In Part 1 of The Content Commoditization, I shared how content marketing went from evolutionary to being a commodity. Everyone is doing it with little differentiation.
Blogs get started and social media pages are developed without strategy. And without strategy, effectiveness drops considerably.
How will you stand out from all the rest? Joe Pulizzi from The Content Marketing Institute shared how you can build an effective content marketing strategy and stand out from the crowd. Below is a combination of Joe’s tips and mine.
First thing is first though, you have to document your strategy and plan and then follow it. Both can change a long the way of course. Without strategy and planning it’s about the same as writing a the grocery store list and then leaving it at home. You’ll probably struggle grocery shopping and have things missing when you hit the check out aisle.
Here’s 5 Elements for your Content Marketing Strategy
1) Develop and Document Your Goal
What is your why? It’s a simple core questions that should be answered at the beginning. Are you trying to build awareness, make the sale or provide educational information?
2) Create a Content Marketing Mission Statement
Answer these three questions:
1) Who is your core target audience?
2) What are you delivering to them?
3) What is the outcome you want them to achieve?
The Content Marketing Institute offers excellent examples on how to develop your content marketing mission statement. Establish this from the beginning and you’ll transform your strategy. It will also help you better define your why.
3) Own the Place Your Content Lives
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn are just some of the places you can build awareness and promote content. You can grow your following, but you don’t own the location. Your blog is the hub to all the other platforms and all road should lead back to your site. Don’t establish yourself on rented space that can be gone tomorrow.
4) Partner with Influencers
Create an influencer list. What companies or people can you partner with so that it complements and helps you build your audience. Together, you can create and share by widening your reach. You will be exposed to their audience. Keep the list short so you don’t spread yourself to thin, but don’t put all your eggs in one basket when you think of whom to partner with.
5) Plan, Execute, Track
Your not going to write a 500 page book in one day, but you do need to plan how your going to write and then promote your work. So many tools are available to us for content management. The most important step is to plan out how you will work the strategy. Do your research. If you think you can start a blog without a plan, it will fail. Here’s a few resources for planning and executing your blog strategy:
During the planning phase, determine your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). You developed your why in Step 1. How will you track your success? Many tools are out there to help track your progress, successes and areas for improvement. Tracking is key to see what your strategy is doing for you and your business.
Last thought, you can pay for content by hiring writers. You just need to decide if your writers know the true essence of your brand and content marketing purpose. Some do it well, while others are obviously paying for content to throw on their blog.
However you decide to step into the content marketing world, your purpose and strategy must come first. Without those, you will just be another page among the billions.
Share with us your tips for successful content marketing.
IMAGE: A group of wine bottles, from the incredibly thorough Bottle Typing web page maintained by Bill Lindsey for the Society of Historical Archaeology.