“The biggest mistake you can make in content marketing is to not create any content.” –unknown
Funny how we marketing people can make things so much more complicated than they need to be. Content marketing is a great example.
If you’ve done any kind of research into content marketing best practices you know there are precise steps you should follow, beginning with creating comprehensive buyer personas, identifying the information needs of each persona at each stage of the buying cycle, plotting out how and when you’ll create content to meet each of these needs, pulling together your team and so on.
All of these are important activities – and you should do them at some point in the implementation of your content marketing program. But on the occasions when I’ve tried to follow a textbook process with my clients, we’ve gotten all bogged down. Reminds me of trying to get anything done fast at Lucent in the late 90s. Akkk!
I’m currently talking with a software company CEO who’s on his 6th month of “getting ready” to create content!
I come from the school of “let’s be approximately correct, get on with doing stuff and correct it as we go”. So I came up with a cheater process for launching a content marketing program. One that covers the bases well enough without taking precious time away from actually creating content.
If that sounds interesting, read on …….
Step 1: Make an educated guess about your content strategy.
If you’ve been in business for any length of time, you’re qualified to speculate about who will be consuming your content and what they need to know. You may miss a few details. You may leave out some needed content. You may even be flat out wrong in some of your assumptions. So what?
Here’s all you need to know to get started:
- Who is your target audience? What are their titles? What are their needs and values?
- Where are they in the buying cycle?
- How do they like to consume content?
Step 2: Create some content and get it out there.
Odds are it won’t be perfect. It never is. Focus on creating high quality content and providing value to your buyers; and, even if your estimates are somewhat wonky, you’ll still be better off than you would be with nothing.
Your biggest challenge may be figuring out what to create first. That depends on your priorities. Is the sales team screaming for product sheets, case studies or white papers? Start there.
Want to generate more website traffic and leads? Build up your blog first.
Want buyers to be more educated before they connect with your sales team? Add stuff to your website. Do some webinars. Ditto the blog.
Step 3: Pay attention to buyer feedback and tweak your content to make it better.
If your content isn’t working, you’ll know. Worst case, no one will download your white paper, subscribe to your newsletter, read your blog or connect with you on LinkedIn. You won’t get a lot more leads and your selling cycle will be no faster.
Mind you, that’s worst case. Most likely you’ll find any piece of content you create, done right, will be better for you than what you have now.
Make sense? What questions do you have about getting started?
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