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The Right People For Your Content

November 16, 2015 10:42 am

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The Right People For Your Content

right peopleContent strategy is about getting the right content to the right people at the right time.

In practice, this means applying the principles of strategic planning to create and deliver content that effectively connects with the right people.

5 Kinds of Goals

As is the case with strategic planning, defined goals are an essential element of content strategy. For purposes of content strategy, goals can be divided into five categories:

  1. Brand Awareness
  2. Lead Generation
  3. Lead Nurturing
  4. Sales
  5. Client/Customer Retention & Loyalty

By way of example, I have recently introduced two new services: laser coaching and marketing consulting.

Having spent most of my time preparing and publishing content, the time has come to shift away from the computer and devote more time interacting with individual clients, helping them improve their marketing. As a result, my content will focus on increasing my brand awareness and generating new leads.

Other businesses may have a large supply of potentially ideal clients or customers. Their content is best focused nurturing leads, helping move these people towards making the buying or hiring decision, closing the sale.

And of course, many established businesses have huge bases of satisfied clients or customers. For these businesses, content strategy will focus on maintaining and enhancing relationships with these people in order to generate more repeat and referral business.

Obviously the nature of the goals depends upon the stage of the business and corresponding marketing needs.

How would you describe the current stage of your business? What marketing needs should your goals address?

4 Steps For Content Marketing Success

Once your goals have been defined, there are four crucial steps you need to take to set your content marketing operation up for success.

Internal Audit

This step identifies what you can and can’t you do.

What obstacles do you face in consistently producing and publishing high-quality content?

Where are your strengths, and where do you need outside help?

A candid evaluation of your current capabilities is absolutely necessary if you want to set yourself up to succeed.

While you’ll probably start examining your internal infrastructure, an external audit is needed as well.

External Audit

Successful content strategy goes far beyond the competition for business in a market defined by geographic, demographic or other such factors. In content marketing, there is a virtually unlimited number of other marketers competing for the time and attention of the same people as you.

For a glimpse of the extent of this competition, check out the the spam file of your email inbox. These messages represent a very small portion of the virtually limitless number of people competing for your attention.

Instead of trying to adding your voice to the overwhelming competition for readers’ attention, it’s better to conduct a gap analysis to identify content areas that are being under-served.

In my case, there is certainly no shortage of marketing information for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). Most of this information is directed to bigger SMEs; some of it even targets professional firms that are also SMEs.

There is not however a great deal of information targeting those people who work in small one- and two-person businesses. And there it is: a gap which I believe is under-served in terms of high quality content.

Not just any gap in the market will do. It must be one that allows you to create content that aligns with your broader business goals.

My broader business goals include providing high-quality content and information to one- and two-person professional businesses. Thus, the identified gap aligns nicely with my business goals.

Hopefully, your external audit will include a similar gap analysis that identifies a content area that is under-served, and an area in which you can profile high-quality content.

Identifying The Right People

For all intents and purposes, your audience is made up of other people like your ideal clients. If you haven’t already identified your ideal clients as part of your strategic planning, the following questions will help:

  1. What does your audience want from you?

    Note: This is NOT what you want from them.

  2. Who is your audience—the right people for your audience?

    Primary (i.e. your ideal client—the kind of client you love to serve and are good at serving. On a basic scale of 10 with 10 being ideal, they would be rated as a 10)

    Secondary (Using the scale from above they would be at least an 8)

  3. What is your audience’s previous knowledge of your industry and the service you provide?Classify that level of understanding applying the following five groupings:Novice: Has an incomplete understanding

    Advanced Beginner: Has a working understanding, tends to see actions as a series of steps, can complete simpler elements

    Competent: Has a good working and background understanding, sees actions at least partly in context, able to complete work to a standard that is acceptable, though it may lack refinement.

    Proficient: Has a deep understanding, can achieve a high standard routinely.

    Expert: Has an authoritative or deep understanding, deals with routine matters intuitively, able to go beyond existing interpretations, achieves excellence with ease

  4. What are the demographics of the people in each sub-audience?

  5. Why are these people reading your content?

    The fact you want them to isn’t good enough, nor is the fantasy they just love your brand so much that they’ll come running the second they see your next tweet.

  6. In your content,what specific problem can you solve? What value can you deliver?

Content Execution Plan

How will you manage to create your content? Will you do it yourself?

Some people find it more effective and efficient to rely primarily on freelance talent.

Good freelancers can be sourced and hired through sites like FreelanceWritingJobsGuru.com and Upwork.com

Getting Your Content to The Right People

Currently there are more options for paid content distribution than ever—from recommendation widgets like Out­brain and Taboola to hyper-targeting on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to emerging experimental options like Snapchat and chat apps like Kik and WhatsApp.

It’s important to simultaneously build your organic distribution channels not just on social media, but also via email and organic search.

Content Measurement and Optimization Methodology

Ultimately, most content marketing programs will be judged by whether or not they drive business results.

Content measurement isn’t just about reporting. The best content metrics contribute to continuously improving the preparation and distribution of top-quality content.

Content Marketing Takes Time

For most people, content marketing is also a process of trial and error.

Currently, the pressure to launch and scale a successful content marketing operation is greater than ever before. The digital media landscape has never been more competitive as a limitless number of content producers compete for a finite amount of audience attention.

For any new content endeavor, you can move past any early growing pains as long as you have a comprehensive plan in place and protocol for learning from your mistakes.

The smartest people have their game plans figured out, and they’re ready to compete and stand out in a crowded media environment.

If your brand isn’t there yet, that’s okay. This series of posts will guide you through everything you need to know to build a powerful content marketing machine.

How do you think content strategy will help you improve your marketing?

If you like, you can schedule a free laser coaching session to discuss how you can start to benefit from content strategy.

<<< previous series post: The Right Content To The Right People

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