Everywhere you turn today in the business world you are bombarded with information about the importance and need for content marketing, and quick-fix solutions to start creating content. And I agree, content marketing is a great tool to help build a relationship with current and prospective customers, but where do you get started?
Before a single word has been written or infographic is created it’s important to layout some guiding parameters, define your teams roles and set expectations about what you want to accomplish via content marketing.
1. Team Roles
Review by committee is as bad for creative as it is for quality control. Your content marketing process should be built with one person having the final responsibility of approving content. This person’s task is to work with content creators and editors, to ensure the final product meets your business’ standards and goals. By creating a simple checklist, you can empower people throughout your company to participate.
2. Guiding Parameters
You, or anyone in your company creating content, should always be able to answer one question: why am I making this? Knowing this ensures you’re not contradicting other content being produced, it creates opportunity to cross-pollinate and draw from the full expertise within your company. Create a map of all the channels and content types your organization will use and share how the content you are building fits into this plan. This helps ensure content across all your channels is pulling in the same direction. Having a specific goal for each channel is also important for successful content generation.
3. Defining Success
Anytime you invest in a marketing activity we try and establish metrics. This will vary from organization to organization and from channel to channel, but there needs to be agreement on what the content should achieve for the audience and for the brand. Generally speaking, content can serve three functions for an audience: to educate, to entertain, or to provide an opportunity. When establishing metrics for your company, consider the following measurements:
- Unique visits: This KPI provides a good baseline for which to compare different forms of content and trends over time.
- Geography: Understanding where your content is being read is important in order to understand where to allocate more budget and resources based on where your audience is.
- Mobile readership: Understanding trends in how your content is being delivered to different devices is key to determining how to optimize your content and its design.
- Bounce rates/time spent: Bounce rate percent and time spent metrics are good early indicators of how engaged the traffic is with your content is.
- Heat maps and click patterns: There are many great tools out there that illustrate how your audience is engaging with a page and its content.
- Page views: A high page views/UVs multiple is a good sign that your audience is engaged — and quite often means that they are coming back regularly to your content.
- Comments: Users are the best advocates for any product or service, so if they’re engaged enough to openly discuss your content, consider it a success. Even negative comments can be great feedback. Be ready to respond in a meaningful manner to all comments.
- Social sharing: Making your content easily shareable is critical for almost all content marketing initiatives.
Once you have this plan in place your team can get to work creating content!