Forty-eight percent of all B2B marketers do not have any written documented content strategy, according to Content Marketing Institute.
However, all businesses need a written documented content strategy because putting thoughts and ideas into writing has the powerful effect of crystallizing one’s vision.
Dustin Wax says: “But there’s something else going on, too. When we write something down, research suggests that as far as our brain is concerned, it’s as if we were doing that thing. Writing seems to act as a kind of mini-rehearsal for doing.
When we take notes, though, something happens. As we’re writing, we create spatial relations between the various bits of information [and] we…filter out the less relevant or important information.”
A written documented content strategy is critical to the success of your content marketing efforts.
Stateofdigital.com notes: “When working with businesses on their marketing, often the same question comes by: “Why do we need a content marketing strategy?
I’m always a bit surprised when the question comes because by now I figured most businesses know why. Simply said: because you don’t ‘just’ want to spit out content without thinking.”
Here are some guidelines to help you develop a written documented content strategy:
1. Set Clearly Defined Goals With Timeline For Achieving Them
The first element of a written documented content strategy is to select clearly define goals that content can help you achieve.
Businessdictionary.com defines the word goal as: “An observable and measurable end result having one or more objectives to be achieved within a more or less fixed timeframe.
And the top three business goals of content are lead generation; thought leadership/market education; and brand building, according to the LinkedIn Technology Marketing Community.
Here are the top five business goals of content:
• lead generation
• leadership/market ed.
• brand building
• customer conversion
• customer retention
These top business content goals deal with creating revenue directly or indirectly as with brand building.
2. Connect Content Goals To Your Business Goals
You content goals should be directly connected to your overall business goals.
For example, if your content marketing goal is lead generation, then the content that could help you achieve that would be lead magnet type content such as:
• white papers
• special reports
• case studies
And in exchange for an email address, prospects would download this content. And the metrics you could use to measure your success might be:
• quantity of leads
• quality of leads
• cost per leads
• sales generated
3. Set A Timeline For Achieving Success
Your goals should have a set timeline for attainment. For example, generate 10% more leads to produce $800,000 in new revenue in 2017 for a total increase of 20% over 2016.
You could then do 30-day content metric reviews to see if you’re on track for achieving your goals, or what changes you need to make to keep on track.
4. Research Your Market And Content To Find Where You Stand
The next step to developing a written documented content strategy is to research your market and your content. This research will include:
• Customer/client interviews: These interviews can be in person, by telephone or email. What you want is a list of the problems your market faces. So you know what kind of content to create to help them solve those problems.
• Competitor analysis: This research will take a good look at your competitors to find out what they are doing right and wrong. So you can devise ways to do it better.
• Content audit: This audit will take a look at your content inventory to evaluate its quality and effectiveness. Then decide what to keep creating and what to discontinue.
• Content Analysis: Here you want to look closely at your analytic system to see what content is producing the most traffic so you can produce more of that kind of content.
5. Control Content Creation And Editing To Meet Your Goals
1. Select content types
The types of content you select to achieve your goals will depend upon the problems your market face, which you will help solve with your content and position you as an expert in your industry.
Here are a few common content types:
• blog posts
• case studies
• white papers
In addition, the kind of content you decide to use will also depend on what stage your market is in the sales funnel. Each stage of this funnel will require different content types.
2. Outline workflow and who does what
No content marketing strategy would be complete without outlining workflow. This workflow outline needs to answer a number of key questions such as:
• How often will you publish content?
• Who will prepare the editorial calendar?
• Who will create the content you need?
• Who will edit the content you create?
• Who will maintain content inventory?
Coming up with answers to these kinds of workflow question is a key part of an effective written documented content strategy.
6. Measure Effectively The Success Of Your Content Strategy
Fifty-five percent of B2B marketers say they are unclear on what content marketing success or effectiveness looks like. But this is no surprise because with no written documented content strategy there is no clear reference points and goal.
Written.com writes: Assuming the majority of your content is web-based, the backbone of your content measurement should revolve around your website analytics…we recommend that you track, analyze, and respond to a number of success measures, including the following:
• page views
• time on site
• crawl rate
• bounce rate
• inbound links
Once you’re comfortable with these five, you can expand to look at other measures of content engagement and user experience.”
There is no substitute for a written documented content strategy if you truly want your content efforts to succeed in building your business to the fullest extent possible.
And your written documented content strategy doesn’t have to be a massive 50-page essay on intentions.
All you need is a clear simple written strategy that will help you achieve your content goals in an organized manner rather than shooting from the hip. So, get started today creating a written documented content strategy if you don’t already have one.
Creating the content you need can be a time consuming and frustrating process. But it doesn’t have to be because I’m here to help you. Contact me today for the content you need!