The current buzz-phrase of choice in the world of content marketing is ‘content is king’. Whilst the sentiment is admirable I prefer to use the phrase ‘quality content is king’.
Either way it’s an essential component of any viable content marketing strategy but is, quite frankly, useless without strong foundations to hold it up and allow it to spread.
In this two part blog I’ve put together a few considerations for any SME owner planning a content marketing strategy.
In this blog I’ll look more closely at planning the campaign and creating its content.
Plan it with purpose
Any marketing campaign is doomed to failure if it does not have a purpose. Many SMEs plunge headlong into the world of social media without any clear idea of what they’re doing, why they’re doing it and what they want to achieve out of it.
Call it what you want – purpose, aim, strategy, plan, goal – your social media marketing campaign doesn’t have to set out to change the world.
For SMEs with a clear idea of their marketing strategy considerations at the planning stage need to include:
Timescales – how long do you estimate it will take to achieve your goal?
Budget – how much money will you need to allocate to your campaign?
Manhours – how many hours a week will your content marketing strategy demand?
Measuring success – what metrics will you use to gauge if you’ve achieved your goal?
Channels – which social media channels are best-suited to running your campaign?
Content – what types of content will suit your campaign and appeal to your audience?
If you aren’t sure what your end game is yet, don’t worry, neither do a lot of SMEs. Choose instead to set yourself smaller, achievable milestones. This way your social media marketing will be focused and measurable. It will also give you valuable experience in the field of social media marketing. Best of all you’ll feel great when you smash your first goal!
If you have a clear idea of your ultimate goal then a broad, overarching strategy, planned over a long period of time, can still house several, smaller capsule campaigns which achieve small but significant goals.
The considerations for planning a small scale campaign are the same as for a large scale campaign.
But small is beautiful. Here are some ideas for capsule campaigns:
- Improve traffic to your website
- Increase the time visitors spend on your website
- Lower bounce rates on your website
- Build a newsletter mailing list
- Increase brand awareness online
- Build a relevant and loyal following by number
- Increase engagement on your social media channels (e.g. shares, like, repins)
Once you have decided on your strategy (big or small, long or short) then you can start planning your content…
Quality content creation: my 4Cs
Content marketing finds its success through careful planning and the production of useful and relevant content. The content you produce can take many different forms:
• Social updates (e.g. Tweets/FB updates)
• White papers
• Case studies
• Website copy
Whatever type of content you choose to create the aim is the exactly same: to build your SME a reputation as a knowledgeable, approachable and professional source of information.
But it’s not enough to just ‘talk’ at your audience; the work doesn’t stop once you’ve uploaded a piece of content.
To ensure your content makes the greatest impact you must create a furore around it. Share it, tweet it, like it, mail it, pin it. Do everything you can to expose it to the greatest possible audience and wait for the noise.
When you hear some noise – act. Listen and respond, facilitate discussion, encourage trust and allay fears or address objections.
To ensure your content reaches the right audience it must be relevant and serve their interests. Whilst many SMEs plug, plug, plug away at their products and services what good is it if a potential customer doesn’t actually understand why it applies to them?
This may sound like a no-brainer but your campaign won’t get much mileage out of little content. Even an outstanding piece of content has an online shelf-life and in the fast-paced virtual world most content soon goes past its sell-by date.
Any self-respecting content marketing strategy needs to incorporate a consistent flow of content. This also requires planning: it’s not good enough to sit down on a Tuesday and think ‘what am I going to blog about this week?’
Plan your content creation strategy to cover the life of the campaign or at least cover stages of the campaign. You should have a good idea weeks in advance of what’s going up when, even if you haven’t produced it yet.
And if you aren’t confident working with a wide range of content types don’t reinvent the wheel – just concentrate on doing what you do best – be it blogs, videos, infographics and so on.
In Planning An Effective Content Marketing Campaign: Part Two we’ll look at the practical considerations of implementing your campaign, including where to publish your content to reach your target audience.
In the meantime, if this blog has given you a taste for planning your own content marketing strategy but you’re still not sure where to start Contact Us to arrange your FREE no obligation 1 hour consultation.
By Tori Smith, Stori’s founder, blogger and social media know-it-all.