Posted by adb_print
Posted on 5th June 2015
Content Marketing. Marketing, with content. This phrase is self explanatory and yet incredibly ambiguous at the same time. Do you need to change your job title? Do you need to join a creative writing group? Should you start wearing a turtleneck and smoking thin cigarettes?
Step 1 – Stock take: what’s out the back?
It’s very important to note right at the outset – every company has a huge amount of content floating around. The natural product of human activity in the workplace is data; information is everywhere in your company, but maybe you’re so far into the wood that you can’t see the trees. Content marketing operates in the ‘awareness’ and ‘consideration’ space way up the funnel, so it’s more than likely that the first touchpoint with your brand is not triggered by an acquisition-oriented need, but rather research or casual web browsing. This is where you can reach people with content most effectively. Take a step outside of your role, your company and your professional mindset, then look at what you are trying to promote with fresh eyes. What would lead you to getting in touch with your company?
Step 1b – Flick on the wireless: what are your competitors or customers talking about?
OK, we know we said this was five, but it’s five and a half! It’s very important to understand what people are interested in, talking about and sharing before you start talking yourself. As the old saying goes, you’ve got two ears and one mouth. We can all talk, but it’s no use if nobody is interested.
Step 2 – Clean out: what’s vintage and what’s just junk?
Hopefully after taking stock of your potential content assets, you’ll have a decent idea of what information you have within your company that you can use to create something interesting. Quite often companies produce internal reports, have existing relationships or employ amazing people, all of which gets lost in the day-to-day operation of the business.
Now you need to go through the process of qualification – is it a beautiful evergreen, or a gnarled, moss-covered old stump?
Step 3 – Spruce up: you’re in the block, but there’s less paint
Now that you have your vintage piece of company heritage, it’s time to give it a facelift. You can’t expect people to pay top dollar for something you just ripped out of your attic. Reinvent what you have, don’t reinvent the wheel. Content marketing in the digital space means creating engaging, long-term content that will either get eyes on your brand, engage people actively or allow you to capture data / convert them. So old-school printed catalogues won’t necessarily be the best way to engage an audience of environmentally conscious, multi-platform wielding Gen Y-ers.
Step 4 – Promote yourself: don’t be scared of social
Whether you like it or not, social media is an essential part of our lives, and it’s not going anywhere. The days of sticking your head in the sand and ignoring Facebook are over; you need to learn to embrace and leverage relevant networks to your advantage. You have access to huge, free, aggregated audiences and services that would cost you a fortune to set up yourself, so use them. Don’t be scared of people making negative comments about your brand – would you rather they do it behind your back? 90% of successful content marketing is simply identifying issues or customer concerns, letting people know their opinion has been heard and then having a conversation in the right place.
Step 5 – Success: it might not be what you expect
Success can come in a variety of forms when you start leveraging your content in new ways – do not be fooled into thinking you have to go viral to be successful. It can be something as simple as building up your audience, engaging a particular demographic or building up your own mailing list. As with any marketing activity, having a clear goal, targets and KPIs will allow you to define what success looks like before you start creating and promoting content.
Huge thanks to Stuart P Turner, you can find the original article here