Magazines, blogs and newspapers are stuffed full of ways to lose weight or live better. The latest craze – the 5:2 diet – involves eating normally for five days of the week and sticking to 500 calories on two non-consecutive days. The result? A body like one of the celebrities Mail Online seems to feature on a daily basis ‘pouring their curves’ into the latest designer attire.
So how does this all relate to content? How can feasting and fasting apply to the less glamorous – albeit more interesting – world of content marketing? It’s simply a question of moderation. Sure, we’d all like to feast upon whatever we fancy all week, but it’s important to consume a balanced diet. It might also be tempting to produce a raft of content on a daily basis, with little to no thought to why we’re doing it; but like dieting, we need to think carefully before giving in to the easy option.
The healthy content marketing plan
Content should be at the core of any marketing plan, but that doesn’t mean that everyone in the company should get involved without any form of strategy. If you’re lucky enough to have a team of people working with you, then it can be appealing to ask them to commit to producing x number of blogs or articles in any given week. Whilst it’s great to get the team involved, a bit of forward planning is needed to prevent a scattergun approach that could end up diluting your brand.
Audit your current content and research your audience: Identify any gaps in your site’s content and look to fill in these gaps in knowledge with fresh new content that’s targeted at your audience. To find out more about your target market check out your competition, work out your current demographic through previous sales and read publications they might be interested in.
Consult your sales team: Your sales team is talking to prospects on a daily basis so is best-placed to inform you of common queries. Respond to these queries by producing relevant content, such as a new landing page or updating sales proposal documents.
Produce an editorial calendar: Based on steps 1 & 2, as well as data from tools such as Google Webmaster Tools and Trends, start to formulate a content marketing plan for a given timeframe. This calendar should also fit in with your wider marketing strategy. For example, if you have any seminars or trade shows coming up, then add tailored content into your content plan.
To stop your work from becoming bland, make sure you factor in a range of content to nurture leads and build your brand awareness through social sharing. News, infographics, blogs, whitepapers, webinars and podcasts are all fantastic tools in your content marketing larder, so use them.
Form a support team: Don’t go it alone, use experts from across the business to generate content. People won’t be so daunted if you give them a topic to work from, so share your editorial calendar and spread the workload evenly. Why not incentivise good work by offering a prize for the team member who writes the most traffic-driving piece of content? A bit of healthy competition can enhance productivity and motivate even the most laid-back staff.
Step on the scales: It’s important to measure your progress and refine your strategy accordingly. Use Google Analytics and social metrics to measure the ROI of your content marketing efforts. If certain topics are falling short of your goals, then ditch them in future and focus on what’s performing well.
Allow treat days
Just as you may fancy the occasional Krispy Kreme, so too should you allow your team to give in to their creative desires. The best content can often be inspired by current events or be a reaction to an opinion piece. Don’t stifle your team with one set menu, let them have treat days to write about something they feel passionate about.