By now you’re probably convinced that you need content marketing. But when we ask our community and clients their biggest challenges with this strategy, they often tell us that it’s down to making the time to produce quality content. To cut through in the competitive market, it’s no longer enough to produce content, it needs to be great. And quality takes time, skill and planning.
Here are our tips to help your brand create content that your prospects will take the time to watch and engage with.
Content Marketing Strategy
Firstly, it is important to think about what you want to achieve for your business with a specific content marketing activity. How will it help you meet your business objectives? How will you measure these? Over what time period? If you can show the boardroom the potential results of driving a content plan forward, you are more likely to get buy-in.
A content mapping exercise will help you save time in the long run. Identity your target audience and create buyer personas for each segment. Essentially defining a buyer persona helps you to get into your audience’s heads. Imagine a target customer and think about demographics, behaviour, values, motivations and goals. Once you have a clear picture of your customers, you can begin to choose the types of content that will make them stop and listen.
To help convert leads, your business needs a variety of content at different levels of the sales funnel. By brainstorming the content needed to engage each persona, whether they are at the awareness or decision-making stage, you will start to create content which works hard for your brand. Think of it like a ‘content pyramid’ with a high quality brand film at the top that grabs attention. Then you can create lower cost content further down such as video diaries, testimonials or behind the scenes shortform content as customers look for more information about your product or services.
Define your brand identity quickly
In all the content noise, it’s more important than ever that your brand story stands out and differentiates itself. Brand archetypes can be a useful way to help you define your brand voice and identity. If you are clear on who you are and who your audience is, it’s more likely that your content will grab attention.
Don’t forget to reinforce your brand’s tone of voice, look, style, attitude, sense of humour and graphics consistently. Is your content reinforcing your brand story? If not, it’s back to the drawing board. Don’t waste time on content that doesn’t show your brand in its best light.
Be clear on the channels
Have you set up social media accounts and then not had the resource to populate them? It is important to use the social media channels that are most appropriate for your audience, and is better to make two channels work really effectively than spread yourself too thinly, which will not do any favours for your brand. When you are creating your brand personas, add which social channels your target audience are hanging out on, and then post on these consistently.
In order to cut through you need to create content that entertains and engages. To do this, we advise thinking like a publisher. A easy but effective way to manage your content like a publisher is to create an editorial calendar.
There are a number of paid tools such as Coschedule or you could use a WordPress plugin. However, a spreadsheet can also work, and here are some of the fields we advise adding:
- Themes on a monthly and weekly basis
- Seasonal and industry events (Twitter’s #OwntheMoment tool could help start you off)
- Date of publishing
- Status and deadlines
- Authors and signoffs
- Audience segment
- Format of content (blog, video, white paper)
- Tracking and monitoring
When you are writing your plan, think about ways to get the most value out of your evergreen content. Here are a few ideas:
- Cut your white paper or e-book into smaller blog posts
- Present market research as an infographic, video, white paper and series of blogs
- Create talking head vlogs to supplement your written content
- Change a listicle into a series of posts. For instance, we could extend this article by writing a post on repurposing content
- Reposition articles for different verticals or audience segments
- Reach out to external blogs to publish repurposed content
Examine your digital stats to identify what’s working; then adapt and update it. Ask yourself if you have more to say on topics which are resonating with your audience. You can also give your brand an SEO boost by repurposing with keywords in mind.
Outsourcing or in-house?
Even with all these tips, you may still find that you need some external help with content. According to one survey, 42% of marketers feel that lack of human resources is a major barrier to content marketing that works. (Kapost) Quality counts, so it may be good to draw on the expertise and resource of an agency to work in partnership with you at one or several stages of your strategy.
Looking for more content marketing tips?
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