Today's small businesses are under pressure to create more content to deliver value to customers and maintain an active online presence. However, creating content for the sake of having fresh content on your website isn't enough. You need to ensure that your content creation strategy is contributing to your business goals and serving the needs of your customers at each stage in the buyer journey.
In order to implement an effective content marketing strategy that aligns with your business goals, you must first think through your strategy. We recommend that you sit down with your team and address the following questions to give life to your content vision:
1. What are the short term goals for your company (within the next 6 to 12 months)?
Before you get carried away with the big picture goals, you need to think about the immediate future. What does your organization want to accomplish over the next 6 to 12 months? Defining these goals will help you to develop a content creation plan that aligns with your business goals.
2. Who are your ideal customers?
To ensure that you're targeting your content to the right audience, develop buyer personas for your ideal customers. Think big picture here. We'll dive more into the details of your buyer personas later in this article.
3. Which metrics will you use to measure your progress?
Let's say you want to earn more phone calls from hot leads with your content creation efforts. Determine which metrics that you'll use to track the number of phone calls earned.
4. Do you have brand and style guidelines for content creation?
If the answer is no, establishing brand and style guidelines for your content needs to be a priority. Doing this will allow you to establish consistency in voice and tone and ensure that your message is in line with your branding strategy.
5. Does everyone agree on the definition of a successful content strategy?
All members of your team need to be in agreement of the metrics that you'll use to define the success of your content strategy.
6. Which team members will be involved in the content approval process?
You'll want more than one set of eyes reviewing content before publishing it. Define who will be involved in the content approval process and what the workflow will look like.
7. How will you need when you need to change up your content marketing strategy?
Trial and error is often involved when establishing a content marketing strategy for your business. Determining thresholds and milestones will help you to measure how well your strategy is working. Decide at what point your business will find it necessary to pull the plug on an existing strategy and re-work it.
8. What are the demographics of your target customers?
Defining your ideal demographic by age, gender, income level, geographic location, and more is crucial for developing a content creation strategy that will resonate with your audience.
9. What are the psychographics of your target customers?
Psychographics refers to the attitudes, aspirations, and other psychological attributes that your target customers possess. While this information can be more difficult to gather, being aware of it can help you to establish a style of writing that will win your target audience over.
10. How do your target customers like to spend their time online?
Are they spending a lot of time on YouTube? If so, creating engaging video content needs to be part of your strategy. How do they like to interact on social media? What types and formats of content do they share the most?
11. What relevant issues are your target customers dealing with?
Knowing their pain points can help you to position content in a way that provides solutions and adds value to your customers.
12. How is your existing content performing?
If you have a business blog, which types of posts perform best with your audience? Which social media posts are creating the most engagement with your followers? Pay attention to the format of the content and the topics covered.
13. Are you lacking coverage in topics that your audience wants to hear about?
As you peruse through your existing content, are you finding any gaps in coverage in topics that you need to cover? If so, you'll need to make a point to include these topics in your content creation strategy.
14. Does your content benefit your SEO strategy?
Are you naturally incorporating target keywords and phrases into your content? Do you have an SEO expert that optimizes content for search before publishing content?
15. Are you using an editorial calendar to plan content?
Using a free editorial calendar tool such as Google Sheets or Trello will allow you to map out a plan for your content and ensure that your strategy is well-rounded. Knowing when you're going to publish content will also hold you accountable to a consistent publishing schedule.
16. What is your plan for evergreen content?
Evergreen content topics are always relevant to your audience and will continue to benefit your business in the long run. Incorporating these timeless topics into your content creation plan will allow you to continue to drive traffic to your website.
17. Do you have all of the resources that you need to execute your content creation plan?
A solid content creation plan requires multiple moving parts to pull it off successfully. Can you realistically pull it off on your own or would you be better off enlisting the help of a content marketing agency?
Taking the time to address these important questions will allow you to establish an intentional content creation strategy that will benefit your business goals.
If you find that you could use some help with your content creation strategy when addressing these questions, contact us at New York Ave. Our full-service content marketing program will increase your online visibility and deliver value to your target audience.