Let’s Talk Content: A Crash Course in Human-Centric, Strategic Content Marketing
Simple Advice from Evok’s SEO Manager on Putting Together Killer Content
In the advertising or marketing field, sometimes your day-to-day production or workload hangs above you like a dark cloud, and you have to rush through the day so you can leave the office by 5 p.m. and make it home in time for dinner.
When we get into this routine, it can be easy to forget why we’re even producing content. What’s the strategy behind that blog post or landing page? Did you establish one in the first place?
Rather than pushing out content, sometimes we need to take a step back and think about the end goals—and that starts with defining your content marketing strategy.
Content Plan vs. Content Marketing Strategy
First things first, let’s define the elements of content marketing.
A content plan focuses on the tactical approach to your content. It’s your marching orders, an evolving document that spells out the specifics of how you’ll execute your content marketing strategy and who will be responsible for each task.
It’s important to remember that a content plan without a content marketing strategy will be unfocused and ineffective—strategy should always inform your tactical approach. That strategy should address and detail areas like what you’re going to be writing about, recurring or key themes, topical areas, keyword placement, where the content will be placed (a landing page, blog, publication, etc.) and specific calls to action you need to include.
Before You Get Started: Have a Goal
What are your goals? What do you want from your customer? Your content marketing’s focus should be achieving a defined and desirable action that aligns with a business goal or objective. Do you want readers to call your business, fill out a form or purchase a product or service? Everything you do and write should have intent and purpose and lead to action.
And as with any goal, you need to be S.M.A.R.T. when making it.
Specific – A vaguely defined goal is rarely achieved, and even when it is, what is gained?
Measurable – If you cannot measure change or improvement, what will you have to compare your current goals to? How will you know where you stand and if what you’re doing has any value? When you’re writing content, set quantifiable goals for how many visitors you want to read it, how many people you want sharing it, etc.
Attainable – Do you have the tools and resources you need to produce great content?
Realistic – Are your goals realistic? Set your sights just above the horizon—strive to achieve more than the day before, but don’t get lost or frustrated when your content doesn’t get go viral. Great content evolves not only with the reader, but also the organization that produces it.
Timely – Keep your time in check with planning. You need to evaluate and establish a timescale that works for producing great content and this should be properly defined in your content plan. Timescales are composed of a series of sequential deadlines used towards achieving a goal or desired outcome. Think of your goal first, then work backwards.
Write Like You Mean It
It’s time to forget about content promotion as being a “push” effort. Pushing usually has a negative connotation to it—either you’re pushing yourself into something you don’t want to do or pushing someone else into reading, engaging or sharing your content. Deep down, no one wants to push or be pushed into doing anything.
Instead, content creation and promotion should be a pull effort—it should be attractive, appealing, interesting and meaningful. Readers can quickly tell the difference between a fluff content piece and one where the writer has demonstrated that they have a personal interest in what they’re writing about. With passionate content, you can forge connections between your readers and the content you’re producing. And those connections are what will carry your content the furthest.
Now is the time to start thinking about and planning more content strategically.