I'm sure you have heard the phrase, "content is king." It is a nice thing to say, but making content "king" takes a dedicated strategy and team to implement.
While we’ve written about content strategy before, we wanted to share what the process for creating a cohesive content marketing strategy actually looks like — and what you get in the end.
Anyone who’s producing and sharing content on any channel needs a strategy. Period. Ideally, you’re involved with an omnichannel marketing strategy where each moving part works together. But even if you’re currently only capable of putting out two Facebook posts a week, you need to have a plan.
We've had the opportunity to develop content marketing strategies for clients with varying needs and budgets. We’ve also created these strategies for clients who are going to take their content marketing in-house in addition to those who we execute strategies for. Regardless of who’s doing the work, content marketing plans require a dedicated team to implement.
When we begin the process, we establish two key steps that form the foundation of any good content strategy: a core strategy and clear goals.
To begin with, we declare our core strategy — a couple of sentences that lay out what we wanted to accomplish. Our core strategy focuses on how we would target just one of the client's core user personas, and why this approach would best support and grow the business.
Once the core strategy is established, we don't make a single decision without asking the following two questions — and being sure the answer was a solid "yes."
This simple test provides context whenever we encounter friction in the decision-making process. It keeps everyone aligned with what we are trying to accomplish.
Another key piece of Integrity's overall strategy for content marketing, which applies to all of our projects, is that every word or sentence must always do two things:
Focusing on only business goals leads to content that users don't care about. Focusing on only user goals won't help the business grow.
Are your business goals tied to key performance indicators by which we can measure our success? That’ll be crucial. We try to focus on as few goals as possible, prioritizing to ensure we know what issues need to be addressed most urgently.
The core strategy and goals make up the foundation of our strategy. After that, we break the strategy down, outlining a plan for content creation, maintenance and growth.
Even if we’ve worked with a client for years, we want to be clear about who we’re trying to communicate with. Who is your target audience? What are their likes and dislikes? What are they looking to get out of working with you or purchasing from you?
If your content marketing strategy isn’t properly addressing your target audience, all of that work is going to fall on deaf ears.
This section focuses on what kind of content is needed and what type of messaging we want to use. This may cover primary and secondary (possibly tertiary) messaging. What does your target audience want to hear? And what kind of content breakdown should you follow to ensure the messages are varied and keep users engaged? For instance, you might choose to share a mix of Educational vs. Promotional vs. Engaging content on your various channels.
Here, we identify where your audience lives and where your content should be distributed. You may find that the best places to share content for your financial institution are Facebook, LinkedIn and recurring blogs. A consumer product company targeted at millennials may live more on Instagram.
There isn’t a wrong mix of channels — but it should be tailored to who you’re trying to reach.
Any brand new platform requires new roles and governance to support it. While our content marketing professionals are experts in what they do, only your business or institution’s team members are experts in what they do. There’s a good chance we’ll partner closely together to determine how content is being sourced and from where.
Integrity helps clients create processes and workflows for content sourcing, creation and publishing to ensure the process is seamless.
This part of the plan drills down the details. Whether we’re doing the bulk of the content creation or our client is, we’ll lay out content best practice guides that anyone can follow.
These may address a mix of the following, depending on the channels your strategy utilizes:
Knowing how important it is to account for change, we ensure that these processes are flexible enough to adapt and grow with the business.
Once you’ve established your content marketing strategy and have implemented it, the final, but sometimes overlooked step, is having consistency with your voice and with your posts.
Creating content regularly can take time, but Integrity’s digital marketing team can help you build and optimize content for your audience and be consistent in posting regularly.
If you want to learn more about how a robust content marketing strategy can help you build your business, let us know.
Integrity Web Consulting is elated to announce the freshest addition to our awesome team – Marshall Welch, digital marketing and consulting lead.
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