You’ve got renegade freelancers on one side, a web team that doesn’t know the new editorial schedule on the other, and you’re defending your content marketing budget from other departmental poaching by the skin of your teeth.
After all, creating content marketing strategy and effectively executing it are two wildly different things. The answer you’re looking for is found in content marketing workflows.
- Identifying individual tasks
- Assigning owners for those tasks
- Setting deadlines for each task
- Establishing an editorial hierarchies to keep your content aligned and perfected
- Structuring an approval ladder to advance each task forward to completion
- Measuring success of strategies to learn which tactics are the most effective for your brand and audience
- Create content distribution path and the tools needed to measure success
Before creating a workflow process or even deciding what type of content that you need to create, be it utilizing social media, curating blog content, or writing an eBook for your industry niche, there are a few steps you need to go through to be effective.
With a centralized objective for your content strategy, each content interaction you present to your target audience will add to a unified image of your brand. To develop your content marketing goals, these four elements need to be considered:
- Define your marketing goals. What do you want to achieve with your marketing strategy? How can your content communicate this goal and lead customers to help you achieve it? This is a cross-departmental conversation that needs to guide your marketing decisions.
- Create customer personas. Find out your various customers that frequent your online business. You may have more than one type of customer and identifying the demographics and psychographics will help develop your editorial tone and brand for each.
- Identify your customer pain points. You need to reconcile your customer information needs with your marketing goals. What can your company offer to meet the needs of your target audience and encourage them to move forward in the purchasing cycle? Use various tools and methods to uncover what problem that your customer wants solved. Ask your customers for feedback and use that information to identify how you are the best choice for your target market.
- Identify the problems in your industry. Where is your industry going? Can you be on top and offer the next thing your customers will be looking for before your competitors? Change and the possibility of mistakes is better than falling behind and becoming obsolete. Keep track of what your competitors are up to and trends at the forefront of your industry through trade organizations, trade conferences, and networking across your industry.
Working to define your brand helps you center your themes. You have your business objective for your content marketing endeavor, and the persona your brand employs to deliver that information is a vital component to creating content that reflects your brand.
Will your content tone be casual? Or professional? Full of anecdotes for a more social and personable presentation? Or will you rely on technical jargon to enhance your brand authority?
Establishing your tone, voice, and persona will give your marketers a clear definition of the goal they need to deliver to your customer.
When identifying your brand persona, take a look at the below key components to help you get on the right track:
- What are 3-4 keywords that embody what your brand’s essence?
- What distinct advantages does your brand offer your customers over your competitors?
- What is your company’s goal to contribute to your target customer?
Once you have these answers, you can examine the decisions for your brand’s marketing so that the image associated with your brand matches your brand’s purpose. Persona can be expressed through your logo, tagline, colour choices, font decisions, language utilization, and tone.
This is where many marketers have a hard time. To make it easier, ask yourself these questions:
- What type of content do you want to create? Video, whitepaper, blog post? Depending on the choices, production expenses change drastically. How frequently will you be creating content?
- Are you planning on hiring freelancers to develop your content while keeping in-house editors? Your content team is the foundation of your strategy and you need to have a plan on whether you are going to invest on an in-house team or outsource if your budget requires.
- If you have multiple editors and a need for ongoing schedule modifications, you may want to look into investing in content marketing management software.
- What tools will you be using to measure your metrics? Measuring engagement and interaction is vital to knowing which portions of your content marketing are delivering--and which aren’t.
- Create a lead generation funnel and determine what your cost-per-lead (CPL) is going to be. Remember, it must be a qualified lead. It can be calculated by determining the cost of content production plus distribution costs, divided by total number of new orders generated. This will help determining your content marketing ROI and a key indicator as you build your budget. You don’t want content operations to be so expensive that it eclipses sales revenue.
These are just a sample of the considerations for your content marketing budget.
Every member of your team should have defined roles, clear approval structures, and an understanding of the core content marketing objective. The roles you will need to consider change depending on your primary marketing media, but most share the following:
- Core objective development board, where a cross-departmental team established a clear brand persona and content marketing goal
- Project budget team to keep the finances on track and avoid over or under-spending in certain areas
- Content creation team to build your content
- Editorial team to keep that content streamlined
- Design team to augment your customer’s experience of your content and provide a professional finish
- The hands-on audience interaction team responsible for following up with your potential customers as they interact with the content
- Metric and success measurement team to offer insight into the process and where you can improve
Even if you are operating as a one-person show, the different roles you need to tackle will require definition and a balanced time management approach.