No matter the industry you’re in, I’m sure you’ve heard everyone say how important producing content is to your marketing strategy. Today people want to watch videos, so we make videos. People want insider information about a certain industry, so we write whitepapers and case studies. The importance of useful content has never been higher.
In the Beginning
The good book tells us that in the beginning, there was darkness. I think everyone charged with producing content can relate – In the beginning there was a blank, empty, white sheet of paper. Too many times I’ve stared at the blinking courser of a new word document and pulled my hair out thinking of what to say. This is why I get frustrated when I hear marketers talk about the importance of producing content, but give no real advice as to where a business should start.
The honest truth is that many businesses fail to devote the time, money, or resources that’s required to create a successful content strategy. There’s a number of reasons why this is, but failing to grip the reality of the required commitment of content production is leading businesses to create false expectations of their content’s performance.
In my blog post today, I want to highlight three hard truths about the reality of modern content production that, when addressed, can help you see the real benefits of a well-rounded content strategy.
The Time Commitment
Producing content takes time and planning. I’m not talking about just planning the topic or format of the content, but instead planning how this piece of content will fit within the overall structure of a content strategy. Answering this question takes time.
Businesses drop the ball right away by thinking that they’ll spend a couple hours a week and create a content strategy that will generate leads, promote brand loyalty, and establish themselves as industry experts.
My first recommendation is this – give your content production the time it deserves. Don’t brush it off as if it’s not important. Take the time to sit down with your team multiple times per month to brainstorm topics, do research, write the content, edit it, and figure out a strategy to publish and distribute it in specific locations.
Think about the future of each piece of content you create. Remember that there’s no finish line when it comes to content marketing. Never be satisfied with one piece of content. This idea goes right into my next point.
Sometimes I feel like Dr. Frankenstein when I publish a video or new article. I scream “It’s alive!” and run around the office until someone calms me down. Producing content is breathing life into your marketing strategy. And sometimes a single piece of content can grow and change over time.
A blog that generates high traffic to the site can be turned into a downloadable whitepaper. A subject line in an email that receives a high open rate can be reused as a social media post. The point is, that content can develop and be optimized over time to attract more people.
My second recommendation is to get in the habit of reviewing the performance of your content on a regular basis. Just by doing this, you’ll begin to see which content and what type of content your audience best responses to. This data is crucial when creating a content strategy that generates leads and attracts customers.
To think of this another way – considering SEO is best practice for businesses looking to rank higher on search engine result pages (SERPS). However, these algorithms are constantly being updated and tweaked to factor in different elements that rank websites.
Creating a content strategy that’s in alignment with SEO best practices will naturally help you create content that performs better and lives longer.
Organize, Organize, Organize
This one holds a special place in my heart, so I’m going to go ahead and say it one more time – Organize! One of the biggest mistakes that businesses make when producing content is failing to have a clear, written strategy in place. Part of this reason goes back to the beginning of this blog when I talked about the time commitment. Businesses don’t give content creation enough time to develop and as a result, it becomes lost or ineffective to the goal of the overall marketing strategy.
My recommendation: take a simple first step and create a monthly content calendar that outlines the important elements in the life of a month’s worth of content. This is a simple step that anyone can do and can bring an entire marketing team together on the same page with the goal of your business’s content strategy.
You can download a content calendar template that we use here at KeyMedia Solutions by filling out the form below.
If you’re looking to take a step even further, sit down with your team that will be the ones producing content and figure out the audience that the content will be speaking to. Ask yourself, where will a person be in the buying process when they see this content? Will it help them move to the next stage in the buying journey? These are just a couple examples of matching content to your target audience, but the benefits of making this connection can dramatically improve your content strategy’s performance.
Start Producing Content
In the end, it comes down to your customers. For their sake, always keep that in mind when creating content. Today’s customers can access more information just through their mobile phones than ever before in history. This has been one of the driving forces behind the explosion of online content.
With this in mind, the content that attracts the most customers will be the content that helps customers with a question or problem. Help your customers understand your business by creating engaging content that’s informative, helpful, and beneficial to your ideal audience.