I have worked with clients in the past who have suffered from ‘build it and they will come’ syndrome. It’s the notion that if you create enough great content and publish it on your site, YouTube channel, etc, your work is done and your audience will find it, in the same way that Kevin Costner enticed an entire ghost army of baseball players to his field of dreams.
A desire to produce great content is just the first step. Yes, the content is the means by which you tell your story and there many creative ways you can communicate your business goals to your desired audience. The trick is using the ones that are going to resonate with them the most in order to drive the action you want.
This is where the strategy comes in. I was amazed to read recently that half of organisations who are currently using content marketing are doing so without a documented strategy (and actually writing it down is important as a physical document is an indispensable tool to keep teams, sometimes across departments, on track).
You can have the best articles, infographics or videos in the world – and have spent time and budget producing them – but without a strategy it’s not get in front of the right eyes.
Know your personas
The bedrock of any good strategy are your personas. Knowing what to publish depends on the person you’re publishing to; you wouldn’t send a picture of a cat to a dog-lover. Figuring out the personas of your customers is crucial because your content will speak directly to them and their interests.
Imagining customer personas down to the absolute gritty detail helps formulate a mental picture of your audience. It can also be quite entertaining to boot, for instance, figuring out that your average customer is a red wine drinker, single and spends most of their free time collecting badges could prove key differentiators in the way you approach them.
Knowing what to publish depends on the person you’re publishing to; you wouldn’t send a picture of a cat to a dog-lover.
Distribution and amplification
Once you know who they are you can find out ‘where’ they are – what social media channels does your demographic prefer? Should you be spending money on some paid promotion? With so much noise out there now, you’ve got to share your content where your personas are most likely to see it, you can’t always on them to find it organically.
Measure and learn
A key part of any good strategy should be a set of KPIs you measure your efforts against – otherwise how will you know that your budget has been put to good use? Kev was rewarded with visitations from the dead. With a strategy in place you could be rewarded with brand awareness, more blog subscribers…whatever you decide to set as your goal. Build it, tell people about it, and they will come.