The Content Marketing Cycle is just that: it’s a sequence of stages or steps, with decisions and actions of one stage influencing the decisions and actions of the next stage. As this involves content creation, publishing and engaging with customers through content, there’s an important aspect of measuring the impacts of your actions, evaluating what’s working the best, and then doing more of what works, and less of what doesn't. It’s an ongoing, iterative process in which the value of the activity increasing over time.
Goals are your destination. Its no different than planning a vacation. There’s a hope for certain outcomes, places to visit, and experiences to have. Defining these will more likely achieve the results you want.Content marketing ROI can be generally grouped into three categories. Depending on the business you are in, consider the ones that are most relevant and those that ulitmately contribute to the value of the business.Good content marketing is based on human-centered design, where the wants and needs of your customers are the first that are analysed and measured. By going beyond simply identifying who you’re trying to reach, and focusing on their wants and needs, you can tailor your content to meet those wants and needs. This insures that you reach your target audiences by being relevant to them, and by being a resource for them, rather than simply just trying to sell them a product.
Content Marketing means thinking like a marketer and acting like a publisher. Acting like a publisher takes planning, and most marketers are not familiar with the type of planning that’s required to do content marketing well.Planning includes deciding your editorial tone and direction, identifying human resources required to help with the tasks, developing budgets for content creation and curation and identifying technology solutions for not only publishing and distributing content, but also tracking leads, from lead generation through sales.
The most successful content marketers establish the discipline of creating, producing and distributing content based upon an editorial calendar. Just like a major newspaper, magazine or broadcaster holds religiously to publishing dates and times, the content marketer must meet similar commitments. In this sense, content marketing is a promise to prospects and customers that must be kept.
The production stage is wide and encompassing. It covers everything from the creation of original content, to the curation of content. The former may range from primarily text based activities, such as blog posts, to videos involving sight, sound and motion. The latter means pulling into websites or social media feeds content that is originated by others. Curated content ranges from snippets to complete content assets such as ebooks or whitepapers. Mutually beneficial, cross promotional relationships can be built around the creation of content so that the human and finanicial burden may be shared.
Getting your content in front of your audiences involves choices. By identifying, in the Measure and Goal stages who your audiences are, you’ve also identified where they are. So, publishing means distributing your content to not only a central hub (such as your website or your blog), but publishing (or distributing) your content across a range of social media sites, mobile platforms, etc. Of all the stages of content marketing, this is the stage in which tools help automate and streamline the process.
In today’s competitive environment, relationship based sales is even more critical. That’s why companies today who attract prospects and maintain relationships through best practices in content marketing will win. Good content becomes the basis for participating in conversations with and engaging with customers. Participation and engagement are also key areas for measuring return on investment from content marketing activities, from counting the numbers of likes and share, to the number of comments, to the number of sign ups for email newsletters, and so on.
As noted in the previous slide, the levels of participation and engagement generated by your content are important metrics. They tell you what’s working and not working, in your content marketing efforts. Compared to marketing “campaigns” of the past, which tended to have clear and distinct beginnings and endings, content marketing is ongoing and cyclical. By evaluating what’s worked the best, you adjust your plans, your production and distribution accordingly in order to “do more” of what’s worked, and less of what hasn’t.
You are spending money, resources and talent. What are you getting in return? Start with 1 or 2 goals that are achievable, relevant and vital to the business. Expand the you repeat the lifecycle.Content marketing is building on techniques and processes used for decades in the media and publishing industry. Today, new channels of distribution and technologies are available that can contribute to likely success.Like most any endeavor worth pursuing, understand where are you at and being willing to adjust are vital
Orchestrating Content Marketing
GOALS• What are the vital factors that your content marketing initiative should deliver?• What will you measure? Visibility and brand awareness indicators Engagements Inbound leads Others?
PLAN• Who is your audience?• What are they asking and need?• Where do they “hang out”?• What is our competition doing?• Output serves as “catalyzer” for content to be developed
EDITORIAL CALENDAR• Identify content titles and media format Incorporate keywords• Define destinations / channels• Assign contributors with due dates Leverage untapped resources• Monitor and manage process
PUBLISH• Identify posting conventions for various media formats Right channels for right content Use a primary destination• Consider optimal posting times• Syndicate?• Socialize resultant posts with audience
ENGAGE• Proactive monitoring of audience engagements• Response policies Escalate Who can participate• Consider tracking individuals that engage CRM integration
MEASURE• Establish discipline of measurement• Measure results against goals Establish “check-in” points along the way• Analysis results Amplify what works Take corrective actions as needed• REPEAT …
SUMMARY• Know your destinations (goals) along the trip (process lifecycle)• Think like a marketer, act like a publisher• Leverage efficiency tools and technologies• Monitor and take corrective action regularly
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