As many smart marketers know, a well-crafted blog, video, infographic, social networking feed, white paper, e-book, or Webinar is essential for reaching buyers and pushing them into and through he buying process. I’ve been talking about how content drives action for more than 15 years now. In that time, I've seen hundreds of organizations around the world implement these strategies and they work. It doesn’t matter the marketplace – business-to-business, consumer brands, services, or independent consultants – content sells.
The new publishing model on the web is not about hype and spin and messages. It is about delivering content when and where it is needed and, in the process, branding you or your organization as a leader.
Here are some basics to keep in mind as you create a content strategy
Content Strategy #1: Start with your buyers. When you understand your audience—those people who will become your buyers (or those who will join, donate, subscribe, apply, volunteer, or vote)—you can craft an content strategy just for them. What works is a focus on your buyers and their problems. What fails is an egocentric display of your products and services.
Content Strategy #2: Most importantly—Do not write about your company and your products. Instead, create information that educates and informs. Consider you buyers’ problems or questions and be helpful by showing that you and your organization are smart and worth doing business with. This type of marketing is not a brochure or sales pitch. This is not advertising.
Content Strategy #3: Define your organizational goals first. Do you want to get people to subscribe you're your blog or newsletter? Request a meeting with a salesperson? Get people to donate money to your organization? Encourage people to buy something? Start with your goals and work from there.
Content Strategy #3: Based on your goals, decide if you want to provide the content for free and without any registration (you will get many more people to use the content, but you won’t know who they are) or if you want to include some kind of registration mechanism (much lower response rates, but you build a contact list).
Content Strategy #4: Use examples and stories! Make it interesting!
Content Strategy #5: Choose a great title that grabs attention. Use subtitles to describe what the content will deliver.
With 2017 upon us, now is a good time to evaluate your content program and step up to success in the coming year.