might include:
- Blog posts
- White papers and articles
While the content foundation process seems timely (and it is) it’s worth it in the long-run to keep your content goals on track.