Happy New Year! Most of us are already in high-gear executing campaigns. But, some of you may be challenged with how to best jump-start your content marketing initiative in 2015. Here are seven tips to help you out:
The Devil is in the Details.
The most important aspect ensuring content marketing success is documenting what you want to do in 2015. Sounds simple, but most marketers don’t. Content Marketing Institute reported that 44 percent of B2B marketers have a documented content strategy.
Set Expectations Early
Most executives see content marketing activity as a short term project. Pack your patience friends because this is a long-term game. Producing content is only part of the equation. Be prepared to have some realistic and pragmatic conversations on what to expect early on. The model of “build it and they will come” is over. Set expectations on what is needed to make a content marketing plan work. Come prepared with current metrics if you have them.
Know what Success Looks Like for your Organization
Every group is different. One group may focus on earned media, another may focus on forms completed. Whatever your organization deems successful, document it. It will help you when it comes time to evaluate and measure. You would be surprised how many folks forget the end game soon after the campaign is over.
Expect Timelines to Adjust
Murphy’s law plays a huge role in content marketing. If it can be derailed it will. Plan for hiccups on your timeline. I always build in an extra week just in case.
Know your Content Producers Well
Last fall I attended a Content Marketing Institute workshop where this stat was shared: It takes more than six weeks to finish one content marketing piece. Six weeks people. That’s a very long time. Make sure whoever you involved in your content marketing initiatives is in it to win it. Priorities will always shift.You need people to be on board to complete their tasks on time. If you have issues with content producers, especially internal resources, budget for writers to help. Freelancers are a great resource that can interview your subject matter experts and then write the piece, and they are incentivized to get projects out on time.
Showing Results Wins Budgets
No seriously, showing results wins budgets. I wrote about how I used paid promotion to help promote past content marketing campaigns. This small campaign delivered big and helped me secure more funding for the next year. Speaking of promotion…
Have a Plan for Distribution and Promotion
In content marketing, the campaign doesn’t finish when the content is created, but when it’s ready to be distributed and promoted. I wrote extensively on the importance of distribution and paid promotion in my previous post on the Seven Ugly Truths about Content Marketing. Promotion is key now more than ever. The Internet has made your customers more savvy. On average consumers are reading 10.4 pieces of content before making a purchase.
Here are some additional thoughts I presented at Gilbane Conference in Boston, Massachusetts in December.
Rachel DiCaro Metscher, a champion of clear and concise communications, has worked with many organizations to build their communications and marketing programs, including Fannie Mae, American Psychological Association, The Princeton Review, and B2B software companies She is a conference speaker and writer on social media and content marketing, and has written for American Marketing Association Marketing News, Social Media Today, and MarketingProfs.
She currently works in the DC metro area building content marketing programs from the ground up.