Are You Content With Your Content?
LAST UPDATED: TOPIC: Content Marketing
Content is hot at the moment and businesses everywhere are clamouring to get a content ad strategy in place. Yet despite significant investment, many are failing to see a return.
So, what’s the problem?
- No clear goals: Having clear goals is essential in content marketing. Unfortunately, goals can be forgotten in the rush to produce. Churning out content on a regular basis is pointless unless that content connects with the target audience. It’s time to get smart about your goals.
Define the goal as precisely as possible. Outline who is involved, what the business wants to accomplish with the content, who it is aimed at and when it will be done.
Track progress. It’s important to measure the input – the time and costs involved in completing a project – and the overall outcome.
Set goals you’re confident you can achieve. Everyone is a dreamer from time to time but where content marketing is concerned, there’s no time to dream. Set yourself reasonable objectives.
Make sure all goals work towards the final outcome. Goals must be compatible with other goals and immediate and long-term plans.
Goals require deadlines, and deadlines must be met. This can’t be stressed enough. When setting goals, make sure they’re achievable within the designated timeframe. A slight delay can throw the project off track.
- Obsessed With Storytelling: Many content marketers sees themselves as gifted storytellers but the purpose of content marketing is not to tell a long, rambling story. Focus on presenting information in a way that’s easily absorbed. The demands of everyday life mean many people haven’t time to read a 1,200-word article. They want bite-sized information that’s easy to digest and either:
1. Introduces them to an unfamiliar subject.
2. Offers advice on how to do something.
3. Presents a fresh point of view on a familiar topic.
4. Educates and entertains.
5. Reminds of forgotten norms.
When creating content, think like a reader and always have the ‘so what?’ factor in mind. Ask what the reader will get from reading this content. If you can’t find the value in it, neither will your target audience.
- No Distribution Plan: Creating the content is just the beginning.
Your marketing team has created a compelling piece of content; it looks great, ticks all the boxes and you’re happy that it’s over and done with.
But, here’s the problem: the project isn’t finished. Have you forgotten about distribution?
Content is useless if it isn’t consumed. You’ll need to spend as much – if not more – time thinking about how you’ll distribute your content as you did creating it.
Plan to get exposure for your content. To achieve this, you’ll need a strong social and influencer marketing plan.
- Five Ws and H: When writing news, journalists always keep the following in mind: who, what, when, where, why, how. These five questions also apply when writing content.
Who: Who is the content for? (Target audience)
What: What will the reader learn?
When: When’s the best time to share it with the reader? (Relevance of topic)
Where: Where can the reader find more information?
Why: Why should the reader care about the content? Why should the reader even look at the content?
How: How will this information improve the reader’s life?
Content marketing is potentially powerful but it’s not easy to get right. If you feel your content marketing strategy is failing, take comfort in knowing that you’re not alone. Many other businesses are tackling the same problem. But with smart goals, good distribution, unique content and the five Ws (and H), you can propel your content to new heights.
– This post was written by Emma Vince – former Digital PR Lead at Tinderpoint.