It can be tough to figure out where to start when tackling content marketing. There are plenty of traps and potholes that can take your team off course if you’re not careful. However, with a strong content strategy and a little help from the experts, you can avoid a lot of frustration.
DO start on yourself first
Do you know how customers view you? Do you have defined company strengths and weaknesses? Having a well-defined brand before you start creating content isn’t just for consistency’s sake. When you understand and are defining your own perception, that will help drive what topics you want to tackle and how you want to tackle them.
DON'T forget goals
Like all art, the value of content is open to interpretation. Unless you have a healthy metric to measure against, it will be almost impossible to feel like your team is succeeding. Are you starting a new content department? Simple goals such as creating a strategy and posting a certain number of times a week are key. However, once your team is humming along, look toward more audience-centric goals, such as views, conversions, and social engagement. This will help you understand if you’re just creating content or creating the RIGHT content.
DO research your audience
Content creation is tough, and it can be tempting to shoot from the hip. Don’t. Research your audience first. Well-defined personas will give you a strong starting place when ideating, as will SEO keyword research.
DON'T ignore your front-line employees
Sales reps, cashiers, service desk workers and other front-line staffers are a wealth of information. These are some of the people in your company who interact the most with your actual, living and breathing customers. They are a great source for insights and sounding boards as you plan and create your content. They will appreciate your recognition!
DO focus on moderation
Just like losing weight or starting a new habit, the key to sustainable content creation is in moderation. The first month or two is not a time to be ambitious. Let your team get practice and shake out the kinks. Once you’ve established your process and run through a few months, then you can look at increasing your frequency. Or better yet, increase your quality with new content formats, more intensive coaching and editing, etc.
DON'T “Spray and Pray”
When firing up content marketing, a lot of companies rush into the creation side. However, a study by CMI and MarketingProfs has shown that companies with a well-crafted content strategy have far more success than those who “spray and pray,” or use a volume of work to mask their lack of direction. Before you start, take a few weeks to craft a solid content strategy. If you’ve already started, pause or significantly slow your creation process over a couple of weeks and reset. It’s a minor sacrifice that will pay off in the long run.
Want to give it a try? Start with our Content Strategy Cheat Sheet. Click on the image to the left to kick start your content marketing!
Content marketing already underway? Get more visibility for your content by upgrading your SEO.