Want better results from your content marketing efforts? A documented content strategy can make a big difference.
Recent research by the Content Marketing Institute found that 84% of marketers who say they are ineffective at content marketing said they have no documented strategy. B2B marketers who have a documented content strategy are far more likely to consider themselves effective (66% vs. 11%). *
A well thought through content strategy is your road map to content marketing success; a way of ensuring your content meets your goals, engages your audience and draws in leads.
Don’t just create content willy-nilly. If you want a return on your hard work and investment, focus your efforts around a firm plan. Here are the questions you’ll need to answer.
10 questions behind a content strategy that works
An effective content strategy starts with objectives & ends with results. Use these questions to make a plan to get you from A to B using the content on your website and beyond.
1. What is your goal? Clarify the business objectives and goal.
2. What are you selling? Outline the WHAT, the product/service(s) you sell. Be clear on the path you will lead your contacts down on their journey to doing business with you.
3. What do your clients/customers want from you? Uncover the issues and challenges facing your audience through customer research. Know the questions they are asking.
4. What story are you telling? What’s your message? Determine the WHY of the business. (Make sure you can tell it simply and with conviction.)
5. What will you talk about with your content? Focus on the sweet spot where your goals intersect with your clients’ needs and decide on the topics you’ll focus on over the next year.
6. What content do you need for each step of the sale? Set out the content requirements for your audience – make sure your website is equipped with content for every step of the sale.
7. How will you share your content? Choose the distribution methods and formats that best fit your audience.
8. How will you get found via search? Research your keyword opportunities and goals.
9. How will you make this happen? HOW are you going to do this? Draw up an editorial calendar and resource plan for your content marketing activities. Know who is creating and sharing what, when, where and in what format.
10. How will you keep a check on how you’re doing? Set measures for success.
Document your strategy and pin it to your wall. It’s so easy to get pulled off course when it comes to content creation. The secret is to know where you are heading, to be intentional. Sure – it’s fine to stray from strategic on occasions (I know we do!) but it works to work to a plan.
[P.S. I know these are not small questions. This process will stretch you. I’m here to help if you need it. Drop me a comment or email if you need any more explanation.]
* Research update October 2014:
“B2B marketers who have a documented strategy are more effective and less challenged with every aspect of content marketing when compared with their peers who only have a verbal strategy or no strategy at all.
Of those who have a documented strategy, 60 percent consider their organization to be effective. In contrast, only 32 percent of those who have a verbal strategy say they are effective. To take it a step further, 62 percent of the most effective marketers also say they follow the strategy “very closely.”
The lesson is clear: If you want to be more effective at content marketing, take the time to record your strategy and follow it closely.”