By Keith Laska, IMA, International Executive Council
Yes, we all agree that high quality content is a key ingredient to any successful marketing campaign in today’s digital, hyper-connected world. But you still need a plan; the better thought out your strategy is, the greater the ROI and conversion rates you’ll see from the content you worked so hard on to create.
Content strategy really is the basis for strong SEO, digital marketing, content marketing, inbound marketing, lead generation, and social media – all of them depend on it in some fashion. That’s what the latest ebook from EUXmedia entitled “How to Build a Content Marketing Strategy” is all about. It’s a must know, easy to digest, five-step playbook on building the ultimate content strategy.
Today’s modern marketers understand the value of delivering great customer experiences, and the impact it can have on the bottom line. But you have to walk (learn content strategy) before you can run (achieve integrated digital marketing). This ebook will help get you going in the right direction, and avoid some common pitfalls and mistakes. More often than not, we spend so much time creating content and promoting it without doing the necessary upfront homework. It’s like painting a wall without doing any of the prep work ahead of time – yeah it’s kind of pain but the results are worth hit.
Your’e busy. Wondering if this “how to” marketing ebook is worth the time? Keep on reading: we’ve got a sneak peak below of the first chapter: Content Audit and Inventory. We are confident your reach the same conclusion our clients have reached – your overall marketing success can often hinge upon the quality of your content strategy.
Chapter 1, Step 1: Content Audit and Inventory
Your first step to a great content strategy is taking inventory of what content you already have, and assessing the level of its relevancy, overall quality, and other considerations to give it a ranking score. This takes a bit of muscle energy, but it will yield new insight and probably some “aha” moments. You’ll need to capture a standard set of asset characteristics and then line them up side by side. Yes, we’re afraid it’s spreadsheet time.
Content has a lifecycle and a shelf life; you’ll need to figure out where your offers belong. Pick out the good stuff, tag what can be repurposed or repackaged, and get rid of content that simply does not pass the sniff test. This is a best practice that should be done at least once a quarter.
Now it’s time to give your brain some exercise.
To really audit your content, it’s important to be very clear and specific as to whom you are marketing to. Ask yourself a common set of questions to narrow your target audience sweet spots: What kind of titles are you going after? Who are the primary buyers? The influencers? Are there vertical industries that are more important than others? What about demographics: target regions, company size, household income, etc. If you happen to have taken a “pragmatic marketing” class or two in the past that taught you how to do persona or role-based marketing – this exercise provides a great opportunity to apply those skills in ranking your content.
Can you read a map?
You’ll also need to map your different offers and call-to-actions (CTAs) to customers and prospects at the right stage of their content-centric journeys (Yes, don’t forget to have a CTA for each asset, and make sure it’s relevant and interesting.) Having clearing defined the journey will help alert you to any content gaps, and force you to analyze how each offer relates to the other in order to tell a consistent story and message.
While there is certainly the need to tailor the customer’s experience with targeted messaging and person-based content, the stages of the journey are fairly consistent. There are essentially four stages to a customer’s content-centric journey to map to:
- Awareness/ Education
- Selection/ Decision
- Post-Purchase Support Engagement
Once you have your content inventory, it’s categorized and audited, and mapped out against your customer’s journey, you’re ready for step #2.
So, you ready to learn more about the other 4 steps to a killer content marketing strategy?
Download Your Free eBook: How to Build a Content Marketing Strategy From Scratch today!