The comprehensive checklist that brands need to follow
As one of the most effective strategies to drive organic traffic, generate quality content, and increase leads, content marketing is a proven way to strike gold with your audience. However, to win the internet, you need to be the best at your game. To this effect, you could hire a team dedicated to content creation, promotion, and overall management of campaigns. Even with the most efficient team on board, marketers often fail to execute tasks on time. And let’s not overlook the pain of small business owners learning the ABC of marketing strategy. To ensure you reduce the risk of mistakes during your content marketing campaigns, here’s a checklist to optimize your efforts and increase brand visibility online.
Understand content marketing
A stepping stone for all marketers, to begin with, is a clear understanding of content marketing and its importance. After all, why do you even need content marketing for your campaigns? As a simple marketing method defined by the creation of valuable and relevant content, content marketing strives to both attract and retain customers.
The process of content marketing follows a five-cycle journey:
- Research – lets a marketer focus on identifying the target audience
- Planning – enables a strategic plan of actions to be laid out
- Creation and optimization – gets relevant content ready for the audience
- Distribution – allows sharing the content via appropriate channels or mediums
- Analysis – gauges the performance of the content for future improvement
Know your target audience
With the basics out of the way, it’s time to learn more about your audience. It is the first actionable step towards knowing who you are creating content for, and their needs. You can use tools like SurveyMonkey and type form to get to know your audience persona better.
Get the following details about your audience before curating content for them:
- Personal information – age, gender, family background, education
- Mediums used – learning preferences, channels
- Goals or needs – answers they seek, definition of success
- Professional details – job, work hours, the industry they are based in
- Purchasing behavior – what drives their purchasing decisions
Create a content strategy
Whether it is redefining an existing strategy or creating a new one, a plan that aligns with the requirements of your audience is the one that adds value to your business. As the backbone of your content marketing campaign, a content strategy enables seamless execution of brand goals.
Here’s a list to plan your content strategy before you move forward with execution:
- What your content expectations are (sales, visits, brand awareness, customer engagement)
- Tools to use for content research, creation, promotion, and distribution
- Allocating budget for content marketing activities
- Frequency of creating and publishing new content
- Ways to measure campaign success
- A team of experts to help you along the journey
Finding a connection between your content and audience will help you consider parameters such as budgeting and planning before implementing a plan of action.
Draw up a content map
The purpose of creating a content map is to identify relevant topics and keywords for your content. Whether you are one of the top content companies in India or a novice in the industry, there is one content marketing goal that remains constant – and that is to create the right content for the right target audience. A content map enables marketers with a preconceived outline that saves both time and effort.
Here are a few questions you need to answer when creating content with a purpose:
- What is the type of content your audience consumes?
- How can your content increase your ranking in search engines?
- What types of content benefit your business? (Emails, sales-driven pitches, blogs, etc.)
- Can the content be repurposed?
- What keywords are relevant to your brand/business?
With topic ideas and keywords out of the way, all you need now is a detailed content marketing plan. Use simple tools like Excel or Google Sheets to map delivery dates, content specifications, and other details to speed up the content delivery process.
Create and optimize your content
When it comes to content creation, each piece is an asset for your business. So focus on creating good quality content that can impress your target audience. The importance of creating evergreen content is that when it’s done right, it generates reader interest even years after it is published.
But what good is a great piece of content if it’s not primed for SEO? Make sure your content meets these SEO-friendly guidelines:
- Include the primary keyword in the title
- Do not recycle headlines from Google
- Check if the text is easy to read
- Ensure sub-topics have relevant, clear images
- Add a clickbait snippet to lure readers to your page
Promote your content
Promoting your content via different media channels is a viable solution for success. Tick off these points when deciding to promote your content:
- Send out newsletters
- Post content on social media pages
- Encourage user engagement by tying up with influential websites or bloggers
- Use paid advertising on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn
- Add internal website links to grow your reach and revenue
Measure the results
Whatever cannot be measured cannot be improved upon, and the same goes for content marketing. Setting growth metrics to measure the efficiency of your content will not only help you meet customer expectations but also improve their post-purchase experience.
To effectively measure the results of your content marketing campaign, try out the following:
- CRM software
- Google Analytics installed on your WordPress dashboard (it’s free)
- SEMRUSH for keyword research
- Google Trends for topic recommendations
- Google Data Studio
With the help of these content marketing tools, you can constantly monitor the performance of your campaigns.
Following each of the steps in the checklist above will ensure that you finish all your tasks on time and manage a successful content marketing campaign. Since it’s a continuous learning process, you should innovate and implement along the way to see what works best for your brand.
Contributors: Konica Karma, Harish Menon and Swapnil Adsul