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Improve your content marketing

Content marketing strategy is no longer a “nice to have”—it’s a requirement. It can be used to create great content, get more traffic and lead generation, and make more sales. Creating a fully functional content marketing plan requires meaningful time and effort and without providing this, and being through, the exercise could backfire. With more messages sent across more platforms content needs to stand out and earn attention – even in paid media. Facebook calls this “thumb-stopping power” – does your content cause someone to stop scrolling and engage?


1. Determine Objectives for Content Marketing: Why are you doing this at all? What is content going to do for your organization? Create awareness? Generate leads? Improve loyalty and retention? Remember: The goal isn’t to be good at content marketing.

The goal is to be good at business because of content marketing.


2. What’s Your One Thing?: What will you create in your content marketing program that sets you apart? There is an enormous glut of content (and more on the way). Will you be disproportionately useful? Will you be disproportionately motivational, inspirational, or otherwise? What is the heart and soul of your content program?

Give yourself permission to make the story BIGGER.


3. Measure Your Content Marketing: Your objectives dictate your metrics. If you’re trying to generate awareness, measure that.

If you want to track behaviour, you must do something trackable.


4. Define Your Audiences: Your objectives also dictate your audiences. Use personas to model the audiences for your content marketing. Understand them like you understand your family.

You are not your audience.


5. Research Audience Needs: What do your audiences need to know from you? Use the search and social media, plus conversations with customers and your internal personnel (sales and customer service, especially), to better understand the information and persuasive requirements of your customers. Then, organize those needs by persona and funnel stage to create a map of necessary content.

Don’t settle for data—get real insights. This requires customer conversations, not just spreadsheet mining.


6. Create a Content Execution Plan: Use personas and customer conversations to determine optimal content modalities. Where and how do your audiences consume information? Understand that, depending upon the funnel stage, customers will need different types of content. Build a plan that shows what content you’ll create daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly.

Always define calls-to-action. What do you want your content consumers to do NEXT?


7. Create a Content Amplification Plan: The reality is that just creating content isn’t enough. In many cases, you need to amplify it. You need to market your marketing. This is where social media can help a great deal. Also recognize the many places (and many people—customers, employees, influencers) that can help you amplify your content marketing.

Content is fire. Social media is gasoline.