Can I revise that to “Content is Exercise”?
Let me explain.
If you’re in business today, it’s essential that you produce content. By content this can be anything from articles, blog posts, white papers, podcasts, case studies...you get the idea. Any content that will help educate your clients/consumers and make you credible and useful. The idea is that people buy from those they trust and find credible. Nothing makes you more trustworthy and credible than producing useful content that addresses prospects’ needs.
Sonia Simone, of Copyblogger, nails it: "Successful salespeople will tell you that your customer needs to know, trust and like you before she’ll buy….Great content buys you the time to build that trusting relationship. So use that time wisely."
The web has made it a snap to create content. The bottom line is that anyone today can be a publisher. And there’s the rub. There is a lot of bad content out there (and of course a lot of great content) as I’m sure you’ve discovered.
Where we find in our PR business that companies run into problems is that they suddenly say to themselves, “I need to produce content.” The problem is that a company may then willy-nilly start a blog, write the occasional article, and then wonder why nothing is quite working.
Here’s the hard truth. Content marketing can’t be a half-hearted effort. Think of it as exercise. You know if you work out occasionally all you do is at best get a sore body. You don’t make any progress. When you exercise – if you’re serious about it – you develop a strategy and goals. You may join a gym or a running club if that’s your sport. Your goal may be to lower your blood pressure or to firm up your abdomen. Regardless, your goals can be measurable. It’s the same with content marketing. You need to develop a strategy and an action plan with measurable objectives:
Here are some helpful questions to ask yourself as you plan your content strategy:
- Why do I want to create content?
- What will it do for me/my business?
- Whom do I want to reach?
- What action do I want someone to take after looking at the content?
- How can I integrate my content in with the rest of my marketing?
- What type of content will appeal to the people I want to reach?
- How will I implement a content marketing program?
- How can you determine if you’ve been successful?
You also should check out this useful post by content marketing expert Joe Pullizi. Pullizi advocates a three-step process for launching a content program:
- Have a clear understanding of the organizational goals first.
- Understand the informational needs of the buyer.
- Create a content plan that is specific and measurable...one that directly speaks to the organization's goals and an understanding of the customer.
So how are you creating content to make yourself and/or your business known? I’d love to hear from you.