In today’s world, there’s a myriad of digital content types at a marketer’s disposal – social media, landing pages, videos, infographic, blog posts, email, case studies, downloadable guides, podcasts, vlogs. And the list continues to grow each year, content with which to engage, educate, and influence customers to buy your products or services.
But this abundance of digital content types also provides marketing teams with a dilemma, and it demands answers to many questions.
- What types of content should I produce?
- Where should I put it?
- Who’s going to create it?
- How many people do I need in my team?
- Who will manage it?
- How can I store and manage it properly?
- What about translation for other countries?
What sounds simple in words – creating content to attract, engage, and convert customers – suddenly becomes a huge challenge, one that can soon overwhelm even the best marketer.
As with every aspect of marketing, you need to take a step back, breathe, and work out your content creation on the way to digital transformation. Here are our 3 steps to help.
Step 1: Think like a journalist
When starting to create a story or an article, journalists often start with what’s known as the Five W’s and H – the Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How.
- Who: Who is the target audience for your content? There may be more than one audience in multiple territories or countries.
- What: What matters to your audience? What’s the problem they have that your product or service solves? Select the subject matter for your content based on the issues and challenges your target audience has.
- Where: Which channels will you publish the content on? You may choose your own website, push the content out via social media, or decide it may be better placed on a third party website with a greater visitor volume.
- When: When are you going to publish this content? Map out your content calendar for the whole financial year. An editorial calendar helps you to plan and adapt as required.
- Why: What objective are you trying to achieve by producing and publishing this content? Think carefully. If producing the content doesn’t match with one of your marketing or business goals, then remove it from your plan and focus on the content that does.
- How. How should you present the content, and what form should it take? Decide whether the content should be a downloadable guide, a video, an infographic, or even a combination of all. This will be based on where it will sit, what content type your target audience consumes the most, and what your objective is. Also, how will you manage the creation of the content and publication? Decide who’s doing what, by when, and when it’s going to market.
Thinking this way will allow you to build and structure a content plan that delivers against your objectives, meeting buyer persona needs, and ensures you don’t spend time unnecessarily on content marketing activity that doesn’t.
Step 2: Build a team
Are you the sole marketer in your organisation? Marketing, and content marketing in particular, can’t be done effectively by one person alone. It’s a massive team effort.
For example, let’s look at some of the areas of a business that could be involved in creating just one piece of video content for your website: Marketing, Design, Copywriting, Development, Web Content Management, User Experience, PR, Management Approvers and Senior Stakeholders.
That’s a lot of people for just one piece of content. Multiply this by the amount of content you’ll probably need to keep attracting new leads into your business, and to continue to engage and educate existing customers and users of your products and services. You’ll soon see why creating a team is not only necessary, but to not do so can jeopardise your marketing efforts.
You must set out your content marketing strategy in front of the powers that be. Present what needs to be created and what could be achieved. Explain that this is only possible with additional resources, whether internally or externally.
Content marketing can’t be done alone. Build your team.
Step 3: Realise it takes time
Regularly auditing, creating and publishing quality content for your website can be a cost-effective source of organic web traffic and potential new leads. But this activity is a long-term bet.
Crafting content for publication and promotion through third-party channels can drive immediate traffic and potential new leads. But creating the content itself can take time.
Marketing needs to be the right mix of long-term brand marketing efforts and short-term sales activation activity. In the B2B space, this is probably an 80/20 mix, whilst in the world of retail and ecommerce those numbers will be closer together, say 60/40. Studies have shown that marketers who make this distinction and focus on brand building activity more than tactical engagement drive better results.
Marketers, persuaded by management focused on short-term gains in revenue, can often rush into creating content that may be ill-thought-through, too sales-related in messaging, and in the wrong places, rather than step back, plan, and create the content required to deliver against objectives, following the Five W’s and H.
Effective marketing, and planned content marketing, can take time. Especially within a small team. Be aware of this, and ensure other people know it.
This is why it’s so important to have your content plan in place. It allows you to direct your team members when to start and finish. It shows senior management when things will be published, and how long they take to create. And it means you can spend your valuable time in the right way, on the right things.
How we can help
Everything we do for our customers starts with your business strategy and a plan. We’ll produce a measurement framework through the customer journey stages of awareness, engagement, conversion, and retention. This will help inform your thoughts on content and allow you to produce and refine your content plan. This is important as each element is tied back to your business and marketing objectives.
To learn more and discuss how we can help with your content plan, just get in touch.