By Paola Gulian - 3rd October 2014
Everyone consumes information differently and chooses different sources to trust. In order to be able to reach a given audience, you need to understand their media and information consumption habits and utilise the right channels to direct content to. The media platforms you choose need to be the ones that your audience are influenced by. In order to distribute the planned content appropriately there must be thorough research conducted and a well-constructed plan in place to derive actions from. While planning largely depends on the company or sector, there are some prevailing components that should be present in every content marketing plan.
The first step in building a content marketing strategy is to outline your desired goals and objectives. Your content goals should be closely interlinked to your overall marketing goals. It’s essential to further prioritise your marketing against your business objectives in order to allow your business to benefit from your efforts.
Content without direction, no matter how good it might be, will not have a great chance of success, so understand who you are trying to reach – intimately. You should look beyond existing customer audiences and consider what potential audiences you might want to connect with, as well as how they may be interested in what you are selling. You should further consider who your best customers could be, what sort of issues they have, what their consumption habits are, what information they like and what their interaction with different channels is.
It’s important to understand what your competitors are doing by looking at the content they are producing and what strategy they employ before moving onto the creation of your own ideas. Having a clear idea of their activity, as well as their content distribution will enable you to create achievable benchmarks against them.
You should spend time evaluating your current content in order to decide whether it’s valuable, viable or useful going forward. Your most valuable assets should aid the creation of new content and act as a foundation and means of reference.
Your goals and objectives should flow ardently throughout your campaign ideas and creative thinking to form a structure. The message you want to communicate should be concise, consistent and tie back to answer the concerns your audience have that you are claiming to solve.
Your content should be distributed utilising your audience’s preferred channels for consumption and by tailoring your messaging it should optimise the use of each channel accordingly.
Choose a team that understands your goals and objectives and delegate structured tasks to them. Furthermore, appropriate task assignment should come from caring for your team and a deep understanding of each team member’s skill set, strengths and weaknesses.
Tracking the way your content is performing and reporting on valuable key performance indicators will help you compare against your set goals and keep you from slipping too far from objectives.