Whether you’re in a business to business industry or a business that deals directly with customers, you’ve heard everyone say how important producing content is to your marketing strategy. Now I’m not saying I disagree with that, but if you think that you’re going to walk out of one meeting and say, “Okay everybody, let’s start creating high quality content” and expect to have your content marketing take off immediately – you’re wrong.
The honest truth is that while producing content should be a part of every marketing strategy, 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
Trust me on this one. I’ve recovered from enough headaches caused by creating blogs, whitepapers, and case studies to know that producing content takes time and planning. 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 recommendation: 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 promote it.
Going right along with this idea, 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 or just by publishing it on one platform. This idea goes right into my next point.
It’s alive! It’s alive! That’s right Dr. Frankenstein, producing content means breathing life into your marketing strategy. One piece of content can take many different forms. A blog that generates high traffic to the site can be turned into a downloadable whitepaper. A subject line in an email that gets a lot of opens 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 recommendation: 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.
Another note to add about this topic is the evolution of search engine algorithms. SEO has been a longtime best practice for businesses looking to rank higher on search engine result pages (SERPS). 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.