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The Three Things You Need to Get Started with Content

August 06, 2013 · in Content Marketing

Today, marketers spend over 25% of their marketing budget on content marketing and 68% of consumers spend time reading content from brands that interest them.

Great content requires a well-planned strategy and ongoing production (time and resources). It’s imperative to consistently monitor, measure, and tweak the content, always looking to improve. This takes time, the understanding of your audience, competitors, your product, market trends, knowledge of the industry, and more. To put it lightly, content is a lot of work. Many brands don’t invest the time and effort into creating great content or more important, a plan to help them grow and evolve. For those brands who don't have a clear content strategy, here are 3 things you need to get started:

1) Focus: It’s crucial that your brand’s content team creates a focus around your brand’s goal. The focus should include a singular message or offering. When developing a focus, consider your audience, what content they want and where they look for content. More than 80% of moms for example, appreciate content related to news, lifestyle, and entertainment. The content your brand shares should directly relate to your brand but shouldn’t be about hard selling. For instance, Wayfair created an “Inspiration” section on their site that is devoted to home style tips, decorating advice from experts, and includes a content-rich blog.

content strategy

When considering you content focus, also think about the medium(s) you’ll use for content. Will you host a written blog on your own site, generate videos create a new site endorsed by your brand, or something else? Some other options include blog posts, video clips, photographs, micro sites, webinars, and infographics. There are nuances of each option and each requires a different approach. A report issued by Content Marketing Institute found that the best results are through social media, blogging, and e-newsletters. However you must know which channels your audience tunes into the most and focus on the most popular one. For example, 73% of American moms use Facebook regularly and 77% of moms follow at least one brand on social media, indicating that distributing content through social media is a good option for mom-focused brands.

2) Creativity: Unique content ideas are essential. To create content people love to consumer, be sure to offer value through interesting, valuable, and entertaining content. Interesting content is one of the top 3 reasons people follow brands on social media. Simply regurgitating statistics, news or imageswon’t help consumers or intensify your brand’s image. Be a resource for users and create a community. Spend time crafting a message or unique image that isn’t generic but feels personal and relatable. To create a loyal audience, use your brand to relate to users and give them a place to express their thoughts, questions or opinions with others. 

3) Resources: Evaluate your internal marketing resources to asses who is the best fit to manage and create new content, and then form a content team. You’ll need a project leader, one or multiple writers depending on your scale, and someone to handle publication and distribution. Utilize your B2B and B2C marketing teams to divide the content tasks of content generation, writing and editing, imagery, infographics, and videos. Sometimes because of a lack of resources, an internal content team isn’t possible. In that case, outsource your content. When choosing a content marketplace be certain that you choose a content provider that is recommended and has strong examples of content they’ve produced. Understand that excellent content creators are pricey, so don’t skimp. It’s also important to establish guidelines that the writers can follow so the tone, format, and quality remain consistent.

It can be a challenge for brands to set aside time to build a content plan, let alone the content itself. However, content marketing is the best way to reach the elusive and hard to target customers. A content plan and schedule keeps your content marketing team on track and ensures that the content is diverse and dispersed throughout a specific timeframe. This helps you connect with your audience and build customers and loyalty. 

Posted by Chelsea Amaral 

content strategy