Creating a content marketing strategy is no simple task. In fact, 2/3 of marketers feel they aren’t successful with their content marketing. For both small and large businesses, the content you create is the main bridge connecting your brand to your customer.
Last week, the hot topic of the Social Media Marketing World gathering in sunny San Diego was the critical importance of strong content marketing that captures and converts your customer. Captivating, concise, and consistent content is a core part of any brand. Joe Pulizzi, founder of the well-known content marketing hub Content Marketing Institute and author of Epic Content Marketing shared a simple 6-step process to create your content marketing strategy. Although his session was mainly geared toward small, new businesses and entrepreneurs, it serves as a great reminder and framework for big businesses to take a second look at their current content marketing strategy.
Here are 6 simple steps to creating your content marketing strategy:
- Sweet Spot: The key first step to building your strategy is building an audience with a targeted group of people. It is not only about finding the sweet spot of what your audience wants to hear, but also finding the sweet spot of your knowledge and passion, so the content you are creating can connect on a shared level.
- Content Tilt: Because there is such a vast and relentless content overload flooding the Internet, your content needs an edge or a “tilt.” So how do you make your content unique and differentiate yourself from other people out they’re writing about the same topics? When creating content, you should ask yourself: Is this story worth telling?
Your content should be niche. To start, Joe suggests you follow in the steps of every media company and create an editorial mission or as he calls it: A Content Marketing Mission Statement.
In this mission statement there are 3 stages that must be touched on: 1. Define Core Target Audience. You really should only target one. If you target more than one group, you aren’t going niche enough. 2. What will be delivered? 3. The outcome for the Audience. Tip: Add a column to your content marketing calendar spreadsheet called “outcomes”. This will help you define what the audience will get out of the post.
- Building the Base: In this step, you actually begin creating your content. You should focus only on one content type, one main platform, having consistent delivery over a long period of time. In this step, consistency is key. Another important thing media companies can’t do is miss deadlines and neither should your brand.
- Harvesting Audience: Building your audience is one feat, but maintaining subscribers is a whole other battle. One of the key metrics you should focus on is subscribers, your frequent flyers. After all, we as brands do not own Facebook or Twitter followers. Subscribers to your blog or email should be your main focus. Next, you should begin building an influencer list. This should consist of a small key base.
However, many marketers make the mistake of thinking that these influencers will become advocates. The key for building this initial influencer list is to use them for reach. After that, you shift your focus on building more authority with your newly acquired eyeballs.
- Diversification: Focus on being great at one thing on one platform. Then diversify.
- Monetization: After successfully building your subscribers and you feel confident you have a solid base, then you can begin to think about monetizing your brand. On average, it takes 15-17 months to monetize your content. Your goal in the beginning should not be how to make money. First, build an audience with a targeted group of people. Then, monetize it.