Content marketing continues to be one of the most popular and effective marketing practises today (when done right, of course).
There’s no surprise why. Your audience loves it because they gain value on their terms, and this builds a trustworthy connection between you. That’s why businesses love it too.
But today, there’s heaps of noise, so many channels and countless options available, and you’ve probably seen that quality over quantity is the key to strong content marketing.
So, what do you do? Where do you go now?
Here are some content marketing pointers to make your year a winner, whether you’ve done it for years or your brand new.
The 10-point content marketing checklist
Content marketing can often seem a little vague.
Everyone talks about it but it’s hard to pinpoint how to actually do it.
So, I’ve compiled these ten content marketing steps for you to follow to regain clarity and strengthen your content marketing game this year. These 10 content marketing pointers can help you, whether you’re new to content marketing or you’ve been doing content marketing for years.
1. Start with reviewing your product and service offering
Ok, so begin by looking through your products and services.
Yes yes, you know them well, but actually consider their tangible value, what makes them appealing, how they’re different from others and why people choose you.
This step is important because we’re going to build upon this.
I’ll use Melotti Media as an example here to illustrate my point and give you some guidance. So, our core services are:
For more information, read How can Content Marketing help a business?
2. Next, identify three target audiences for each
Now that you’ve grouped your core products, think about the top three customer personas that you want to focus on. Again, take your time to define them as we’re going to build upon this next.
If you need help, read: How To Define Your Ideal Customers in 10 Steps.
In the instance of Melotti Media, for our Message Marketing strategy service, it would be:
Of course, you can go into more detail than this. I’m just trying to prompt you so you can see an example of where to begin.
For more information, see: How To Know Your Customer
3. What are their main challenges related to your product?
This step is actually really important as this is what brands forget all of the time: your audience is more worried about their personal pain points and problems than your product itself.
For instance, people hunt for content about setting up their websites and while they’re learning, they come across your solutions. Or a person may need transport, a sense of belonging or have the need to impress their boss.
These are examples of their true, deep challenges that can potentially be solved.
Take the time to think about what relevant needs your customers or potential customers have and list them. You’ll thank yourself later.
This step is actually really important as
In my Melotti Media example:
Identifying these gives me a way to address them in the next steps. But see how my answers here are not “their pain point is they don’t have a copywriter.” Taking such a narrow focus is very limiting. Think bigger about your customers’ lifestyles and the difficulties that they actually care about.
Take, for example, a skincare brand. People are more likely looking for younger, healthier-looking skin (their challenge) rather than a tub of the brand’s anti-aging gel itself.
To learn more, see: 7 ways to increase your audience’s engagement with your content marketing.
Struggling to understand this step?
Ok, think about Coca-Cola. Look at all the content they produce. You’ll find that thirst-quenching is only a very small component of the content they produce. Why? Because the drink itself is only a small opportunity to connect with their ideal customers.
Instead, a lot of their content is about belonging and human relationships. They have campaigns around “sharing a coke with…” and inspiring messages about being with friends. Their brand represents good times and fun. So, in this content marketing step, they’ve identified that their audience’s core challenge is wanting to connect, share precious moments and be loved.
It’s very clever and has been a huge success for the brand. So, think deeper – what does your target audience really crave?
Photo from Coca-Cola Australia’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cocacolaau/
4. How does your product solve these challenges?
This content marketing step where businesses feel most comfortable – what benefits and features do your product or service have that addresses their core customers’ issues?
Take your time to think through your products and services as solutions, as this will help you in the next step.
To learn more, read: How to correctly address your customers’ pain points.
For example, my Message Marketing strategy sessions:
5. What potential content sits in between these two points?
This is where the content marketing approach is starting to form.
Think of it as a Venn Diagram, with one circle as customer challenges and the other as your product solutions. In the middle is where you can start to build content marketing themes.
These content marketing themes unite your customers’ interests with your business’ ones, and they represent the “sweet spot” that you can build marketing content around.
Need more guidance? Read 7 Types Of Content Themes to Add To Your Content Marketing Mix.
So, back to the Melotti Media example, between the large company customer and my message marketing strategy solution, there are countless content marketing themes around topics such as ‘what is marketing strategy?’, ‘why should large brands refresh their strategy yearly?’, ‘how to identify when your marketing strategy needs an external perspective’, and so on.
See how these topics are now creating a framework of content we can create that are both simultaneously interesting for my ideal customers and help my brand become relevant to them?
This is what you need to do. Content marketing is not just about blatant selling. It’s about proving why you deserve their attention by offering them value (which is entertainment + information).
For more information, read: How to meet your customer’s obsession with content
6. What types of content and channels suit your audience?
Now that you have some solid content marketing themes, it’s time to consider what form this will take, based on your customers’ preferences.
You may choose written, audible or video content, and then adapt them to digital, print or social media platforms. You might even consider interactive content, Virtual Reality or Augmented Reality too.
For example, at Melotti Media, depending on the business customer, we develop written content (mainly blogs and long-form content) for certain channels, some videos, snapshot content on Instagram, quick insights for Google My Business and more.
To learn more, read: 9 types of content you need for content marketing.
7. Start creating a Content Marketing Strategy
A business without a content marketing strategy is doomed to fail at content marketing – it’s as simple as that. Besides, you’ve done most of the groundwork above to start building it so you should create your plan now.
This ensures your whole team are on the same page.
If you want more information on how to create a content marketing strategy, read this.
8. Build a content calendar
Right, so the only content marketing admin left is to schedule out your calendar.
We do this by days and weeks at Melotti Media, and it helps to keep everything consistent. I would recommend doing this too, so that you’re releasing content in a coordinated way, rather than just scattering it out and hoping for the best.
You do this simply in an excel sheet or a proper calendar – whatever works best for you.
To learn more, see: Content Marketing: quality over quantity.
9. Create, publish and distribute your content
Now you’re good to go! You’ve created all the foundations and you’ve now built a more consolidated and refreshed approach to content marketing. It’s time to act on all of your plans.
You can learn more here:5 ways how to do content marketing.
10. Refresh your content down the track
Here’s one last little trick: refreshing your older content is a really smart thing to do. Not only does it improve your SEO rating, but it also helps you reinvigorate your older content again, rather than having to always create new pieces.
This way, your audience always have access to the latest and best value.
For more information, read: How to prolong the strength of your content in 7 ways
How Can Melotti Media Help You?
To engage your customer and achieve ongoing business success today, you need a powerful message, quality copywriting and consistent content. However, this is easier said than done.
Perhaps you’re time poor and spread thin, or writing may not be your expertise.
So, let us take care of your message marketing, copywriting and content marketing needs!
For more information or to speak to a quality marketing copywriter to get the results your business deserves, contact me now at email@example.com.
Our Message Marketing services can sharpen your words to achieve your goals, today.
Passionate Marketing Copywriter
Melotti Media | Copywriting & Message Marketing Bureau
M: 0415 522 521
The greatest compliment for me is telling other people and spreading the word!
Australian Small Business Champion Awards 2020
Outstanding Professional Services - 2020 FINALIST
DISCLAIMER: This blog expresses the opinion of Christopher Melotti (Melotti Media) and should be taken as general information only. No responsibility is taken for your actions in response to any content in this blog. See the website's Terms and Conditions for more information.