Getting your Content Marketing Off the Ground

Getting your Content Marketing Off the Ground 7 min read

Content Marketing begins and ends with the audience. The audience expresses concerns, the gears begin to turn and eventually your company pushes out valuable information for them to read. If done right, it can be a very successful way of marketing. The question I most often get, though, is: Where do I begin?

 

Before we even get started, you should know the basics of what Content Marketing is. It’s one of the most important marketing techniques used in Inbound Marketing that focuses on providing value for your audience. This value eventually turns into sales and happy, engaged, returning customers. Once you understand the basics, you’re ready to get started with the process.

 

The Process

Content Marketing begins like this:

 

  • Audience expresses concerns
  • You realize these concerns
  • Editorial director selects topics and formats
  • An editorial calendar is formed
  • Creators make content
  • Content promoters distribute the content
  • Target audience finds their answers
  • Audience member converts to a customer and the cycle repeats

 

We begin, and end, with the audience. This is the foundation for Inbound Marketing or what most call Customer-centric Marketing. Let’s break these steps down.

 

1.) The Audience expresses concerns

Ok, so they’re concerned about something. But wait..who are they? You need to first understand what your audience looks like. Define who they are.

 

  • What age, gender, sex, location, etc. is unique to them?
  • What questions do they ask?
  • Where do they ask it?
  • What topic usually comes up?
  • How can you provide value here?

 

Understanding your audience is 80% of the battle. It’s a guiding principle will fuel your Content Marketing initiatives. I know it’s not always easy, but it’s necessary.

 

2.) You realize these concerns

You should always be paying attention to your audience. Now that you understand them, you should be peeking into what typical questions they have. Every member of your team (which I discuss next) will be writing these questions down and generating ideas.

 

3.) Editorial director selects topics and formats

You’ll need to put together a team for Content Marketing. Smaller organizations with limited staff can still do this! I have to emphasize that as nDigit is a living, breathing example here.

 

You’ll have an Editorial director who oversees the production and decides on the format (video, podcast, blog, webinar, etc.). He then passes it to the creators. Once they’re done, someone reviews the content (this can be a peer review) for clarity and consistency. It then goes out to the “Content promoters” who will post this across the web.

 

Beginning to understand now?

 

4.) An editorial calendar is formed

This step is simple: create an excel doc with a Title, Editor, Creator, Reviewer, Format and Publish Date. Keep updating this document so you can see what content you’re producing and what’s to come. It will help you schedule postings and later review your engagement analytics.

 

5.) Creators create content

Anyone can create. This is a very important lesson I picked up from one of my previous managers. If they’re passionate about the topic — let them write. It’ll show in their work.

 

Let them keep creating and proposing topics. All of these topics will be handed back to the Editor and placed in a release calendar (remember that?) which will guide your posting schedule. The optimal amount of content creation is 2 articles per week for a small company or 1 article per day for medium to large companies. The more content, the larger the chance you have at engaging your audience.

 

Creators should also note that the content they produce should follow a 90-10 rule. Whereby 90% of the content you produce is informative and 10% is a sales pitch. If your messaging is too sales-oriented, you’ll risk scaring off customers. People are used to being force-fed advertisements…don’t be that company.

 

6.) Content promoters distribute the content

These folks will be pushing your content across all of your social channels (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, etc.). Regular postings will keep the audience engaged and all of the channels should be monitored for feedback.

 

That feedback will be passed back to your Editor and used in a followup article. It really does help you finely tune your marketing strategy.

 

7.) Target audience finds their answers

BAM! They found you!! Queue the applause and the confetti. Now clean all of that up, you’re making a mess.

 

In all seriousness — this is what we’ve been waiting for. It has required a ton of patience but you now have an engaged and informed audience. You led them through their purchasing journey and they trust your advice. You’re no longer just a brand — you’re their source for information. This connection is incredibly valuable. Well done, you.

 

8.) Audience member converts to a customer and the cycle repeats

Now that they have decided to go with your brand, they will be completing the cycle and becoming a full-fledged customer. You’ll want to continue to monitor their engagement. Check your analytics and follow up on any attempts they make to reach out. This will help to prove the ROI to your bosses (if you have one) and provide some more fuel for your Content Marketing engine.

 

 

Now use this and get started on shifting your Content Marketing to the new way of the web — customers over all. If you’re still lost, contact us, or leave a comment below. We’re here to help!

 

 

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