IBM recently published research finding that about 80% of those who begin a corporate blog never post more than five entries. They give up and leave it abandoned. And that's just blogging. The Internet is littered with never-updated websites, empty Twitter accounts, dusty Facebook pages, and no-one-home YouTube channels.
In the rush to adopt content marketing, too many marketers forget that to publish you need to think like a publisher. Starting your own media brings with it a new set of challenges. The main challenge is coming up with enough content to fill all those blank pages, blog posts, profiles -- and doing so on a regular basis.
If you want to win at the content game, it's time you started thinking like a publisher. Content marketers are editors, or at least need to start thinking like editors and producers. Here are 9 steps to get you there:
1. Know your audience
It's imperative to know who you're producing content for cannot be overstated. Customers? Prospects? Fans? Industry peers? Colleagues? The media? Some or all of the above? Selecting topics and tailoring messaging is a whole lot easier when you know who's on the receiving end.
2. Define key messages
Now that you know who you're addressing, what do you want to communicate to them? Don't just focus on your product, service, or business here, but do some thinking as to how it relates to an audience's real-world concerns.
If you're a local business, you may want to add local themes to your content. If your customer funnel calls for a long time for consideration, then education and learning may be part of your messaging. Use your knowledge of your audience, your tone of voice, and the broader informational environment in which you reside to inform themes and messaging.
3. Establish a frequency
Create a schedule for content updates and stick to it. You may not need to blog, or write or tweet every day, but once per month is probably not adequate, and you risk the whole endeavor tipping off the cliff.
Map out potential stories, features, or other content in advance so that when the deadline looms, you'll have a sense of what's due.
4. Create a detailed editorial calendar
An editorial calendar plugs directly into the frequency framework. Mapping a type of content to your frequency framework is a great step forward in terms of making relevant content happen on a reasonably frequent schedule.
Are your own ideas drying up? Talk to others, whether they're experts in your field, enthusiastic users, or people in your company. Make a list of potential interview subjects, and consider making interviews a regular content feature.
6. Engage with outside expert contributors
You don't have to go it alone. Look around at your coworkers, colleagues, and professional network. There are lots of potential content contributors out there. Often, all you have to do is ask, either for one-off contributions or regular features. You'll want to consider a budget item in this category to incentivize timely and authoritative contributions from really desirable commentators.
7. Create user-generated content
User-generated content ensures that content is created for you, be it comments, ratings and reviews, or contests. With clearly defined guidelines and expectations and a little bit of polite asking, you may be surprised at how much content is created for you rather than by you.
8. Turn on comments and feedback
Whatever digital platform you're creating content for, ensure comments and feedback collection features are in place, easy to use, and monitored. This not only creates a platform for participation, it's a gauge of how well you're doing, what excites and interests your audience, and will doubtless feed in ideas for shaping and improving future content.
Listen to what others in your space are saying, and do so outside the parameters of your own comments section. Set up topic alerts for your relevant themes. Get out there and participate in what others are saying within your arena of expertise. It's the editorial, not to mention the social media equivalent of leaving the house.
Once a piece of content is published, nurture and evolve it. Publishers follow up on news, track trends as they develop, and return to stories to examine long-term effects. They may cover a news item and then editorialize or voice an opinion about the development. They add video or graphics to embellish a point that was made in print. Create more opportunity for the content that you have to get out there.
You don't have to be a star to create successful, engaging, creative marketing content. You don't even have to have a massive budget to hire one. Ready to explore? Chat to us today.