Traditional marketing as we know it is dead. A statement that is often thrown around in the digital arena. Perhaps to an extent this is true but here at Continuum we prefer to think of it as an evolution. The age old formula of the company with the largest budgets and biggest ads no longer guarantee success. To come out on top it is essential to focus on information marketing and providing potential customers with enough content to allow them to make well informed decisions before deciding to make contact with your business.
There has been a fundamental shift in how customers and clients find and select the products and services they need. They have become digital foragers, sifting through the internet to narrow down their choices. If you are producing great regular content then you will increase the chances of your business making the cut . If you can make it to this stage you will no longer be competing with multiple choices but may be competing as just one of two. The trend is being replicated across all industries. Upon first contact, many potential clients report that following their online search for a service provider, and based on what they have seen online, have already narrowed their options considerably.
The point here is to illustrate how customer behaviour has changed so that inbound content marketing has become a pivotal part of a successful business strategy. The slow and steady publication of content now helps to win the race. To make sure this happens it is important to have a content marketing plan in place to keep a steady production of quality content to increase your overall digital footprint.
Here are some top tips for creating your own content strategy:
Plan in advance: Take time to work out what content you will need to create. Brainstorm within your organisation to see what content your audience will be interested in; Make sure it fits in with your existing marketing schedules. Keep a list of all the topics and headlines for both the upcoming period as well as future possible content. Make sure to include content around industry events that you attend so that you remain current with your target audience.
Create a Content Calendar: On a spread sheet, list the titles and types of content you are planning over the next 6 to 12 months. By creating a calendar, there will be no surprises down the line when you suddenly run out of content ideas. A quick glance over the calendar will let users see what content is due and when. This also help prevent duplicate or similar content being created.
Assign Responsibility: Assign ownership of who will create each piece of content. The subject of the content should ideally be related to that person’s area of expertise. This will not only ensure high quality and authority from the content but also give the content owner time to generate ideas about their article. It also takes the pressure off of one person being responsible for all content creation.
Stick to the Schedule: Make sure to stick your schedule. While 'Content is King' in content marketing, consistency is the key to success. Your readers and followers will become accustomed to your schedule and will expect new content on a regular basis. Remember that content does not have to be created right before publication. You can create it in advance to have ready for publication at the chosen date.
Create a Research File: With your content marketing plan in place, create a file where you can store your notes the topic of each piece of content. You can easily add new information you might come across before it is due to be written.
Keep Up To Date: For the next content calendar period, duplicate the calendar format and fill it in with a new content schedule. Be careful not to delete previous content calendars as they can serve as a reminder of the content you have already produced.
Schedule social sharing: On your calendar make sure to schedule how you intend to share your content on social media to reach your target audience. This does not have to be limited to a one-time event. You may want to share your content multiple times over the period you are promoting it. If you have evergreen content, then you can reshare this content again at a later date.