Create a Content Marketing Strategy in One Week Day 4: Constructing Your Content

Day 4: Constructing Your Content
September
10th, 2019
Keyhole - Content Marketing - Joe Dudeck
Joe Dudeck
President + Founder
September
10th, 2019
Keyhole - Content Marketing - Joe Dudeck
Joe Dudeck
President + Founder

In our last blog, we walked you through day 3 of our 7-part blog series dedicated to teaching you how to build your content strategy in one week. We went over choosing an appropriate content management system, selecting your social media channels and management platform, and setting up your Google Analytics.

As a reminder, a healthy content strategy is all about preparing and planning for reliable and cost-effective resources that will help generate genuine interest in your brand and drive new leads. Developing consistent, evergreen material ensures you get to experience the 7.8x lead in unique site traffic that other content generators see. You have the opportunity to blaze the trail and act as an industry voice through bold, meaningful content.

Moving to Day 4 will involve us getting our hands dirty as we audit what’s in our repertoire, decide which types of content you’ll be using, which channels that content will filter through, and then brainstorm some fresh ideas.

Create a Content Marketing Strategy in One Week - Constructing Your Content

Audit Current Content

Running an audit of what you currently have on hand is an excellent start to understanding which content can be reused, which content is missing, and which content needs to be retired.

  1. First, look through what’s on your website or on your digital channels. What pages currently exist and are readily accessible for public view? How old are they and do they at all tie to the SMART goals you’ve outlined for your business? List out all the pages (including homepage) to understand what messaging is being pushed.
  2. Next, take a look through company photos, videos, webinars, and recordings. Some of these might not have been posted externally, so be sure to have your team dig through their hard drives. Once they’ve done this, have them bring it all together.
  3. Lastly, look through any previous press releases, blogs, product/service descriptions and lay them out with all of the above content.
  4. Now, it’s time to organize and tag the content you have. Some criteria you might consider using to make sense of what’s in front of you could include:
  • Date — How old is the information? Some items like photos might not be too big of a deal when it comes to datedness, but it will matter when it comes to content like blogs. Make sure your team understands what kinds of content will stand the test of time (evergreen) and which needs to be thrown out.
  • Topic — What is the content about? Does it refer to what’s being sold, or is it more educational? Do the titles vary in nature? Come up with categories that capture what you’ve covered in your time in business. Did you see higher engagement on certain topics over others? If so, mark them down.
  • Tone — This area is a bit different from topic, as content can also be labeled through tone as professional, witty, feely, etc. Identify tone descriptors for your content, and apply them to each individual piece for analysis.
  • Length — How long are different portions of content? Consider this for video, recordings, and written pieces. Does this affect how it’s viewed and shared by your audience? Do your followers prefer longer, more comprehensive pieces of content, or do they prefer things short and sweet?
  • Relevance — Does the content align with your SMART business goals? Does it match with the purpose of the company? Does it refer to your services or products? Does it even fall within industry skill? If not, it’s probably wise to toss it.
The Marriage of Great Content and Great Design
From blogs, ads, and postcards to mission statements, social media posts and website content, we love the process of writing copious forms of content marketing for our clients. But we also know, we can tell an even better business story when pairing great content and great design.

Determine Types of Content

There are all kinds of great options out there for content you can create. Here are the most popular formats marketers are using.

Blog Posts

What are blogs? News Flash: You’re reading one. Blog posts live on websites and should be published regularly to keep up new interest. Posts should provide audience segments with valuable information, inclining them to share often.

Webinars

Webinars are live, interactive, web-based videos (much like Skype). Professionals use webinars to give educational presentations related to their businesses or industry. Many hosts treat webinar presentations as lectures or seminars to educate end-users and act as a subtle tool for selling. Webinars allow for some helpful elements like display slides, video streaming, talking directly to audiences, editing and making live annotations, chatting, conducting surveys, and recording for others to re-watch.

Photography

Photography has the power to stand alone. As the saying goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Imagine the impact you’ll make with professional photography as a partner to your blogs, webinars, social media, etc. Photography also supports your most basic marketing efforts like brochures, business cards, or print catalogues.

Videos

Videos offer highly engaging content that can be shared via social media platforms and websites alike. Videos require a big time and resource investment, but are 40 times more likely to get shared than other types of content. This content is best used for how-to videos or product/service demonstrations.

Ebooks and Whitepapers

Ebooks are lengthy, well-researched documents. They’re typically more in-depth, require more time and are published less frequently. Ebooks, however, are a great next step in the inbound marketing process because they allow you to offer hungry readers more information. Calls-to-action direct people to a landing page where they can submit their contact information and download an ebook/whitepaper to learn more.

Case Studies

Case studies highlight success stories from your happy customers. These are testimonials that prove your claims and amplify individuals that trust your business. Case studies should be released regularly as interested buyers are always looking for recent experiences.

Infographics

Infographics are a fun and visually appealing way to share information. It takes someone with graphic ability to design them, but can be excellent options for visual learners. It works well when you have lots of statistics or comparison that would be be laid out through imagery.

Podcasts

Podcasts act a lot like radio shows, but are segmented in episodes. This format allows audiences to listen and learn whenever and wherever they like. Consider hosting leaders in your industry for interviews or select relevant topics to discuss so that your audiences learn to see you as the trusted voice. They are also a popular content channel with nearly one-third of the US listening in 2018. Here at Keyhole, we have our podcast, Metaphorically Speaking, focused on addressing the elements behind marketing and learning about the people and world in which we serve.

Social Media

Social media allows you to gain greater reach and post the same content in varying formats. Posting to social media is all about getting the message in front of people in small bites so that they’ll be enticed to click to learn more.

In our last blog, we explored the mediums and social channels through which this content could be shared. After auditing your current content and selecting types of content, it’s time to decide which mediums this content should filter through.

With what you have, take a look at the options above and pair up which elements will go to which channels. One column should list out your current inventory and the other column should list out the mediums you’ll use to communicate. Pair everything up and look for areas that need improvement. Maybe you have a ton of material for regular blogging but nothing for video. Or maybe you have an endless amount of service pictures, but no how-to steps. Mark the gap areas or types of content you’d like to use.

Create a Content Marketing Strategy in One Week - Brainstorm Fresh Ideas

Brainstorm Fresh Ideas

Brainstorming new ideas for your future content requires understanding, creativity, and time. Have your team exercise these steps to get started:

  1. Schedule time to establish understanding with your team on your content strategy. Gather your SMART goals, audience segments, chosen mediums and channels, and content to be recycled.
  2. Rehearse your company purpose and goals so the team understands that all content should support and relate back to these goals. Spending an hour on just this step is vital because it acts as the foundation for everything your company will do.
  3. At this point, it’s time to get those ideas churning. Set a timer for 10-30 minutes to allow your team to write out anything and everything they can think of on sticky notes. No idea is too small or too big. This should be a quiet session where no one talks and no one shares. Aim for quantity of topic ideas or clever approaches over quality at first. Quality will come later when you dive a little deeper.
  4. Have all team members post all answers on one section of the board. On the other side of the board, write out rankings, like “1,2,3” or “Good, Better, Best.”
  5. Have a reader go through each idea. You can talk about this out loud or have silent voting for rankings. You want to avoid groupthink so it might be useful to consider chat tools like Google Hangout, Slack, Hipchat or another private messaging tool to let the reader know how you’d like ideas ranked.
  6. Gather the standout ideas that gain the largest amount of votes and ask questions about each topic, such as: What problem is this solving?; What question is this answering?; Which audience segment are we addressing?; What angle should we take?, or What headline might we use?.
  7. Make sure your standout ideas address gaps in your current content strategy, speak to your audience segments, highlight you as a leader or expert, and offer unique approaches.
  8. After identifying your biggest and best ideas, match them up to the channels they’ll be shared on. It’s ok to have a messy board with information everywhere. Today is about getting everything out on the table so that you can make sense of it when it comes time to scheduling and planning out the future.

Content creation can often feel overwhelming and a bit daunting. By performing an audit, understanding types of content that could be used, and brainstorming fresh ideas, the content generation becomes much more manageable. Soon, you’ll make sense of all your new content and organize it into a detailed calendar.

Stay tuned for our next blog where we will switch gears to focus on your content keywords and robust language.

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