Content marketing is an on-going process, with each stage fuelling the succeeding one in a “virtual cycle” of strategy and audit, research, create, optimise, promote, distribute, build engagement, measure and repeat. It should be informed by the business’ overall marketing and business goals, which in turn should be driven by the business’ in-depth understanding of it’s target demographic and customer.
Understanding Who Your Customers Are
An effective way to begin understanding your customers, what their needs and desires are and how they interactive with your business, is to begin segmenting your audience into customer personas. I begin with a process called affinity mapping, which is best performed in collaboration with internal team members and key stakeholders across the business. I try to utilise as much customer data and information available across a multitude of sources and marketing channels within the business.
Creating customer personas is an extremely important step in the content marketing process. The persona’s provide guidance and inform content ideas for your business, both onsite and offsite.
Auditing Existing and Competitor Content
Prepare and inform your content marketing strategies by learning what works and what doesn’t from your existing content activity as well as you competition’s content.
Auditing the performance of your existing content marketing activity or/and your competitors can greatly assist your business with future content creation ideas. I use a number of industry leading tools to extract and collate the signals that indicate wether or not content was well received or not.
Content Planning and Creation
Armed with a plethora of data about your customers and what content resinates best with them, the next phase is to begin the content brainstorming process. Again, I take a collaborative approach to this phase, as the more ideas we can collate and discuss, the greater the success rate.
Choosing the best way to create and bring your content ideas to life all depends on budget, resource and capability. If required, I can introduce my own trusted creative freelances that are dedicated to designing and building impactful creative assets.
Promoting and Amplifying Your Content
Executing a great idea and producing an engaging content piece can be a wasted investment without a content promotion/viral strategy. I will define clear objectives and KPIs from the offset, ensuring that every penny of your investment is accountable.
Measuring Content Marketing Success
I consider the entire customer journey to maximise your business objectives and goals. Some of the metrics and dimensions I use to measure content marketing success, include:
- Social Shares
- In-bound links
- Telephone Enquiries
- Online Form Enquiries