Earlier we talked about a shocking statistic from Marketing Profs 2015 Content Marketing Benchmarks indicating that although 83% of Marketers have a content marketing strategy, only 35% have documented it. To me, that’s like wanting to build a house without the blueprint. You might be able to build something that sort of looks like a house but it will take longer, cost much more, and in the end, it probably won’t turn out as you envisioned. If all you have is a content marketing vision without a documented plan for how, where, and when to use it, then all you have is just a bunch of content floating around aimlessly.
Here are 5 steps to help you build content with purpose:
Step 1 – Identify your goals. It all starts here. Know what you want to accomplish with this audience for your business and how each piece of content you build addresses your goals.
Step 2 – Get really crisp on your target audience. You need to know who you are talking to in order to build relevant content that resonates. Do you know how they buy? What business issues keep them up at night? Where do they tend to spend their time online? How do they view your brand? If you do not know, find out before you create content.
Step 3 – Know the social conversation and where you are in the conversation. You need to understand what topics are top-of-mind by listening to social conversations. There are several tools in this space that range from core social listening tools like (Google Alerts, Socialmention and Buzzsumo) to comprehensive social workflow tools like (Hootsuite, Sprinklr and Radian6) and everything in between. Listening is the first step to building content that brings your brand into the conversations.
Step 4 – Map your content to the customer journey. Once you understand how your target audience buys and what topics are surfacing to the top you need to make sure you have content planned to address every stage of their buyer journey. You can’t rush straight to “why buy.” You have to court with content to build trust and confidence in your brand (see earlier post You Can’t Rush a Business to the Altar) And take a content audit of what you have now to identify your content gaps.
Step 5 – Build your content blueprint. Did you know that IT decision makers consume on average 5 pieces of content before engaging sales? Make sure you create a plan that develops a mix of content types (and formats) with enough of a library to keep your audience engaged. Map your content against a theme-based editorial calendar to ensure you are consistent across channels and tactics.
According to Sirius Decisions, 60-70% of content churned out by B2B marketing departments sits unused. Don’t let your content wallow. Make a content marketing plan and stick to it.
With a defined strategy in place and a tactical blueprint, you can build content with purpose and put it to work for you. By mapping your content to the buyer journey, you can surround it with proactive marketing, integrate it into a lead nurture program, and seed it through influencers and advocates.
Take our free online modern marketing assessment and learn how to optimize your content marketing efforts. If you have specific questions related to your business and modern marketing, contact Lenati.