You’ve made it to day 7! We’ve spent the past six posts helping to identify the importance behind a content strategy and outlining practical steps to make that happen. You’ve put in the time to review SMART goals, pinpoint key audiences, choose the best content mediums, audit current content, select productive keywords, and build your calendar. We’ve asked you to take a deep dive into your business and devote a significant amount of time to have your team understand why this is so important to your success.
Speaking of which, let’s once more review the importance behind a strong and consistent content strategy. People have always liked to buy from businesses with whom they have relationships and whom they trust. With the growth of the internet, it’s easier than ever to deliver content and build this trust.
One survey found that 67 percent of B2B buyers base their buying decisions on content and then frequently share that content. Currently, 80 percent of B2B marketers have a content marketing strategy. However, 48 percent do not have a written plan. In most cases, this means their plan can fluctuate and stay fairly inconsistent. That’s good news for you because just by putting in the effort, you’ll be far ahead of most online marketers!
With all your preparation for an effective content strategy, it’s time to craft your first piece of content, share it, and measure the results.
When it comes time to writing or developing your first piece of content, the topic and purpose shouldn’t surprise you. You should have already established your first month’s worth of planning, identified the mediums to use, and selected what the topic should involve. Even though you might have a general idea of what should be posted, there are some principles to keep in mind:
Set aside time to write, document, or film and stick to it. Don’t let other meetings overtake the creation process. Creating content (especially good content) takes research and editing to make it really stand out.
Ensure that you are capable of creation without interruption. For instance, if you plan to post a how-to video, do you have a good camera that will capture details? Do you have how-to supplies to demonstrate? Do you have a good video editing software? Set yourself up for success be coming prepared.
You’ve spent a good amount of time outlining key audiences, don’t forget them when developing. What voice would an executive prefer over a front-line IT specialist? You have to keep correct perspective at the forefront so that information doesn’t go off the rails. Focused tone will make deliver stick and yield higher return.
Depending on the industry and audience you’re developing for, the keywords will change. On day 5, we walked through selecting appropriate keywords. These should have been saved, so be sure to refer to them when developing.
Whether you’re writing a blog, hosting a webinar, recording a podcast, or filming a video, all layouts should have a form specified before execution. Outlining headings and subheadings can ensure you stay on message throughout the creation of content.
Some companies spend way too much time on development and not enough time on editing and tweaking. Give yourself enough time to really run through details and find out whether or not the correct message is coming through.
Now that you have your first piece of content, it’s time to share it with your key audiences. It’s important to note that you shouldn’t start posting without a plan. Make sure it’s being shared at the right place and time.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind while you craft those social shares:
On day 3 we walked through content management systems and sharing platforms that allow you to schedule sharing ahead of time. Many social media platforms get more response at certain times during the week and should be posted for greater engagement. Other times, you might have a specific release date that needs to be teed up prior to your release.
When going to share, ensure the information is going out through multiple platforms. Don’t forget to share content via email and through social or industry influencers. Another great way of keeping that content evergreen is finding ways to share later down the road. Maybe you wrote about breast cancer awareness in October of 2015 and would like to share the same principles again in October of this year. Find areas to reshare and draw attention back to relevant information.
Have you ever noticed that some posts shared on social media have an image, title, and description, while others may be missing an image or have an incomplete description? This is due to publishers not paying attention to their Open Graph settings. It’s worth searching how to adjust for your CMS if you don’t already know how.
Participate in conversation around the post when you share it. You want your audience to view you as approachable. Those people could eventually become your clients or customers, or refer business to you.
It’s useful to get traction, so try lining up people willing to share your content before you post it on social media. You can reach out to any person or company you referenced in the article and ask if they would check it out and consider sharing.
Your content is developed and shared. Now what? Being able to evaluate your content activity — from creation to distribution — is critical to understanding its success. You can use analytics to identify and address both issues and opportunities in your content strategy. What are you trying to achieve when reading impact? Typical objectives include increasing brand awareness, lead generation, customer retention or upselling.
With this in mind, below are helpful metrics to pay attention to:
As a content marketer, it’s important to remember that measuring overall impact to your business through content generation takes time. Months or even a year, in fact. When establishing your goals for the year, take time to establish conversion goals that are mindful of brands that need to be built over time. Building trust takes time in person, the same applies for building trust online.
We hope this step-by-step process of establishing a strong content strategy helps your business reap incredible results. If you get stuck along the way or still want someone to take it off your hands, we at Keyhole Marketing are here to help! Let us know how we can provide assistance in developing your content strategy.