By Bob West
As more companies embrace content marketing, we see some poorly executed efforts, which is to be expected given the newness and subjective nature of the content marketing philosophy. Many of these problems can be avoided with some effective planning, so let’s look at key questions to consider before embarking on your next content project.
1. Who is your audience for the content? This question may seem simple, but you would likely explain your products differently to a prospective new customer than you would to a current customer, right? Clearly identifying the intended audience will help ensure the content is written correctly.
2. Why should your audience care about this content? This is undoubtedly the most important question, and it’s one that many marketers never consider because they focus on a different question, which is, “Why do I care about this content?” Content marketing creates engagement by providing the audience with educational information, so all content projects should start by examining why your prospective customer should invest time in your content. If you can’t answer that (and, “Because my new product is so great!” is not a good answer.), then don’t start the content.
3. Where will the content live / reside? Again, this question may be answered simply by saying the new content will reside on your website, but it’s not always that easy. Many of our clients have limited access to their websites or have a website that isn’t set up to feature stories, so what are their options? Or, what if the content you’re producing is a video? Having a clear plan at the outset will prevent problems down the road.
4. How will you drive traffic to the content? This is a critical question in our agriculture and horticulture industries with a relatively limited number of potential consumers of your content. For example, if you’re looking to engage grape growers with a series of new blog posts, there are only a couple thousand of them in the country. How will you get this content in front of them?
5. What do you want people to do after they engage with the content? One piece of content represents one step on a potential customer’s journey to becoming an actual customer, so think about the next step for them and make it easy for them to take that step. Perhaps you want them to check out more content, in which case make sure that content is promoted to them at the end of this piece. Or maybe you’re counting on them to share your content on social media, in which case well-placed links can help.
Bob West is the Director of Meister Custom Marketing Solutions for Meister Media, and he can be reached at 440-602-9129 or firstname.lastname@example.org.