Strong content sets brands apart from their competitors. Because today’s buyer has changed, he or she is entwined in the buying process more than ever. The self-educating, research-loving consumer is now in control—and strong content is what this new buyer craves!
I’ve written the phrase “strong content” twice, and now I’m really going to underscore it: you must create strong content if you hope to succeed in today’s new marketplace.
Creating content for the sake of content is like eating a microwavable burrito because it’s food. As a marketer, you must hold yourself to a higher standard (and please go shopping).
When developing content, you should keep in mind the following four factors that will enhance the quality of your content inventory and keep our new buyers engaged.
1. Persona Needs Analysis
Before writing one word, you must first understand what your prospective buyers need at the different stages in their buying process. If you don’t know what they’re looking for, how can you ever create content they need?
That’s where personas come into play.
I’m not talking your standard demographic data with a stock photo headshot and a silly name (Marketing Mary, anyone?). Real personas expose the goals, challenges, success factors, life events, preferred communication channels, and more. To collect all this information, the process takes time—but it’s entirely worth it.
Once personas are defined, you can then more fully understand the needs of those individual groups. From there, your content idea light bulb should start bursting on all the time.
2. The Content Marketing Team
When you decide to invest in a content strategy, the difficult part is actually producing all that content. Before you jump into the deep end, make sure you have a strong team that can produce ongoing content that is engaging and informative.
At the top of the team structure sits a Content Strategist. This strategist is there to conduct research on proper content topics and to develop the plan that will bring more visitors to your site. This person will provide direction to the rest of the team.
Below the Content Strategist is the Content Manager. This manager is responsible for delegating certain content pieces out to copywriters. Oftentimes, the Content Manager will act as the editor-in-chief, organizing the editorial calendar and maintaining a consistent tone and style for all published content.
Copywriters are your soldiers on the field. Copywriters should constantly be generating new content like a steam engine generates…well, steam. Be judicious about hiring your copywriters: not only must they have a strong writing background, but they should also understand how to write for a brand and a brand’s personas.
3. The Editorial Calendar
Organization is crucial to a content strategy. Without it, you’ll never produce enough content at a consistent cadence to satisfy the needs of your personas and the demands of your organization.
An editorial calendar should include the dates, ownership, editors, and statuses of all your content. But don’t forget about the pace, tone, call to action, and KPI (key performance indicator) for the content.
4. Content Types
The information prospects seek as they make purchase decisions varies immensely, and the types of content marketing you create should too. If you stick with one type of content for all your content publications, you’ll never deliver strong content.
And speaking of that, check out the infographic below on 41 different types of content marketing you can use to vary your editorial calendar.
Strong Content Starts Now
Set your content apart with strong work. When you understand your personas’ needs, create a reliable content marketing team, follow through with a detail editorial calendar, and vary your content types, you’re guaranteed to create a successful content strategy.