10 DOs of Proper Content Marketing
By now you should have heard many reasons why you should put efforts into content marketing and possibly some advice on how often to produce content, how to share it, with whom to share it and what types of content to share.
You may be confused about how much to exactly invest into content marketing and who you should have produce it , manage it and measure its effectiveness. This is why you should consider a proper Content Marketing Strategy. Short of that, you should follow my 10 DO’s of content marketing.
Content marketing is becoming a centerpiece of SEO . Content marketing is becoming a centerpiece of social media marketing. If you’re serious about using the Internet to drive business, you need to be serious about Content Marketing.
I’ve been developing Content Marketing Strategies for businesses around the world for the last 10 years. I’ve been managing content marketing programs for clients for the last 5. I have been involved in content planning for start ups, slow moving (to the web) manufacturing companies, branding agencies, search companies , accounting firms, you name it, I have seen it all when it comes to content marketing. I remember when a simple Blog went to a Vlog to info graphics to motion graphics to Virtual Reality.
No matter what business you’re in you need a strong content marketing program to drive online visibility and customer engagement on the Internet. In my many years of being a content marketer, I’ve seen all the good, the bad and the ugly in the world of content marketing. So now I’d like to share with you my Top 10 DO’s for effective Content Marketing Strategy. Read, enjoy and of course, share this with your social media circles.
The Top 10 Do’s of Effective Content Marketing Strategy
1. DO have a content marketing plan that details the types of content that aligns with your specific company position. This is directly related to your audience. You need to know what types of content your audience consumes to ultimately make buying decisions. A proper Content Plan designed for your business can get you there.
2. DO have the proper resources for producing all types of content. This is related to the people you have in content production. At my agency. Agent-cy, I continually invest in qualified content creators for my online brand and for our clients. You should vet content producers based on the types of content your business calls for – post content planning, of course.
3. DO have a content monitoring system in place before you start. It is critical that if you invest in content marketing, you can measure its impact in social branding and traffic drivers, as well as customer acquisition.
This ties into your social media strategy, where you should have a monitoring tool in place to track content effectiveness across the board. For smaller businesses, Hootsuite is a sound choice; for larger companies, choose systems like Salesforce’s Social Studio. Read my interview on ClickZ.com with Symantec Director of Social Media, Charles Treadwell, on how they use Social Studio.
4. DO take the time to review automated content marketing tools. You may notice on the right side of my website a featured called RECOMMENDED CONTENT. I am utilizing a great tool called Brightinfo which lets me suggest content based on site user behavior. Further, it allows me to understand what content is the most read.
5. DO invest in proper visual content. Whether that is custom infographic, custom motion graphics, professionally produced videos or illustration, visual content that is strong has a better chance of engagement. For an example, see my How to Hire A Social Media Trainer Info graphic I created to help Marketing Directors and Hiring Directors understand the proper qualifications and experience for hiring a B2B Social Media Trainer.
6. DO create content based on customer demand. Again, this is where proper research of your customer’s online content consumption behaviors come in handy.
7. DO have the proper mix between original content, guest content, and third party content. This is the real art of content marketing. Learning how to promote, while promoting others, sharing proper opinions and adding value to your ecosystem is the key for content mix effectiveness.
8. DO invest in proper content marketing training. Training can be as light as a day on Blogging to as intensive as ongoing internal team training on sell able content. I train companies in all of these areas so that they can build strong content teams.
9. DO realize that original content can come from anyone on your team. Your employees may become your best content creators, with a little bit of training. They know the company culture and needs of your customers.
10. DO have a content management approval system in place before starting on content marketing. Just like you have an approval process in place for what goes on your web site, you should do the same with any piece of content you share in social media.
Why Lasting Change Is Hard
Before we had any children, my wife and I lived in the heart of Dallas. One day, on our way back to our house, we were driving down Skillman Avenue when we were caught in a sudden torrential downpour.
The rain was coming down incredibly hard, which wouldn’t have been a problem if the storm drains were equipped to handle that much water. Instead, the road itself filled with water faster than we could have anticipated. Quickly, the water rose up the side of our car. Trying not to panic, we realized that we could not continue and would need to turn around and get to higher ground.
Water rising up the side of your car door is the kind of roadblock you might not expect to encounter, but when you do, it’s formidable. We couldn’t drive through it or even around it. We had to deal with it quickly or face serious consequences.
When we’re trying to implement change in our own lives, it’s important to identify and plan for common roadblocks to lasting change.
The first and, in my opinion, most important roadblock to lasting change is not addressing the real issue.
Let’s say you wake up in the middle of the night with a sore throat. You’re annoyed by feeling sick but your throat really hurts, so you get up and spray a little Chloraseptic in your mouth and drift off to sleep. When you wake up the next day, you still have a sore throat, so you pop in a cough drop and go about your day.
The change you’re making – using a numbing agent – might work if you’ve only got a cold, but if it’s strep throat, you’re not addressing the real problem. Only an antibiotic will cure what ails you, even if Chloraseptic will keep the pain at bay for a while.
Just like how more information is needed to diagnose your sore throat than one feeling, problems you encounter in your life or business require diagnostics, too. Figuring out the real problem – not just your most apparent needs – requires some introspection and a little bit of time.
Here are eight questions to ask when you need to discover the root cause, courtesy of MindTools.com:
- What do you see happening?
- What are the specific symptoms?
- What proof do you have that the problem exists?
- How long has the problem existed?
- What is the impact of the problem?
- What sequence of events leads to the problem?
- What conditions allow the problem to occur?
- What other problems surround the occurrence of the central problem?
Once you have your answers to these key questions, you can’t stop there. Your vantage point is skewed from your own perspective. You’re going to want to ask someone else to evaluate the problem at hand with the same questions and then compare your answers.
If you and all of the partners at your firm have similar answers, you’ll know you’re on the right track. If you wind up with wildly different ideas, I suggest seeking the advice of someone outside your organization. Fresh eyes can make all the difference in understanding a problem.
I often talk about being ‘too close’ to understand. You’ve probably heard the illustration about a group of people standing by an elephant with blindfolds on, trying to describe what they’re experiencing. Depending on what part of the elephant you’re next to, you’re going to have different observations.
But someone outside of that elephant’s cage can clearly identify the elephant.
The first key to making a lasting change is to make sure you’ve addressed the real problem and are looking for authentic change.
Next time, we’ll address the second major roadblock to creating last change.
- 1 of 990