understanding content marketing basics and fundamentals
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 puts messaging, that's coming across from, marketers, emails. That are coming into 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's 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 are also accessing, information across. Channels so, what do I mean by that your customers, are on social, media there, are unsearched, they're on your website, they're, on review, sites like, Yelp and Google there's. Really a ton of different, channels today they are 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, thought 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, you create, should 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 their 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. You. 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 fault 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. 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. Since. Content marketing is different, from traditional marketing. It's important, to define thought, leadership versus, selling when you're first starting out in creating, your content marketing strategy. Your. Content, should contain, thought, leadership. What. Is thought leadership a thought. Leader looks to the future and sets the course that others will follow thought. Leaders look to existing, best practices, to come up with better best practices, they. Format change often, causing, disruption. So. Your content should be thought leadership it should be educational. It should. Be focused, on best practices, it should really help your customers, do their jobs better. Your. Content, shouldn't just be a sales pitch what do I mean by a sales pitch you. Shouldn't be just talking about your own products, and your own service, in your content, that, will cause buyers, especially, your. Buyers that have never heard about your company to be turned, off your, content, should instead, show. Your buyers how, to do their jobs better and educate. Them. What. Is the difference, between thought. Leadership and sales content, thought. Leadership education, sales. Content, sells thought. Leadership pulls, your customers, to you and sales, content, pushes, your marketing messages on them thought. Leadership contains, best, practices, and sales, content, contains, product, details. Another. Thing to think of is the four one one rule the, four one one rule was popularized, by Joe pulizzi from, Content Marketing Institute and, you can use this as you're thinking about how to set up your content. Programs and your other programs that you're creating in marketing for instance on social media for some of your paid programs this works quite well so. For for educational. Assets, and that would be those thought leadership ebooks, those pieces that are about helping your customers do. Their jobs better with. One soft, promotional. Piece a soft, promotional, piece might be a piece, of content that you're using to promote say, a webinar or an event and, then, one hard promotion, a hard, promotion, might be something, like that sales data sheet so, as you're thinking about your content, mix you do want to mix, in thought leadership with, that sales content, but again content. Marketing is because, it's really focused, on salt leadership, you, do want to do those for educational, assets you do want the balance to tip on the thought leadership side, so. The top four pieces are your educational, assets that you're using to. Promote your thought leadership across your marketing programs, these, pieces are best practices they. Are tips, and they, are not sales, related this will be the majority of what you're using on say a social channel to, get your message across the. First promotional. Soft push piece here is more, of a third-party asset, a vendor study it could be some type of report, that mentions, your product or service but also includes, some thought leadership and then, the last one that hard push again is that type of sales data sheet that you're using to, push, your product in to really explain your product so. This combination really. Enables. You to create, a great content, marketing mix and to. Be able to show not only your thought leadership but also add some promotion, in there, so. As you're thinking about, your content, marketing strategy from. A to Z you, want to think about creating thought, leadership pieces, instead, of only sales content, with. You're only creating sales content, you run the risk of turning off buyers especially those, early stage buyers who have yet to heard of your company thought. Leadership draws, them in it provides. Them best practices and gives them a reason to keep coming back to you. Hiring. The right content, marketing, team is a critical, part of creating, a content marketing strategy, that works for your business. Your. Content team will really help you succeed. They. Are the foundation, of all your content, marketing efforts they, are the ones creating, your content on a daily basis, and determining, what type of content, should be created.
But. Who do you look for and where do you find them creating. The great content, marketing team and hiring the right people is actually pretty, difficult so, who do you need, first. Let's, talk about your internal, team who's, your internal team these are basically the folks in your organization, that you work with on a day-to-day basis, that help you create content internally. For your business so who, makes up the different parts of that team. First. You have your managing. Editor this, person, might have the title of chief content officer, director. Of content or senior. Content manager so, your managing editor is in charge of a great portion of your content marketing strategy, your, managing, editor creates, the content, strategy and the editorial calendar. Coordinates. Amongst all the teams is in. Charge of brand voice look, feel, and the quality, of your content is, in. Charge of writing and editing so, this person must, be a great communicator and is. Also in charge of vendor vetting and coordination. To, make content work for your business you'll often be working with outsource vendors, so, you're managing editor is most, likely in charge of all that coordination. What. Type of skills does your managing editor need excellent. Writing skills of course because they'll be spending a ton of time writing, excellent. Project, management, skills they'll, be working on a variety, of different projects, at any given time so it's really critical that they're able to project manage something from start to finish, copy. Editing skills the ability to review, a document, and know, grammatically. Structurally. What's right and what's not right passion. For content, of course content. Marketing requires a lot of passion, you want this person to enjoy what they do. Cross-functional. Communication, skills you're, managing editor we'll be communicating with various, functions we in your organization. They'll, be working with executives, they'll be working with other members of the content, and the marketing, team so cross-functional. Skills are important. Desire. To be a thought leader in speak at industry events you're, managing editor should, have the desire to be a thought leader in your space they, should speak in person and they should also do webinars, who. Else should be on your internal team you, should have an associate, editor your, associate, editor could be a Content, Manager a Content, specialist, or a Content coordinator now. I do want to note here that some, smaller teams might not have the benefit of adding additional team, members however. As you grow as an organization, and as your content team grows these, are the folks that you want to consider adding, so. What is your associate, editor do your, associate, editor also creates, content, your, associate, editor should copy edit all the content, project. Manage content, projects. Coordinating. Embers and then also manage the blog if you, do have a blog and we hope you do this, person should be in the day-to-day managing. The blog and reading, all the posts and helping to add them in, what. Skills does your associate, editor need of course these skills are similar to your managing, editor your, associate, editor should have great, writing skills, excellent. Project management, skills, excellent. Copy editing, skills a passion. To learn content. Cross-functional. Communication. Skills this person will also be on the front lines of communicating. With various functions within your marketing team and this, person should also be a social, native so, that means that your associate, editor should also have, the skills for social media should be on social media on a daily basis, and understand. What's going on out there in the industry and what's. Going on out there in content, marketing, so. Where do you find your internal, content, team so this is the tough part knowing. What, type of team members you should have that's one thing but knowing where to find them is another so, here are some tips that I find useful when, I'm looking for different content team members to fill my team check.
Out LinkedIn LinkedIn is a great resource for content, team members do, searches for, content marketers in your area, ask, within LinkedIn content. Groups so there a ton of different content, groups that you can join on, LinkedIn, put, a posting out there to look for people that are searching for new content roles look, for former journalists, your, former journalists, will have that type of writing experience. That, you need and they may be looking to move out of journalism and into a role like content marketing get. A referral put a message out there to their, own internal, network as well as your network professionally. And see, if anybody knows a Content, marketer that's looking for a new role ask, your Twitter network post a tweet out there asking. To see if anybody's looking for a content, role and then of course keep your eyes open, for people creating. Great content if there's, a Content marketer from another company that you really admire that you've seen their work feel, free to reach out you never know if they're looking for a new role. So. Who else should be on your content, team there, are other internal, team members that should be involved in content, creation on, a daily, basis. Employee. Contributors. These, are employees throughout your company who create content you, ideally. Want to start creating a culture, of content, contribution. Your. Employees, will create blog posts for you they might help with different ebooks or content projects, so, look, at two other employees in your organization. Who might be thought leaders and who want to help create content. Subject. Matter experts. These are company experts, who you will rely on for, subject, matter expertise. For some of the content, that you create you. Might be creating content that's fairly technical so. You want to rely on members, of your organization that. Know very, detailed, information about, that technical, topic, that you're writing about these are your subject matter experts. Content. Requesters, these are employees who request, content, and who are involved in ideation. In both. Small and large organizations, you, might have different members of the marketing team who need content, and who request content, these, people are also involved, in the ideation, and coming up with the outlines, so. Next let's talk about your external, team. External. Writers external. Writers are agencies, independent. Contractors, in writing networks these, are particularly, useful if, you have a smaller team, and you need additional, hands or even with larger teams you might have a large, amount of content that you need to create an external writers, help you meet those goals. External. Writers help you scale should. Be able to learn your business in, brand voice make. Sure you provide them with a style guide this is especially important, to learning your brand voice they. Should be watched and trained for quality, so, take time to train your external writers, on what, type of quality you expect they. Will work with your content, team and your other internal, writers they, are sometimes price, per hour or per word, so make sure to speak with your external writers and determine, what, pricing model works best for you in. Addition. To external writers, you will also be working with designers. Your. Design team creates, the design of your content, so, they have a very critical role to your content creation. Your. Design team also helps, add assign all of your content assets like your ebooks, infographics. Cheat sheets and more so, there are very critical part of rounding, out your content, team so. As I've discussed, your, content, team is a really critical part of creating a content, strategy that, works for your business so. Now take some time sit, down, determine, who you want to hire write out some of the skills the people that you want to hire and then go out and find your content team. 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 fer 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, anyone 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. 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 set 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 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. Be 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 CH 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 ebook 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. 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 will 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 feelings 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 to. 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 will 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 persona, and 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. In order. For your content, to be organized, and effective you should consider choosing content. Technology. Using. Only spreadsheets, to keep track of content is not ideal so, content technology, helps, you run the business of content, including, collaboration.
Coordination. Creation. And publishing. There. Is a ton, of different marketing, technology, out here what, are the different types of content marketing software, because, there are multiple, types you, have project. Management and production software which, is primarily, what we'll be focusing, on in this video, website. Content management competitive. Content, tracking, content. Applications, and content, creation marketplace. Platforms, so there's a wide variety of technology. And as content, marketing continues, to grow as a discipline, this is only going to get more complex. Content. Project management, and production platforms, help you organize, and run the, business of content marketing they. Help you prioritize and, assign tasks, project. Manage your different pieces of content no. Doubt you probably have a ton of different content pieces going at any one given time so. These platforms, help you manage that process they. Help you collaborate with multiple, stakeholders if, you have four or five writers and reviewers, involved. In every Content asset this is critical, they. Help you keep track of content projects, to know where a specific asset is in its production timeline. They. Help you create an overall editorial. Calendar, so that you can have a holistic, view of all of your content across your organization, and have. Everything in one place. Ask. Yourself, questions before. You delve into choosing, a content, project management platform, how. Many people do I need to collaborate with what's. The current content creation process, look like who, needs to approve content, there's many organizations, that have multiple approvers, what. Are the steps needed for approval and do. We have separate workflows, for different, content assets so. The next step once you know what you're looking for is to vet vendors, so how do you do that watch, some demo videos do some research see who's out there ask. Questions, of the vendors ask, them, how they support, all the different things that you need to do within your content organization, have. Them show you workflows, that are similar to your own asked. For references and then asked for a trial if possible, those, are all ways to help you vet out your particular, solution. Next. You'll want to make a decision and on board your team first. Meet with the stakeholders, go over your options and decide, on what project management platform to bring in-house next.
You'll Want to create a rollout plan, this could include training. Mapping. Out your processes, and different, things that you'll need to keep in mind when, rolling, out the new solution. To your entire organization. Next. You want to make sure that you map out any workflow or, approval, processes that you might have this, is critical, because you'll take those processes, and put them directly into the tool then. You want to train your team gather, out all the people that will be using your platform get them in a room and take, them through the new process, consider. Having the vendor come in and doing a direct demo, or you could do it yourself and then. On board any external, vendors that you're currently using so. Any writers that you have or designers, might, also be using this tool so make sure you take time to train them on how to use it as well so. Now, that you have a good sense of all of the questions and considerations. To take into account when, choosing your content, project management platform, do. Some research, choose the vendors and make. A decision. 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 the different topics will resonate with each one of your personas, 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 it 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 to 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 leaves 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, or 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 it's 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 from 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, 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 calm, 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 this 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 to content. Type or your content strategy, no. Matter how you decide to organize your editorial. Under 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. 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 a 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, 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 does it 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 sign-off on that content and once, you have your final draft then, you're ready to send a design. 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 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 bran