This is the second part in our series on Content Marketing. Check out Part 1 here.
Our job is not to create content. Our job is to change the world of the people who consume it. – Andrea Fryrear
We’ve talked about why content marketing is totally worth the investment. But writing content for content’s sake won’t get the job done. Changing the world is no small order.
So how do even start working on this significant task? How do you start to create content that goes beyond noise?
There are common trends in the companies who get it right. Consider these make-or-break tactics when drafting your content marketing plan.
Learn What Your Audience Needs
There are great tools out there to find out what content your audience actually needs. And as we know, creating engaging and timely content is the key to success in both relationship building and even SEO results.
Above all, nothing replaces knowing your clients. Ask them what they need. Talk on a regular basis and find out what they are curious about, what their biggest pain points are, and how they like to digest content.
Trust Content to Your Best
You can’t let just anyone tell your story and talk to your customers, both current and potential. This is where you are building the trusting relationship that has to happen before a purchase or contract of any kind. Find people who know you and either know or are smart at getting to know your company.
All of this should make you think twice before letting an intern write all your blog posts or run your social media platforms. It’s a classic assumption to leave the “easy” tasks to a lower level person. It’s a mistake. Content is the key way people find and evaluate your business. Content is your sales funnel. Don’t leave that to the person who knows the least about your company. Fully get them up to speed on the company, give them a content plan, or assign the content task to someone else.
Learn what a “content champion” is, and why you should have one.
Find Content Masters
This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to hire content developers. But you do need to find writers and content gurus as you develop material.
Some things to look for in content developers:
- They Can Write – They have a way with sentences and communicating ideas clearly and succinctly.
- They Know Their Strengths – A headline writer is not the same as a copywriter or a white paper writer. Find the creators who fit your needs.
- They Are Audience-Centric – Every great content creator cares about your audience just as much as you do. They will adapt their style and voice to that audience OR they already have a style that fits.
Read our blog post on “thinking differently” and how that’s impacted our company.
Use Your Team’s Expertise
Your best ideas and your best information already exist in your company. You have experts in various subjects in your offices, and it’s time to get that expertise to apply beyond sales or technical activities. These folks will have the insight for unique blogs and white papers and other content. They might not be communicators (that’s what your content developers are for) but they will bring a treasure trove of great ideas and singular knowledge.
How to capture expertise? Solicit content ideas from this team. Have your writers conduct interviews with your people and learn a new process to share.
Check out our Think/Do paper on animation that came from an interview with our Rowland’s animation team.
Nothing guarantees success like a good plan. Develop a content plan, or include content in your MarCom plan. Take into account the ebbs and flows of your sales year and create pieces that will support your ongoing goals and needs.
Also ensure that you have a consistent voice and message throughout. A Style Guide is an easy way to get all your content creators on the same page, both those inside your business and those you bring in to complete other tasks. Creating an editorial calendar also sets team expectations and keeps content on point.
We love the style guide for MailChimp. Definitely stole these ideas for our own style guide.
Start Telling Your Story Today
Don’t wait to get started. Content is the heart of great marketing these days. It will expand your reach and clarify your value in your industry.
Need help getting started? We’re as interested in marketing strategy as we are in design, and we can help you not only create a content marketing plan but also execute the world-changing content you need to make a splash.