understanding content marketing, content management key points

September 17, 2019 0 By Ronny Jaskolski

the most important aspect of content
fundamentals is really defining and understanding the importance of content
marketing so there’s a lot of noise about content marketing today everyone’s
talking about it there’s a ton of content out there about
it but really a lot of marketers are not totally sure how to define content
marketing and how to really fit it as part of their marketing strategy so
content marketing is the process of creating valuable relevant content to
attract acquire and engage your audience and now this is just one of the many
possible definitions on content marketing but it’s one that I think
really defines and exemplifies some of the great aspects of what content
marketing can do for your business businesses today need content marketing
it’s a critical aspect of being visible in today’s digital busy world so why
there’s an abundance of information out there on the internet for your customers
your customers are sifting through thousands and hundreds of messages each
day whether it’s doing their own research online you know push messaging
that’s coming across from marketers emails that are coming in to their
mailbox there’s a ton of information out there and it’s extremely difficult for
you as a marketer to get heard through all of that noise we also live in a
multi-device world your customers move seamlessly through their laptops to
their phones to their tablet they can carry information around with them in
their pocket and access it any minute at any time in a 24/7 world so because
there is such an access to information and tons of these multi devices it’s
difficult for you as a marketer to get heard from your customers and we live in
a multi-channel world as well so not only are your customers accessing
information on multiple devices but they’re also accessing information
across channels so what do I mean by that your customers are on social media
they’re on search they’re on your website they’re on review sites like
Yelp and Google there’s really a ton of different channels today that your
customers live and as a marketer it’s important to be
present and be relevant on all those channels so what does all of this mean
all this information these multi devices multi channels it’s a very complex world
out there and all of that equals attention scarcity what that means is
that your customers attention is really divided amongst all of these you know
different areas and therefore the attention that they actually have for
you and your messaging is scarce but content marketing helps you actually
break through that noise because you’re providing Salt leadership
and you’re differentiating your brand from all the other brands out there by
creating valuable relevant and educational content you can be seen in
front of your customers on those different channels on those different
devices and really become that trusted resource through all of that information
content marketing has these seven qualifications so as you’re thinking
about planning out your content marketing strategy and as you’re
thinking about content marketing in general for your business make sure that
these seven elements are present so number one content marketing engages
individuals on their own terms so this means being available and being relevant
where your audience lives so that’s that concept of multi-channel multi-device
your content marketing is based on interactions with your buyers so you
should be creating content that is relevant to what your buyers want to
hear and what they’re searching for your content marketing should tell a
continuous story your content should tell not only your business story but
also the story of your customers and it really does have to be a story it has to
be a narrative that’s interesting and engaging make sure that content
marketing is the right fit for your channels so you need to create different
types of content for different channels one type of content that’s great for
your social media channel might not be right for email marketing or a paid
program that you’re doing so make sure that the content that you’re creating is
you know you think about being channel specific number five your content has a
clear purpose so this means that all content that you create
have a goal should have a purpose in mind you’re creating content for thought
leadership brand awareness lead generation all of these things make sure
it has a purpose and that leads me to number six your content marketing has
predefined metrics you should be creating content with end goals in mind
whether that’s X amount of new customers maybe its new followers on your social
networks whatever your predefined metrics should be make sure you
determine those before you go in and actually create that content and number
seven content marketing is almost always evergreen so this means keep in mind
your entire life cycle when you think about your different content content
should last month’s content should last years it’s not totally always like this
like for instance sometimes you’ll create a piece of content on a trend
related item for social media that might not be evergreen but your large pieces
your ebooks you want to think about content themes and arcs that span
multiple quarters so that you can get the most bang for your buck so just some
additional stats to keep in mind as you’re thinking about your content
strategy and as we define content marketing further 71 percent of
consumers trust solutions that provide useful information without trying to
sell something so your content should be educational it should be thought
leadership for the purpose of building that trust in building those
relationships over time 62 percent of consumers trust solutions that provide
information and best practices for tools they’ve bought you want to teach your
customers how to use your products and services better you want to teach them
best practices and you want to educate them this over time will really enable
that lifelong value and that lifelong relationship building from your
customers given our definition of content marketing and these seven
qualifications take some time to sit down and determine how you can fit your
content marketing strategy into each of these seven items by really mapping out
your reasons for content marketing and defining what content marketing means
for your business you can truly create a content marketing
strategy from A to Z understanding the benefits of content
marketing is critical to creating a content marketing strategy that works
for your business a lot of the marketing activities that you partake in with your
company such as attending a tradeshow doing a banner ad paying for a
pay-per-click ad this is all essentially renting attention you’re paying a fixed
fee to rent the audience of another vendor for instance if you’re at a
tradeshow you’re paying a certain amount of money to have a booth and to get the
benefits of that audience for that tradeshow in contrast content marketing
is like owning your own attention you’re creating that thought leadership
in-house you’re creating that content in-house even though initially there
might be a spend to begin with you are great gaining your own attention over
time you’re promoting your own content out you’re creating your own audience so
it’s essentially like owning your own attention you’re not continuously
spending money on renting other people’s thought leadership in the audience that
they have built brands today need to become their own publishers and content
marketing is how to do that and create your own Salt leadership because your
audience is out there doing their own research they’re downloading information
off online and why not be the place where your customers are finding that
information why not be the creators of that research and that’s how brands
today become their own publishers so what are some additional benefits for
content marketing benefit number one brand awareness up to 93% of the buying
journey starts with a search online content builds organic awareness through
search and social you want to be available when your buyers are searching
for you they are doing that research so you want to make sure that your content
is front and center and by creating content you build that brand awareness
so that when your buyers do search your content in your educational materials
come up benefit number two create brand preference thought leadership builds
trust in brand preference people are more likely to purchase from companies
who they trust by creating that content in becoming that educational resource
for customers you start to build that
relationship and build that trust therefore if a customer is constantly
searching out content on a certain subject and your content is the content
that’s continuously coming up when that customer is going to make that purchase
they will most likely find your content and think about you first and that’s how
you’re building that trust when it comes to purchasing decisions benefit number
three reach more buyers at a lower cost unlike renting attention where you’re
paying to rent other people’s audience the return on content happens over a
longer time even though you have that initial spend because your content is
evergreen and built to last and because you’re building your own audience and
owning your own audience you can reach more buyers at a lower cost over time so
given the benefits that we’ve discussed I hope that you can now apply this to
your own content marketing and really start thinking about how content
marketing can help your business over time take these benefits and approach
your internal stakeholders so that you can really start creating that plan for
content marketing now that you have a solid plan in place
you have to start writing and editing to actually get that content done writing
content can be extremely hard work and building a repeatable process helps so
let’s take a look at some steps to take in order to build that repeatable
process so that you’re ensuring all your written content is consistent on brand
and that is engaging so step one find a subject-matter expert so you need to
determine who in your organization knows about your topic and then you can
schedule a brain dump and record a brain dump can be a thirty to one hour session
whether in person or over the phone where you’re asking that subject matter
expert various questions about the topic essentially having them do a brain dump
if there is no subject matter expert be prepared to do the research yourself
step number two create an outline creating an outline is extremely
important to keep you organized and on track with your content creation make
sure you include your thesis in this outline your thesis is the point that
you’re trying to get across with your particular content asset make sure you
set up your different sections particularly if it’s an e-book and then
socialize your outline to people outside of your content team to make sure that
what you’re writing about makes sense and it’s the right thing note that it
has the title it has the different parts an explanation of what the different
parts might be and some links so that you have places to reference when you
need to go write the full piece step 3 write your first draft this is arguably
one of the most difficult parts to content creation make sure your thesis
is clear make sure this thesis is clear upfront and that it’s clear throughout
your document and also make sure you’re constantly referring back to your main
point break your content up with h1s h2s and other headers you can find these in
your word processing program that you’re using like word it’s important to break
your document up in this way so you know where each section lives use lots of
bullets lists and numbers this is important for scan ability note that
your reader won’t necessarily read every single
word of your document so by using bullets and lists it could be easy to
scan make sure you have an intro in a conclusion you want your document to
flow step number four always review this is an extremely critical part of content
creation the more people you have review the better off you are
so typically have one to two people review each draft more if you have the
ability each person will generally catch different mistakes refer to a style
guide make sure that you have a style guide created that goes over tone and
brand and that you’re always referring back to that always copy edit for
grammar and structure you want to make sure your content is grammatically
correct and you want to make sure it’s structurally sound and then always edit
for content and concepts make sure you going through the document to determine
what makes sense and what doesn’t and then use track changes in word and
commenting for optimal editing this is definitely recommended particularly if
you have more than one to two people writing the document and reviewing it
this is important for collaboration step number five write a second draft once
you have your first draft created and you have all of your edits incorporate
all of them read over it an additional one to two times to ensure that it’s a
final copy and then make sure all your stakeholders have seen the copy make
sure everybody knows that the content is correct and everybody that needs to has
signed off on that content and once you have your final draft then you’re ready
to send a design if you are a Content marketer with a
small budget or a small team consider working with lean content creation most
content marketers are on a budget that’s simply a fact and you have to do more
with less especially with the increasing demands on marketing teams and content
marketers today we’re being asked to do more with less resources so how can you
really get it all done I like to think about the turkey dinner analogy that was
put in place by Rebecca liebe from Altima tour group this basically says
that you can create one bit of large piece slice and dice it to create
additional smaller supplemental pieces so that you can get more content with
less so let’s take a look at how this works in action step 1 create a big rock
content asset so a big rock content asset is a Content piece that you put a
lot of effort into this could range anywhere from 50 to 160 pages in length
if you have the time it’s really worth the time and effort because from this
one piece you can generate a ton of additional content and if you can
generate a ton of additional content that’s just more for all of your
programs step 2 create ebooks from the chapters so what we did is we took that
one piece and we broke out each of the individual chapters to create additional
ebooks each of them have different covers and different titles so they
differentiate themselves you can see the common theme going throughout all the
ebooks however they are shorter and they are on the different topic so it is more
content that you can source out and promote step number three create cheat
sheets cheat sheets are smaller more digestible pieces of content that range
in length from about one to two pages go throughout your big rock piece of
content and pull out items that you think could make a good cheat sheet this
is a simple easy exercise that was about one to two pages and then mapping lead
generation to your sales funnel another quick cheat sheet some of these can even
be print out by your readers and posted on their desks the idea is to give them
something easy to digest and scannable step number four create visuals you want
to really extend the life and value of your big rock content campaigns
so you want to make sure that you’re creating visuals from each of these
pieces a visual could be an infographic a visual slide deck or a workbook
remember you’re just taking the same content in the same statistics that
you’ve used in your big rock piece and you’re just repurposing it in a
different and more engaging and visual way and these are great assets for you
to share on social media as well as email campaigns step number five create
a video take the content from your big rock piece and create a fun video this
doesn’t have to be something that’s highly produced it could even be a video
created on your iPhone or something that you’re create in-house the idea is just
to have an interesting engaging and fun supplemental piece of content to promote
your content asset step number six create blog posts from your big rock
content asset you can create dozens of blog posts from the content within just
slice and dice it out based on what would make sense for your blog as an
example for the big rock content piece of definitive guide to lead generation
we generated about twelve to fifteen blogs that we spaced out over the course
of two to three months really your blog content can go on forever so certainly
keep this in mind as you’re writing now that you know all of the steps that it
takes to create a big rock content piece and to slice and dice the content out to
generate more with less sit down with your team determine what your topics
should be and get to writing once you have your content created
written then it’s time to send it to design good content equals good design
all of your content should be highly visual it’s an important part of
creating content in today’s market but how do you make all of your content
visual so let’s go over a few design guidelines to keep in mind when creating
your content first make sure that your logo and icon usage is on brand and
correct you need to take into consideration typography you might have
a certain font that is appropriate for your brand that you need to use make
sure you’re consistently using brand colors even though you can be creative
with your content design you want to make sure it looks like your company is
a non brand and then you also want to use photography and image styles that
also make sense for your brand and that are engaging and visual so let’s walk
through some major types of content design starting with ebook your ebook
cover should be visual and engaging this is how you’re going to get people to
download your ebook and this is what’s going to attract them to your content
the cover the title should be clear make sure that you don’t have lots of
different design around your title so that it obstructs it make sure your
title is clear at all times watch for proper templating keep your
design clean again make sure that your ebook cover and your ebook interior is
extremely clean and easy to read and then use images that relate to the
content something that you need to be aware of is having images throughout an
e-book that have nothing to do with the content make sure your images are
relatable and they make sense and then let’s take a look at an example interior
page from that same piece of content the interior page is clean the way it’s
template it makes sense it has a call-out that pops out and the title is
obvious for the different headings and sections you want to make sure that it’s
easy to read now let’s go over infographic design your infographic
design should be engaging and shareable this is definitely your opportunity to
be creative into pop consider a theme for your infographic
make sure that your statistics are presented in an interesting but legible
way so make sure it’s clear what those stats are so that your readers don’t
have any questions and then don’t make your infographic too long don’t make it
too long and that people have to scroll down quite a bit and don’t make it way
to copy heavy now you have your content design it’s important to make sure you
edit that design when editing InDesign here are some items to watch for paint
layout you want to make sure that all of your pages are laid out appropriately
and that they’re easy to follow and clean you also want to watch for orphan
words these are words or short lines at the beginning or the end of a paragraph
which are left dangling at the bottom of the column separated from the rest of
the paragraph if you’re see any orphan words make sure they’re included in the
above paragraph you also want to look for photography and image usage making
sure the images go along with the text as well as the placement in the document
look at typography make sure everything is the same size and that if you do have
a brand font it’s being used and then add edits using commenting in Adobe this
is the best and easiest way for designers to look at your edits so sit
down and make sure that you’re reviewing all of your items once they’re InDesign
if you don’t you really run the risk of having unfinished content so make sure
that you’re looking over all your design content and edit it to completion you want to make sure you have a solid
content mix so you need to choose your content types when it comes to content
there are a lot of types to choose from you can choose your content types based
on your brand look and feel the different content topic you choose your
content goals and your proposed promotional channels first let’s talk
about blog posts blog posts are a short piece of content that are regularly
updated on your company blog your blog posts can range anywhere from about 300
to 700 words and they can be about a variety of topics blogs are fantastic
for trend related content and when you need to put out a point of view at a
very fast pace now let’s talk about cheat sheets cheat sheets are short
pieces of downloadable content that are created for the purpose of giving the
reader quick access to a series of tips or best practices your cheat sheets are
typically one-page they can be front and back and they don’t have too much design
these are simple easy to digest content assets you may or may not want to create
a content piece similar to a definitive guide a definitive guide is a very large
content piece often over 60 pages that you can then break apart into smaller
supplemental content items these take a lot of effort and are often in
conjunction with a large promotional plan these can really anchor your
content themes for a quarter ebooks are the bread and butter of your content
strategy particularly if you are in a b2b company an e-book is an electronic
version of a shortened book it is designed to contain salt leadership and
best practices on a particular topic ebooks can be short four to five pages
or they can be much longer at around 50 pages your ebooks should be designed to
fit your brand and give you the opportunity to present your information
in a creative way infographics take information like statistics or best
practices and present it in a visual way infographics are generally vertical
graphics that are short and easy to consume your graphics should be highly
visual with an interesting hook typically infographics are created to be
presented on your blog and then you can promote them out for inbound links in
media attention reports can be created by collecting survey and industry data
and presenting it in a comprehensive document
reports often contain lots of statistics a strong point of view and are generally
formatted like an e-book reports can be a critical cornerstone of your content
and gain a lot of recognition in your industry don’t just stop at downloadable
content think about what else you can create that is interesting fun shareable
and engaging for your audience think outside of the box because content can
take many forms videos are an engaging and visual form of live-action content
that can be filmed and promoted on YouTube social channels and your website
your videos can range from product related topics to stories music videos
and more they can also range in length from 30 seconds to 10 minutes however
note that best practices here are for most of your videos to clock in at
around 1 to 2 minutes people have short attention spans visuals slide decks
present information statistics and best practices in a highly visual format
using slides often your slide decks can almost be like an infographic chopped-up
you can publish them on SlideShare and promote out on your website in social
channels a caution here is to make sure each of your slides are professionally
designed and does not include too much text a webinar is either a live or
recorded presentation that a speaker presents along with a slide deck these
are generally events for your audience signs up at ends and asks questions
webinars are generally topical and can be easily recorded for later viewing a
downloadable workbook provides your readers with an actionable template to
fill in his or her own answers to questions these are great if you’re
trying to teach your audience something in particular using a checklist table or
fill in the blanks now that we’ve broken down all the different content types you
can then start to really formulate what your content marketing mix is going to
look like once you have a good idea what types of
content you will be creating next you have to plan your editorial calendar
before you create your calendar you need to think about your content mix what are
the different types of content you’re creating and how are you going to fit
them in your plan to make a diverse content plan think about your content in
food groups this is actually a great analogy developed by Ann Handley
to help you determine what should be in your content mix first you have your
roasts these are your large content initiatives this would be if you’re
planning to create a definitive guide a large ebook or anything that has a
promotional plan that’s extensive behind it these would be your big rock pieces
next you need to make sure you have your Raisin Bran these are everyday pieces of
content they are quick and consumable like cheat sheets checklists and best
practices these should also be a big part of your content mix in addition to
those roasts next we have our spinach these are content items packed with
nutrients this is your high-level thought leadership this could be a
report that presents findings that you have in a survey it could be a really
high-level ebook an executive piece of thought leadership either way you need
to make sure that these items are included in your overall content plan
next we have chocolate cake these are your fun light-hearted and indulgent
pieces of content this could be infographics any type of special
projects you’re creating fun videos ideally these are pieces of content that
you’re sharing on a regular basis on social channels and then you have your
Tabasco sauce this is content with some spice content that challenges asks hard
questions or provokes responses your Tabasco content is often best on a blog
post so definitely take that into consideration but make sure you’re not
saying anything that’s off-brand a Content plan and an editorial calendar
can help you stay organized so you need to make sure that you are adhering to
this mix you don’t want your content to be homogenized and you don’t want to be
putting out things that are the same day in and day out
editorial calendar also helps you increase visibility across your
organization so that people in your company know exactly what content you’re
creating and when it also helps to align your team’s you might have different
content that you’re creating on demand gen versus customer versus brand so how
do you organize your calendar first the content mix that we spoke about earlier
then you should organize based on different teams depending on who you’re
creating content for any ongoing campaigns that you have to keep in mind
and strategic initiatives these should all be on your editorial calendar what
calendar platform should you use there are many options here basically you just
need to make sure that you’re putting them down into a calendar form you can
use a calendar in your content management tool consider a google
calendar that you can share with folks across the organization or a Google
spreadsheet even if you don’t necessarily want to put it in a calendar
form or your marketing automation calendar many marketing automation
platforms today have calendar functionality that you can add your
content mix to who should see my calendar your editorial calendar should
be available to marketing sales customer service executives or anybody else who
wants to know what specific content that you’re creating here’s a few examples of
different types of calendars calendar example number one is a detailed
spreadsheet a spreadsheet could be useful if you have multiple different
content types you want to include the status production start and completion
date maybe you want to say what business unit this is for your persona right
resource section type if you have lots of different items that you need to put
in a calendar form sometimes a spreadsheet type format works great
calendar example number two is within a content management platform this one is
from Divi HQ this one has an actual calendar format where you can toggle
based on specific due dates what calendar so what business unit is
for the team member it’s assigned two content type or your content strategy no
matter how you decide to reorganize your editorial
in what you include in your calendar make sure it has that content mix that
we spoke about and that everything is organized so go ahead write down your
plan and put it in a calendar you
before you start promoting your content you need to determine your gating
strategy what is gating gating means putting a forum in front of your content
for the purposes of gathering lead contact information it’s often in front
of a Content asset in order to download it
it typically asks for first last name sometimes job title email phone number
company or role when it comes to gating there are a ton of different choices on
how you can approach it so let’s go ahead and take a look at some of your
options option number one gating all of your content so by gating all of your
content you can gather all of the lead information each time somebody downloads
a content asset this can be a good option for small companies in startups
to build their database and it’s a consistent user experience through all
of your content as your readers are seeing the same thing each time option
number two is gating none of your content gating none of your content
enables you to remove the barrier of entry for your content
so that means that somebody who is downloading your content doesn’t have to
put in their information it helps you to grow your thought leadership and
branding over time and it’s good if you have a lot of early-stage content your
early stage content because it’s so educational people might not want to put
their information in in order to get it option number three is gating based on
buying stage and this is the option that I prefer personally gating based on
buying stage enables you to gate only the assets that show buying intent when
downloaded so this means that you will only gate the items that are really
close to your product and so that you know if somebody’s downloading that item
that they’re closer to being a customer it also helps you to score your leads
and determine where they are in their buying cycle scoring is something you
can do in your marketing automation system and it enables you to determine
where a person is in their buying journey if you’re only getting some of
your content you can give them a higher score if they’re downloading the pieces
that your gating here’s a sample strategy for gating based on buying
stage for early stage those real thought leadership
educational and best practice pieces don’t gate this is because those assets
are great on social they’re good and promotion plans and they let people
introduce themselves to your company mid-stage assets are great to gate
because those are the assets that really show buying intent if somebody downloads
an ROI calculator or a buying guide you want to know who that person is and you
want to score them appropriately and then late-stage items you don’t have to
gate late-stage items would be those customer case studies pricing sheets you
want to make sure all of that is easily accessible to somebody who’s close to
being a customer gating based on asset type also enables you to have more
premium content take those items that you spend a lot of time on and put a
form in front of them you don’t want those to be as easily accessible and you
can create variable content value based on effort and output put a gate in front
of the content items that take you and your team a ton of time to create and
then don’t gave those items that aren’t as time intensive now that you know your
gating options sit down with your team and stakeholders to determine what makes
sense for your unique business case before you actually go out and promote
your content you need to outline your promotion strategy once you publish your
content online you then have to promote it through various channels let’s go
through step by step what you need to think about when outlining your
promotion strategy step 1 create a strategy document once you have
published a piece of content you must send out a strategy document to your
team that outlines and includes the following items what topic the content
is created about the audience the content piece addresses the different
goals at the content piece addresses the thesis that’s included in the content
throughout the table of contents if available the buying stage that the
content was created for and any promotions suggestions that you as the
content team might have by creating the strategy document you can help guide and
outline your promotion team step number 2 always score your content you can use
your marketing automation tool to score your content base your score on the
different content types you’re buying stage and persona you can often toggle
the score up and down based on the importance of your content piece but by
scoring your content you can help determine how close a person who
downloads it is to being a customer step number 3 meet with your stakeholders you
want to set up some time with your various promotional teams to go over
goals and to describe to them what the asset is about and what it should be
used for teams you set up some time with are your demand generation teams social
media your online marketing teams product marketing and public relations
step number four create a promotion plan so work with each team stakeholder to
create an overall promotional plan for each assets four large assets consider
meeting weekly or bi-weekly until launch assign a project manager
this might be yourself or it might be a member of the promotional team and then
ensure that team member stays on task over time step number five is to make
sure your plan is multi-channel you want to be where your buyers are your
buyers might be on social media they could be on your website but wherever
they are be sure that your promotion plan touches all these areas by
promoting your content on multiple channels you can ultimately maximize
your exposure and also remember to promote content on appropriate channels
for the content type not all channels make sense to promote every single piece
of content on and then always test your promotion strategies you might think
that you want to promote a content asset on a certain channel but then discover
that’s not the best channel for that particular asset so now that you’ve sat
down with your stakeholders and outlined your promotional plan it’s time to
actually get promoting one of the most important aspects of
promoting your content is merchandising your content on your website so your
website is the key place that you want Leeds to download your content you must
merchandise correctly in order to optimize for conversions so where can
content live on your website content can live in a specific resources section
dedicated to content on your home page or uh nads throughout your site so let’s
take a minute to walk through each option your resources section this is
where your content can call home it is a section of your website dedicated to
thought leadership I definitely recommend that all companies that are
engaging in content marketing create a resources section your resources section
should be easy to navigate it should be very obvious to the reader where to find
each content asset it should also be SEO optimized you want to make sure that
you’re calling out the different keywords for search engine optimization
throughout your resources section it should also be categorized by key topics
that are important to your business should include visual images throughout
and include forms for lead generation so now let’s talk about content on your
homepage this type of content should be designed for conversion add your best
content to your home page rotator or include a call to action in a prominent
place so now let’s talk about ads throughout your site you can promote
content throughout your website using banner ads and other images consider
promoting content on your product pages where applicable now that you have your
content published on your website it’s important to think about how to optimize
it for conversion promoting content on your blog is a
great way to get any new content asset in front of your audience your blog
attracts early-stage buyers is great for lead generation ensures more eyes get on
your content and is a great place for social ready content to live do not
discount the importance of your blog when it comes to promoting any new
content you may have created promoting content on your blog and nabel’s you to
drive even more traffic to your blog and your content over time so let’s go over
a few tips for promoting content on your blog don’t just promote your eBook give
your audience actionable takeaways this means when you write a blog post that
promotes a new ebook don’t just say hey here’s our new ebook and then include a
downloadable link make sure that you’re taking valuable content from within that
ebook and making it a standalone blog post that way it’ll be a piece of
thought leadership in and of itself use bullets and headers for easy skimming
this is really for your blog as a whole but most people won’t sit there and read
a blog post word-for-word so make sure that you include multiple
bullets and different headers so that your reader can easily skim through the
post include a hero image of your asset so just take a screenshot of the cover
of your ebook and use it as the primary image for your blog post and then always
include a strong call-to-action to download the ebook at the beginning of
the blog post as well as at the end of the post and perhaps in the middle you
want to make it clear to the reader that you want them to download the ebook for
additional information so once you have your content published on your website
on social media and have sent out an email make sure to create a blog post
that effectively promote your content one of the most important channels that
you can promote your content on is social media social media is a great
place to promote all of your new content so let’s go over some key tips for
social media promotion success when it comes to content marketing number one
don’t take yourself too seriously remember that social media is a place
where people congregate to share their thoughts and ideas and it could be a
personal network that you’re sharing your content on number two organic isn’t
enough on its own and don’t be afraid to boost your presence it’s one thing to
post your content organically through your social channels but you want to put
a little bit of paid boost behind your content in order to optimize it for a
conversion and get it seen by a lot more eyes number 3 focus on valuable content
and solid offers number four create strong calls to action when you post a
content asset make sure the audience knows exactly what to do whether it’s
download an e-book or share an infographic number five always provide
value make sure that the content that you’re posting on social media is
educational and helps your audience do their job better and number six
never forget that social is a two-way street make sure that you’re constantly
listening to your audience in taking their feedback into consideration so
let’s go over all the different social networks in different ways that you can
promote your content on those networks let’s start with Facebook Facebook is a
great place to promote your content Facebook is a highly visual medium and
so it lends itself very well to content promotion you can promote your content
through organic posts on your company page you can also promote those posts by
putting some paid ads behind each of those organic posts for additional boost
and lift you can create Facebook ads that appear on the right side of your
newsfeed you can promote your content by creating custom cover photos that appear
in back of your profile image you can also create apps and tabs and that would
also appear on your business profile page and somebody could click on a tab
and download a content asset by filling out a form so now let’s talk a little
bit about Twitter Twitter is a very fast-moving social
network and also a great place to promote your content you can promote
your content via organic tweets from your business Twitter profile you can
promote those tweets using paid ads you can also promote your content hashtags
by using promoted trends where you put some paid spend behind those hashtags so
that they’re more easily searchable by your network you can also use Twitter
lead generation cards where you can actually have somebody fill out a form
through Twitter using their information and they can download an e-book now
let’s talk about LinkedIn LinkedIn is particularly useful for the b2b market
as people are generally on LinkedIn for business purposes here are the different
ways you can promote your content through LinkedIn you can use LinkedIn
updates from your company page and then you can sponsor those updates to get
additional reach and visibility you can create LinkedIn ads which appear on the
right-hand side of your LinkedIn profile and you can also join LinkedIn groups
that are relevant to your particular topic and promote your content through
those groups next up we have SlideShare SlideShare is the perfect place to
promote your visual content such as slide decks and infographics you can
also optimize your SlideShare postings for search engines by using keywords in
the descriptions SlideShare also offers the opportunity to include lead
generation forms that sync automatically with your marketing automation tool so
that somebody has to fill out their information in order to download one of
your content assets and you can also appear in the featured presentations on
the homepage as well now let’s talk about Pinterest Pinterest is also a
highly visual medium that’s great for promoting types of content like
infographics and slide decks on Pinterest you can share your content and
engage your audience by creating boards and pins Pinterest is particularly great
for the b2c audience but also works well for b2b especially if you’re creating a
variety of visual content so now that you have your content published on your
website and selected it’s time to determine what social channels work best
for each content asset note that all social channels won’t necessarily work
for every single content piece so very particular where your post your
content but take your content post it on social media and engage your audience one of the best ways to get your content
out in front of your audience is promoting it via email increase the
reach of your content by promoting it on email promoting your content via email
gets it in front of your customers so let’s go over a few tips on how to make
sure your content emails are engaging and relevant to increase opens tip
number one always segment your email sends so send your content only to
people who will find that content relevant align your content emails to
buying stage and role which should be easy since your content should already
be aligned to each stage and roll and don’t forget about sending content to
current customers tip number two design your emails to be engaging so you want
to make sure that the people that are reading your emails find your emails
engaging and want to download the content asset inside create a custom
header by using the design of your content asset make sure you include
brief copy with bullets you want to make sure that your email is easy to scan
include a strong and a clear call-to-action which will often be
download this ebook download this infographic or something along those
lines and then create a hero shot of the content asset you want to make sure the
cover of your ebook or the cover of your cheat sheet is included in the email tip
number three send an email to your entire database so hopefully you have a
large marketing database once you publish a new piece of content send an
email out to your entire database using the segmenting rules discussed above tip
number four consider a sponsored email a sponsored email is when you pay a
trusted vendor to send out an email including content on your behalf be
careful here and make sure that you’re only using vendors that are not only
reputable but have a target audience that matches your target audience tip
number five always add your new content to your lead nurturing programs if
you’re using marketing automation you should be nurturing your leads once they
hit your database make sure to add any new content into
any relevant lead nurturing tracks to ensure that even people that are have
already been in your database for a while receive your content email is a
fantastic way to get your content in of your audience if you remember to
segment make sure your email is engaging in relevant you can increase the chances
of content downloads using pay-per-click ads to promote your
content increases reach pay-per-click ads are highly targeted paid ads that
drive traffic to a custom landing page where you can generate leads let’s go
over a few types of ads that you might want to take into consideration first we
have search engine ads these ads appear on a search engine and our targeted
based on keywords and audience banner ads appear on various websites in our
targeted based on demographics and then retargeting ads appear on a network of
websites in our behavior-based s– these look very similar to banner ads however
they are behavior based let’s go over some logistics for your pay-per-click
ads you pay only if a visitor clicks on your ad and you can target your ads
using demographic behavioral and search criteria there are various tips for
using PPC ads for content promotion first of all consider using high-value
mid-stage content for your ads because you’re spending a lot of money on your
ad program you want to make sure that you’re only using the most relevant
content your ads should have a fun visual or engaging copy this will make a
difference whether it’s a banner ad or a search engine on a search engine ad
since generally you can only include copy you need to make sure it’s engaging
and a banner ad can have a fun visual all ads should go to a landing page so
your ad should not just go to a web site if your ads do just go to a website you
run the risk of your leads leaving your website or just going all over the place
a landing page that’s custom shows your lead exactly what they should be doing
particularly if it’s downloading a piece of content plus you want to make sure
that you’re collecting all of their information in a form so all landing
pages for your ads should have a form so now take your high-value content and
determine what types of ads might be appropriate for promotion because ads
can get very expensive my advice here is to ensure that you are only choosing
your best content that shows buying intent then create your copy
develop your custom landing pages and purchase some ads now that you’ve created your content and
promoted your content it’s now time to start measuring your content but first
we have to start by defining your measurement goals many content marketers
think that content ROI is essentially a mythical beast
why is content ROI a struggle marketers don’t often think about ROI during
content creation you must think about how to measure your content before your
content is even created marketers aren’t aligned on metrics amongst the teams
this happens if you’re creating content in a silo one team might be tracking one
metric and the other team might be tracking another metric and then
marketers don’t know how to measure content effectively because content
marketing is a relatively newer discipline with businesses there aren’t
established measurements in place that content marketers can take but measuring
content can be done so let’s go over a few steps that you can take to ensure
that your content is created with measurement in mind first establish
goals and measurement estimates up front every time you create a content piece
you need to determine what you’re hoping to get out of that content piece in
terms of measurement define what you want to measure for each content piece
are you looking for social sharing are you looking for increased traffic are
you looking to measure revenue and pipeline define exactly what you’re
looking for for each piece aligned with all key stakeholders and get their input
it’s important to sit down with all the executives in your business to determine
what the proper content measurement should ultimately be and then budget it
out you need to make sure in order to measure content that you have an actual
content budget and you know exactly how much you’re spending on content because
this will make a difference for the return on investment in the end by
putting together a sample budget you can better determine exactly what the ROI is
on your content over time and then you should determine what exactly our other
marketers measuring in your content so now that you’ve thought about goal
creation for your content marketing analytics make sure every single piece
of content that you make is created with measurement in mind you can track your
metrics in your marketing automation tool or create a spreadsheet that tracks
monthly metrics overtime so you can see exactly how your content is performing you
structuring your content organization is critical to having a content marketing
strategy that works many organizations have trouble structuring content teams
this is because content marketing is a relatively new thing within the
marketing team and many organizations simply don’t know where it should be
within the organization and how it should be set up a question that I get
asked frequently is what team within marketing should own content should the
content marketing team live with demand generation how about product marketing
should it be in corporate marketing inbound marketing brand marketing these
are all areas of the marketing organization that create content so
content marketing could potentially live in any one of these marketing orgs
everyone wants content to align with them simply because all of these
different teams create content on a daily basis and if content gets aligned
with only one team content then gets created in a silo what do I mean by that
well if content is aligned only with demand generation then contents goals
would be only for say lead generation if content is aligned to only product
marketing then content would only be gold with the same goals that product
marketing has so if content gets aligned with only one team often content gets
created in a silo without the other teams being aware and without the other
teams input no one talks to one another and content messaging is inconsistent
and doesn’t reflect the brand this is really critical content marketing must
be looked at in a holistic way that reflects the brand messaging the brand
look and feel and the way the brand wants to speak about itself across the
organization but what if we didn’t align content to any one team within marketing
what if content marketing was actually a neutral team within the marketing
organization so that every team can benefit from centralized content that
way your organization can have a much more holistic view of content and
content gets to be much more strategic instead of siloed think about content as
a strategic service bureau so what do I mean by this the content service bureau
model determines a Content roadmap so your content team should help determine
what the content strategy is a content service
Bureau can help support requests from various teams all those teams mentioned
earlier to mange and product marketing your brand teams they all have content
needs so your content service bureau should help support those needs content
service bureau oversees the content creation process so ensures that there’s
that consistency of message and voice amongst the content that you’re creating
they help streamline content creation for that type of scalability that you’re
looking for it reduces duplicate efforts because all of the teams are aligned so
what sort of content should your content service bureau help create your content
service bureau should span all of those different departments within marketing
and support all of them with different types of content your content service
bureau should create demand generation content this is content that helps to
drive demand for your business such as ebooks infographics slide decks this is
the content that’s being promoted out through social channels as well as
through your programs on a daily basis your content service bureau should also
help create customer content this is those customer case studies and
testimonials that really show the external community how your product or
service has helped customers your content service bureau should also help
create brand content this is that really high level thought leadership content
such as contributed articles executive content the content that you want to put
out there to really show who your brand is as a business your content service
bureau should help create all of these different types of content for the
different teams within marketing so how should this content service bureau be
structured on top of your content service viewers should sit a Content
committee which is made up by executives within your organization the content
committee our various stakeholders from those different marketing teams and they
help drive the strategy and ensure that everything that the content service
Bureau is coming up with is on brand and right so next you have your content
service bureau and this is often made up of that managing editor as well as your
associate editor and your managing editors the person that is in charge of
content strategy the associate editor sits underneath the managing editor and
then various writers might make up your
content service bureau as well these could be internal writers or external
writers and then you have content requests by various teams coming into
the content service bureau ultimately to determine the overall content strategy
so as you’re really sitting down to think about what does your content
strategy look like and then once you’ve hired the right team sit down and think
about how your team is structured content service bureau is a great way to
structure your team so that they’re neutral scalable part of your marketing
organization in order for your content marketing to
be relevant and effective you must create your buyer personas and buyer
journeys most companies have many different types of buyers these are your
personas these are the people that you connect with each day with all of your
marketing activities most companies have multiple different people that buy your
product or service so you want to make sure that you create content that is
relevant and effective for each individual person and each of these
personas will have their own buying journey this is essentially the journey
that they take from when they initially start researching a topic to when they
make a purchase each buying journey has multiple different steps and it’s
critical that your content marketing really address each of the different
questions and concerns that a buyer has in each step of this process in order
for your content to be relevant and effective it must speak to both your
buyer personas and their journeys so creating buyer personas help you
essentially choose what type of content you want to create not every type of
content is going to work for every single buyer it also allows you to
target the right topics that your buyers actually care about so by doing the
research to determine what are your different personas care about and what
do they want to read you can certainly target what type of content you’re
creating your personas also help set the tone in the voice for all of your
content assets you might have one buyer persona that likes to hear their content
in a more conversational way another type of persona might want more of an
authoritative more research driven type of content and by doing buyer persona
research you can really determine what type and tone and voice of your content
needs to be buyer journeys help you know what content create for each buying
stage like I said each journey has multiple different stages in a proper
content plan will have content that speaks to the questions and concerns
your buyers have at each stage buyer journeys also help you know where your
buyers consume your content at each buying stage so somebody who’s initially
researching your product might be finding out about your content on social
media whereas somebody that’s close to making a purchase decision my
looking at a content syndication site or potentially your website so it’s
important to know where exactly your buyers look at each stage of the journey
so how do you find out this information how do you create your personas and your
journeys you’re gonna have to conduct interviews and research so how do you do
this so first you’re gonna want to speak with your sales teams your sales teams
are really on the front lines of speaking with your prospects every each
and every day they know exactly what types of questions and concerns your
potential customers have so sit down and speak with your sales team to determine
what exactly they know about your current customers your customer service
teams are also on the front lines with your customers each and every day in
fact they know very very closely what type of concerns your current customers
might have so speak with your customer service teams to determine what type of
issues problems and questions your current customers ask you also want to
speak with current customers it’s important to get both sides of the story
so speak to both happy and unhappy customers this will give you a
well-rounded perspective when determining what you should write
content about and then also if possible speak with prospects the people that
have yet to become customers but who hopefully will in the future during your
interviews you want to find out some of the following information and this could
be limited to what’s here or you could well expand it into what makes sense for
your own business the type of information you’ll want to
find out to actually create your persona as information about background
potentially job details the goals and challenges of your personas where do
they source their information watch their preferred content medium some
people like to read content in an e-book form other people might want to watch a
video get some actual quotes from customers what about their objections
what type of objections do they commonly say if they’re speaking to a salesperson
and then watch their role in the purchase process you might have multiple
personas that are the decision-maker and then some personas might also be
assistants to the decision-maker so lots of especially long sales cycle these
days have large buying teams so you might want to create personas for each
member of the buying team and and create a sample marketing message
for each one of your personas so that you know exactly how you’re
speaking to them in addition to your sample buyer persona you also want to
create a sample buyer journey the information from all of your interviews
will lend itself very well to creating this type of journey remember that a
buyer journey has each different stage and they might be different stages
depending on your own sales cycle in your own buyers but here’s just an
example it could be calm status-quo shattered search around problem frame
problem in solution consult peers and experts engage potential providers so
those are just an example of some of your buyer journey stages and then in
addition to each stage you want to provide an explanation and potentially
any questions or concerns that buyers bring up at each stage now that you’ve
created your personas and your journeys it’s time to align your content it’s
extremely important to create content that speaks to each persona and each
stage in the buying journey and that’ll make up your content mix so now that
I’ve gone over persona and journey sit down with your stakeholders in your
organization determine what questions you should ask and now create your own to make sure that your content is
consistent you want to work on developing your brand voice your brand
voice presents a consistent experience across channels giving your brand a
recognisable persona this is extremely important because your brand voice will
ultimately help you stand out there’s a ton of information out there and a ton
of noise out there online so you want to make sure that your content is specific
and unique and by developing a brand voice that really speaks to your
organization your content will stand out from the noise first you’ll want to
create your brand voice persona your brand voice persona is essentially the
feeling that you’ll want your content to convey your persona might be
conversational accessible humanistic educational authoritative professional
there’s a wide variety of attributes that you can use to apply to your brand
voice persona next you’ll have the brand voice tone your brand voice tone is
essentially the way that your content will sound it could be friendly direct
honest formal perhaps its scientific humanistic there’s a wide variety of
attributes in ways that your content can sound next you’ll want to determine your
brand voice language this is essentially the language in which your content is
written this could be simple wordy complex jargony it depends on your
business and who you’re selling to next step is to create a style guide once you
have your persona and your language your tone all dialed in you’ll want to put
that down on paper so that you your content team and any external writers
that work with your company can determine the exact style in which you
write for your style guide you might want to answer questions such as who is
your company who do you sell to who makes up the content team your style and
writing tone specific grammar guidelines as well as content types and structure
this could be sure or as lengthy as you want the more information you put in
there the easier it’ll be to Train incoming content marketers on your
company and your style one thing to know is that your tone might differ slightly
for each persona as you build out your different personas in
learn what each persona likes for their content you might learn that one persona
might have a different tone than another so it’s important to make sure that
you’re writing content that’s relevant for each persona but overall your voice
should stay consistent throughout your content
now that we’ve walked through how to create brand voice and tone now it’s
time to sit down and write your own style guide get together map out what
you want your content and your brand to look like put it down on paper and put
it into action in order for your content marketing to
be successful you must set your content goals you should always have goals for
your content marketing and they should be the first thing that you set up goals
help you choose the right assets for your organization design content to be
measurable upfront and help you define success a content marketing plan without
goals will simply not go anywhere so goals are critical to ensure that the
content you’re creating is the right content and now you’re able to
appropriately define success so what are the steps you need to take in order to
set your content marketing goals step 1 meet with stakeholders to get their
point of view on goals you need to determine who is involved in creating
content there’s most likely a variety of team and a variety of team leaders who
are involved in creating content and promoting it so get together your
marketing team leaders sales team leaders and customer service team
leaders step number two ask yourself some foundational questions why are you
creating content what programs are you planning on using your content in what
are your short-term goals and what are your long-term goals asking yourself and
your stakeholders these questions will help you set a solid foundation for
creating your content marketing strategy step number three define your
qualitative goals these are goals like brand recognition thought leadership
social engagement relationship building trust these are all extremely important
goals to content marketing so although these particular goals might not have a
number assigned to them they are critical step number four define your
quantitative goals so these are goals that actually do have a number
associated with them so these might be number of new leads number of downloads
for each content asset specific number of social shares percentage of leads
that turn to opportunities that turn to closed deals how much pipeline your
content has generated how much revenue all of these quantitative goals are
measurable and should be measured and they should be measured in addition to
the qualitative goals so that you have a holistic view of all of your content
marketing how do you track your goals you can
track your goals in your marketing automation platform this is great for
tracking those quantitative goals like number of leads downloads and revenue
Google Analytics is great for traffic and conversions you want to track your
social channels for increase in social shares your CRM tool you could track for
customer engagement and your content management tool you can also track stuff
like downloads and engagement and then add your goals to a plan put it down on
paper you’ll want to socialize your goals with your team present it to the
stakeholders you can schedule weekly or monthly metrics check-ins meetings and
hold yourself accountable to your goals you can’t create a Content plan within a
vacuum so by showing your organization that you are able to tie your content
efforts to goals you ultimately get more budget and more team and bandwidth to
create more content over time now that we’ve sat down to discuss how to create
your goals for your content marketing sit down talk to your stakeholders ask
yourself questions put everything down on paper and ultimately create your plan before you can start actually creating
your content you need to brainstorm your ideas and create your content arts
coming up with content ideas can be daunting it is easy to have writer’s
block when it comes to content but before you start actually writing your
content you need to determine what topics should you consider for your
content and this will vary based on your business often it’s great to first start
by taking into consideration your business priorities this could be new
markets that you might be trying to launch in additional product launches or
service launches branding initiatives within the business are different
thought leadership topics that you want to become leaders in the industry about
these are all great topics to write content form you also want to take into
consideration your personas and who you want to sell to you might be writing
different content for different personas you might find that different topics
will resonate with each one of your persona so you want to also take that
into consideration industry trends that’s a great place to start you want
to make sure that you’re on the cutting edge of what’s going on in your industry
many businesses want to be on the forefront and you want to be able to
write thought leadership about what’s going on with your peers so creating
content and industry trends is certainly a great place to start
search engine optimization priorities are also an important thing to keep in
mind many companies will want to make sure that their content is SEO optimized
meaning their content will show up in search results and you might have
specific keywords that our company priorities for example if your company
sells mobile applications mobile might be one of your keywords and you want to
make sure that you write plenty of content around mobile competitor content
is also an important thing to keep in mind take stock on what exactly your
competitors are writing about you can find this out through following them on
social media using a competitor content tracking platform or just keeping up to
date and researching and then do some of your own digging within your
organization to determine what other teams want you to write about meet with
key stakeholders in your company to figure out what are their key
is make sure you get your product or service roadmap so you know what exactly
is coming down the pipeline ask your sales and customer teams what type of
content would help them not only sell deals but also keep customers listen on
social media to determine what your markets talking about you also want to
ask your audience on social media what they might want to hear send out a tweet
put a Facebook post out there and simply ask your followers what type of content
they’d like to see from you once you have a solid brainstorm of topics that
you want to write about then you can create your content arts content arcs
are monthly quarterly by yearly or yearly content themes that you can write
about by organizing your content and content arcs that makes it easier for
you to determine and select what to prioritize when writing your content but
then you also have ongoing initiatives throughout each of these quarters these
might be product launches or items based on the type of business units you sell
into so in addition to your arcs you also need to keep into consideration any
ongoing initiatives that you might have so now that you’ve sat down and done
some serious brainstorming about what type of content to include sit down
write your plan map out your arcs and let’s get started mapping your content to your sales
funnel helps to ensure that you’re moving new buyers to actually become
customers once you understand your buyer journey and have created your content
themes and brainstormed ideas you need a map your content to your sales funnel
why well you need to create content that speaks to your buyer at every stage of
your sales funnel first you need a know your sales funnel
this could be different based on your business whether you’re a b2b business
or b2c business that’ll make a difference your sales funnel typically
starts at a top of funnel stage where most of your new buyers and your new
leads are coming in it gets a little narrower in the middle of your funnel
where you’re actually starting to nurture your leads and you know who they
are and then at the bottom of your funnel you have leads that are very
close to becoming customers and then they are customers so again this will
vary based on your business but it’s important to understand your funnel and
to start to map your content to these different stages so let’s walk through
let’s start with your top of funnel tofu content this person is at the beginning
of your sales and marketing funnel she is aware of your service but she is not
ready to buy this person might have found you through social media she may
have gotten on your website offered types for your top of funnel content our
educational and thought leadership do not mix this with content that has too
much product information let’s take a look at some tofu content in action all
of these examples are ebooks that are best practice and thought leadership
that each of these vendor publishers have created to help educate their
audience so now let’s go to the middle of your funnel your mo foo content this
person has displayed buying behavior is engaged with your content and is
potentially a sales lead so this person knows who you are and you might be
nurturing them over time offer types here are third-party reports return on
investment calculators for your products or buying guides to help these people
make a decision to purchase your product so now let’s take a look at mo foo
content in action in contrast with the tofu content assets all of these three
examples actually speak a bit about the product in the core business Kate says
each of these companies are trying to sell so the one on the
left developing a business case for marketing automation the one in the
middle is a third-party asset that talks about the total and economic impact of
the company and then the one on the right is a buyer’s guide so all of these
pieces are working to push the buyer through that funnel now let’s talk about
your bo foo content that bottom of the funnel content this person is very close
to becoming a customer your offers here are very specific to your product or
your service so your offer types are promotional and return on investment
proving some examples here are to prove competitive and value so some ideas
could be pricing sheets these could be customer case studies you really want to
show a customer in the bosu stage that your product is the correct choice now
that you understand your own sales funnel you can take your content and you
can map it to each of the stages in your funnel then you can make sure that
you’re pushing leads to eventually become customers you