Developing a Framework for Engaging, Effective Content Takes a Strategic Process
After our last post about studying companies who are content marketing masters, maybe you felt a burst of motivation but needed a bit more direction.
First the big idea: content should always begin with your audiences’ key concerns and interests. Change your mindset from selling to engaging. Think creatively not about what you’re trying to sell, but about the problems that they’re trying to solve and how your expertise can bring them what they want or need.
The idea is to build a personal connection by offering relevance and value (and ultimately, attracting and retaining customers). Start a conversation, but a productive conversation.
Here are three steps to get you on your way.
1. Identify Your Mission – It’s not about what you’re saying. It’s why.
What exactly are you trying to accomplish? Starting with a clear, simple mission will enable you to build a solid foundation. This foundation will be the base which allows your content marketing program to be effective.
2. Understand Your Audience – It’s not about the companies, but the individuals.
What separates this individual from everyone else? What is their role? Where are they in your buying cycle? (Read more on the buying cycle.) How does that play into their interests, motivations and concerns? This all comes into play when trying to figure out what will really make this individual tick –helping your content conversation be as productive as possible.
3. Implement a Strategy – Use your content as an asset.
This is your overall plan. Who will put the wheels in motion? Who will be responsible for scheduling content, writing, editing? What are the main themes of content? (Based off of steps 1 and 2.)
Perhaps you’ve noticed: these are not new ideas. They’re the fundamentals of any good media company. But they represent a different approach for companies who have only focused on the hard sell for so long. In today’s cluttered communications environment, that old approach isn’t working anymore. It’s time for a new way.