Content creation is one of the most talked about areas of digital marketing at the moment; but there is a lot more to it than simply putting a lot of words down on a blog post before you can call it a content marketing strategy.
Essentially there are initially 7 different aspects of content marketing that you need to have a firm grasp of before you can even begin to start posting content:
1. Audience Profile – this is understanding who is going to consume your content; what their needs are and how and where they are going to want to consume your content.
2. Channel – this is understanding what channels you have at your disposal which map back to where your audience is spending their time.
3. Behaviour – this is how well you understand each platforms general usage patterns as well as where in the buying or decision-making process you are slotting your content to be most effective.
4. Tracking – how and where are you going to track each piece of content that you are putting out there and more importantly how and where are you track each member of your audience that is actually consuming your content so that you are immediately aware of which piece of content they are primed to receive next.
5. Content – finally we actually get to the content of the content strategy. This is where you need to place a lot of time and effort in understanding what your audience is looking for and how you are positioning that content to fit within their needs, wants and consumption habits. (content includes, audio, video, apps, games, infographics, etc.)
6. internal – here is where you focus on your business itself. How and where do you have the knowledge, skills and resources available to make sure that the knowledge that you have internally is accurately captured and communicated to your audience.
7. Learning – you need to push back into your profile from the get go. What I mean here is that you always need to be refining and ensuring that you are taking your results and analysing them and trying to make what you are doing as effective as possible.
Only once you have a firms grasp of each of these elements and their direct influence on your business can you start putting your content strategy together.
As with many other areas of digital marketing; there tends to be too big a focus on the tactics which can be employed and less time spent on the reasons and goals for getting involved in the first place. I urge you to rather spend the time understanding your audiences media consumption and buying / decision-making processes before you start using social media and email marketing to try to “build the plane as you fly it”.
On that point; the last point that I want to make is that different types of content can achieve different goals.
What I mean is that; for example; designing and deploying a great looking infographic is not going to be a great use of your time if you are essentially trying to get visitors to your site to engage with you.
Infographics are a form of content that are best at reaching a wider audience so that you can then push them into your funnel and starting feeding them different kinds of content which are far more engaging by nature – such as ROI calculators; pricing guides and Total Cost of Ownership tools.