Here’s a simplified content marketing strategy that lets you address the key points and get started slowly – and the reason is that too often, strategies can get overly complex which can lead to failure.
Content Marketing Strategy: Big Issues
You will need to address the following questions to get started.
- What is the problem?
- What is the solution?
- What happens if this plan fails?
- Who is involved?
- What’s the timeframe?
What’s the problem? Are you trying to raise awareness? Generate more quality leads? Shorten the decision-making process? Increase sales/conversion rate of inquiries to leads and lead to buyer? Other?
The solution? This deals with the ideal solution. The goal. Objective. Make this one specific and measurable so you can easily tell when you have achieved it.
What happens if the plan fails?
Who is involved? This is a favorite of mine because I prefer knowing from the start who has a say in the work – and who doesn’t. Sorry, I’ve had too many situations where someone plays the game of not being involved until they can throw stones…this question helps avoid that.
Budget? This is another favorite of mine because all too often there is no formal, dedicated budget which means there really is no formal commitment from the leadership team right from the start. My suggestion? No dedicated budget from the start – walk away.
What’s the timeframe? Just like “who is involved” and “is there a dedicated budget”, clarity on “when does everyone that’s involved need to see success” cuts down on the potential of an ego or two popping in at random times and disrupting progress.
The next step in your Content Marketing Strategy
Now it’s time to dive into the details that really are necessary for success and the first step is your target audience.
Who is your target audience?
What is the unique value you offer this audience?
What information do they need at each step of their decision-making process?
Who else provides this audience with similar information?
Will the content be created internally? Externally? Both?
What media will be used and what content formats are best? How will the information be distributed for maximum reach with the target audience?
What’s the process for kicking off a project? Gaining approval on the topic/subject? Review and approval? Publish and distribute? Gather results and analyze performance? Explore modifications for improvement?
The End Result of Your Content Marketing Strategy
Here’s how it all should flow…
Challenge: First-time owners of small businesses (25-years of age to 40-years of age, married with children under 18-years of age in the home, some college/no degree) that have been in business more than 1-year but less than 5-years, and have generated $1 million or more in annual revenue in the most recent year of operation (our key buyer) tends to select a law firm or accounting firm based on cost rather than knowledge, expertise, value. In the past 12-months, we have not been in the position to participate in reviews/requests for proposals and which has resulted in lower results than projected by leadership.
Approach: This audience is not aware of our firm, and lack experience in two key areas – first, what legal issues they should be most concerned about at this stage of their business’ life and, second, how to identify and select the best law firm to address those near-term needs and with the expertise to address other longer-term issues.
To help educate this audience, as well as generate awareness and interest and trust, we feel that we can become a leading source of information for this audience with a mix of live events, sponsorships, media relations and a blog with an e-newsletter, and long format content such as white papers and podcasts/webinars.
We feel two blog posts per week (Tuesday and Thursday) and a bi-monthly e-newsletter that will be sent Sunday evenings until 2,000 subscribers are achieved, at which time the frequency of the newsletter will be increased to weekly.
We believe that the 2,000-subscriber goal is achievable within 12-months with the proper promotion that includes including this offer (Register now) in events, sponsorships, client communications and advertising (traditional and digital).
With the typical decision-making process being six-months, and the goal being 10 new clients annually, we feel this effort will generate a 10x return on investment within 12-months.
For more information, check out my content marketing white paper.