The saying “knowledge itself is power” is as true today as it was to when Sir Francis Bacon coined the expression in 1597. With that said, one could argue that with all of the complexities marketers deal with today staying ahead of the knowledge curve is as hard as it has ever been. To create engaging and compelling content we need to have as much data and visibility as possible into all parts of the content marketing lifecycle. The primary areas where the best content marketers focus on is:
- Key Persona and Audience Identification
- Structured Ideation
- Campaign Management
- Defined Workflows
- Performance Measurement
Key Persona and Audience Identification
From the onset of every content item and campaign that your team embarks upon, the customer persona or audience should be a primary focus. This allows you to effectively engage with those potential customers, which are the highest value to your organizations. Whether your team has a few key personas or dozens, having those personas connected with each content item and attached to broader campaigns is key to delivering a best in class content marketing experience.
Most organizations aren’t challenged with a shortage of ideas but are challenged with a limited ability to systematically turn those ideas into action. The reason for this is that almost all organizations rely on informal processes to share, collect, and prioritize ideas. These informal processes almost always rely on email to share ideas and quickly get lost in the hundreds of other unstructured items in an inbox.
It’s critical to align ideas to long term campaign planning. Ideas should be placed in a “bank” where they can be filtered, sorted, and searched so they can be prioritized and pushed into a content marketing editorial calendar.
There are a lot of moving parts in any content marketing campaign. A typical content marketing team now uses 13 different content types to engage with their audiences. From social media to blog posts, there are often dozens of channels to consider in successful content marketing campaigns. The best way to keep all content aligned, in a strategic way, is to use an Editorial Calendar to plan, track, and manage your efforts.
More often than not we find that teams are working in tools like spreadsheets and emails to manage their campaigns. A spreadsheet is a great tool for some purposes, but it is not designed to help marketers plan the important elements of a campaign. Campaigns are one of the most powerful tools in a marketing team’s possession, and add enormous value to the organization when they are planned for and executed flawlessly.
The average content marketing team uses 13 content types to engage with their customers. Most take different steps to create different content types. Longer form content like an e-book may have dozens of task assignments and approval steps, where a social media post may only have a few. There are two main reasons for establishing a defined workflow that differ for each of the content types your team works with.
First, for content marketing teams looking to improve their overall productivity and increase output codifying these steps in consistent and repeatable processes is the single biggest area to help drive team wide efficiencies. It’s entirely too common that marketers are spending time looking for details on task assignments and approvals in emails rather than focusing on creating amazing content.
Secondly, creating structured and deliberate assignment and approval processes is the only way to add a governance model to content development. Governance is critical to ensure content is consistent with brand guidelines, meets all compliance or regulatory requirements and doesn’t cause any unintended negative branding impact if something misses the mark.
Today’s marketers use equal parts of science and art to get the job done. Optimizing the effectiveness of content is a never ending process of testing and measurement. The best marketers look to have an integrated view of all of their content marketing efforts, the engagement with their customers, and the impact to their KPIs. Performance metrics can be found in a variety of applications like Google analytics, CRMs, and marketing automation platforms. Whatever technology that makes up to your marketing stack, it is important to be able to connect the dots all the way through the content marketing lifecycle
If any of the above speaks to situations you are facing today, let’s chat about how you can migrate from the way you are doing things today to your ideal communications process.