Content marketing can be a very valuable branding and promotional tool for businesses. Have you being using content marketing to drive growth and visibility for your business? Do you seem to find your efforts ineffective enough to produce the results that your business can depend on? If so, have you considered looking at your content marketing checklist to see if you have anything you should be doing but you’re not?
In this blog post, we will be examining some of the checklists you should have for an effective content marketing strategy. By including this checklists in your content marketing strategy, you should begin to see growth in your business.
Here we go:
Checklist #1. Your Content Marketing Persona
On your content marketing checklist, the first and most integral factor to consider is the persona of who you’re targeting. Most expert recommend breaking down the buyer personal into a real identifiable single individual to help you better understand your audience and relate to him like you’re both in the same room.
By creating a content marketing persona, you can reduce a huge chunk of the clutter and churn in your content marketing efforts. A well designed buyer persona will help your content get directly to customers who are interested in you.
How do you create a persona for your content marketing?
- Identify who your audience is: this includes their peculiar characteristics, such as what job s/he does, age demographics, role in his/her company and what level is s/he on the decision making ladder.
- How does your content solve the problems s/he is likely facing at the moment? Most marketing executives in B2B businesses and founders of startups (who by the way are the main target readers of this blog) are likely to be facing issues related to creating effective marketing campaigns. By identifying this problem, it’s easier to create content that is geared towards solving that problem.
- What is her preferred method of content consumption? Again, back to the audience of this blog, most executives don’t like to waste time on their emails, but often check their emails to catch up on activities in the industry. With this knowledge, I know that if I am to catch his/her attention through email, my headlines have to be engaging. Other means they might prefer are LinkedIn, Blogs or Quora.
To better understand how to create a content marketing persona, check out Jodi Harris’s post on Content Marketing Personas on CMI.
Checklist #2. Content Marketing Goals
Content marketing requires you to map out your goals in order for you to create targeted and successful content marketing campaigns. On your content marketing checklist, you should go through what goals you aim to achieve using content marketing.
Your content marketing goals should be focused on how content marketing will help contribute to the success of your overall marketing efforts. These goals should be realistic, measurable and align with overall marketing goals.
Example of goals you can achieve with content marketing are:
- Create brand awareness
- Generate more leads to your pipeline
- Dispel certain misconceptions about your industry
- Drive more traffic to your website
Checklist #3. Solution
Another very important content marketing checklist to look at is the solution aspect of content marketing.
Every content should be able to help your audience solve a particular problem. You’ve identified your target audience’s pain point by creating a persona for them, now you should use your content to offer a solution to most of the problems you’ve identified from your research.
Content that solve problems perform better than ordinary filler content.
Checklist #4. Promotion
Content marketing is half content production and half marketing. This means a successful content marketing strategy will always involve some sort of promotions.
According to Jay Bear in a Convince and Convert article:
“The launch of your awesome content – so inherently useful that customers would pay you for it – is not the end of the journey, it’s the beginning.
To win the war of information you must market your content.”
You can use either or all of the following means to promote your content.
- Paid Reach: PPC, display ads and sponsored content are some ways to use paid reach to increase your content marketing visibility.
- Link building: link building can help your content gain more organic search traffic. Guest blogging is still the most effective way to do this.
- Social Media: use social media sites like StumbleUpon, Reddit, Facebook and Twitter to give your content marketing efforts a boost.
Checklist #5. Tools
Your content marketing efforts should be augmented with tools to enhance and automate your strategy.
In an older blog post, I shared some of the top tools you can rely on for your content marketing efforts. These tools include content production and editing tools, social sharing, automation and marketing.
With the growth and increase in adoption of content marketing as a growth strategy, using the right tools to augment your efforts can set you up for content marketing success.
Checklist #6. Your Content Guideline
Do you have a guideline on what your content should include?
Incorporating a content marketing guideline into your marketing strategy will help your content stay uniform and in tune with your brand style. This will help your audience identify your brand easily, making it easy for them to associate with your brand.
Below are some of the benefits you can derive from including a content guideline in your content marketing checklist:
- Keep your content style uniform across all content materials
- Establish a voice that can be associated to your brand
- Prevent wasteful allocation of resources
- Help streamline content production efforts
Checklist #7 Channels
One other content marketing checklist you should include is your channel. How do you get your content across to the audience?
Given that there are several mediums of reach online, it’s not all the available channels that are equally suitable to your content marketing efforts. Your checklist should help you identify what mediums are most suitable to get your content to your customers with greater impact.
Factors to consider when looking at what channels will be most suitable to get your content to your audience include the following:
- Your industry: your industry will play a determinant role in choosing what channels are more likely to help you get across to the most readers.
- Channel experience: experience on each channel will also determine what type of content the users prefer to get.
- Demographics: understanding the demographics of each channel you’re targeting will give you an edge on what type of content will appeal to the audience of such medium better. For example, understanding that 72% of internet users and are on Facebook, and 77% are women while 66% are men, will help you design content that will cater to this specific audience. For a full demographics of major social media channels, you can check out this report on PewInternet.org.
Checklist #8. Headlines
Headlines are very critical aspect of your content. Before readers get to see the body of your content, your headline is how you get to create a first impression.
Consider including the process it takes to come up with a headline for your content as part of your content marketing checklist and improve the chances of your content marketing success.
Your headline should be a well-thought out phase, not just a part to be rushed through.
Checklist #9. Collaboration
Have you considered using collaboration as a content marketing method to increase visibility and traffic?
Collaboration among two brands can help your content achieve more thrust and gain even greater reach than would have been the case without collaboration.
Checklist #10. Documentation
Finally content marketing documentation should be factored into your marketing checklists. Marketers that have a documentation strategy in place often report better performance than marketers who do not.
Your content marketing documentation should be considered as a content marketing material that can be leveraged to improve the performance of your content marketing strategy.
If you’ve been using content marketing as a means to attract more traffic and leads to your business, what experience do you have to share? Let us know in the comment section.
Image Credit (Squirrly Limited Flickr)
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