Creating and sharing online materials (e.g., videos, blogs, and social media posts) that stimulate interest in your products or services, but only subtly promote your brand, is not as easy as it sounds. Content marketing is more of a fluid art form, harder to apply a set QA process to, but no less crucial to your brand’s ethos. However, like anything else, following current best practices is the best way to ensure your end result delivers the one-two messaging punch you’re seeking.
Most types of brand marketing are more of an overt practice. For example, designing your brand’s website surely involved specific guidelines for a color palette, image style, layout, fonts, and overall style. Objective-driven video campaigns amplify your product or service with intentional scripts, pre-planned shot lists, expert editing with a discerned eye for necessary vignettes. Copywriting for your website and blog certainly have involved goal-specific messaging, with indexed highlights and page goals.
Although your brand’s content marketing strategy will not have these same fixed checkboxes, there are some drivers that should guide your actions for every piece you publish. Influential marketer, Jay Baer, published the 5 C’s of Effective Content Marketing to demonstrate the importance of publishing compelling and intentional content, and we’ve expanded below:
- Understand your audience by researching buyer personas
- Develop individual customer and decision maker personas to appropriately target messaging and drive the client/buyer’s journey
- Conduct keyword research
- Analyze your content, social media footprint, and relevant keywords to determine what content needs to be produced and why
- Identify effective content
- Engage the results from persona research to effectively determine ongoing strategy, tactics, messaging, and appropriate communication channels
- Investigate competitors in the marketplace and look for content gaps and other opportunities to better tell your story
- Pay attention to what your audience already finds interesting, then add some pizzazz (e.g., What are they liking, retweeting, sharing, and commenting on? Inspiration can be found in 3rd-party links, white papers, videos, service offerings, customer FAQs, and more)
- Decide on placement
- Create an integrated marketing plan – email distributes content that’s been optimized for search and amplified on social media
- Know where your audience is because different platforms speak to different populations
- Determine the best distribution plan (e.g., Who is the targeted audience for this particular piece of content? What kind of paid push would most benefit its distribution? Have we activated influencers to cast the net beyond existing followers?)
- Develop your brand’s voice
- Devote thoughtful attention and planning to the development of your social voice, content planning, and campaign opportunities to connect the right people to your brand
- Strike a delicate balance between engaging your audience and using social media to grow your bottom line
- Ensure your brand is always genuine and conversational
- Understand your brand and connect with consumers through your Social Media Playbook, the guidebook through which Walk West has developed your social voice, tone, and values, as well as recommended game plan for channel priorities, posting cadence, content types, and goal setting for a full calendar year
- Stay consistent
- Stay nimble to algorithm changes, new features, and technology–The social landscape is constantly evolving
- Build customer relationships and empower advocates by consistently serving them with relevant content that meets their needs and desires
- Confirm that your content:
- Establishes your brand as a thought-leader
- Appropriately highlights your product or service as a solution to a common pain point
- Opens up an opportunity for your brand to launch an interesting online conversation
- Analyze the results.
- Assess what you had hoped to accomplish with this content (e.g., How have KPIs performed?)
- Employ monthly analytics reporting, goal tracking, and consistent optimization.
- Once you’ve got your target personas’ attention by delivering exactly what they want, on their preferred social channels, and in a way that authentically pushes them through the buyer’s journey, keep delivering and delighting them with this proven goal-reaching formula.
- Regardless of industry, if a customer can’t find you, they can’t buy from you. Feed the search engines with intentional content that drives quality traffic to your site.
Have questions about the effectiveness of your current content marketing strategy? Contact Walk West for a content audit and follow up recommendations. We bring a sense of purpose, integrity, and ownership to every website, video script, blog post, or other piece of original content created for a client. It’s just what we do, and quality is always at the forefront of our objectives. We’re here to help.