And when it comes to creating and distributing content as a key part of your content strategy, keep two objectives in mind: creative and marketing.
The creative objective is to regularly come up with contextual material that the audience finds relevant enough to opt-in to receive, compelling enough to share with friends, and engaging enough to demand and come back for more—thus building a community around content.
The marketing objective is to amplify reach for all content. The ideal goal? Create content that goes viral. Yet even if that doesn’t happen, you want to create and distribute content that fosters positive, long-term experiences via content association, which lead to increased brand engagement, advocacy and loyalty.
Simply put? Keep this two-way content principal in mind: Add value to your community and harness collective intelligence to your brand.
As you create and implement your content marketing strategy, it’s critical to master the content loop—and that involves more than writing a blog post and hitting “publish.” Keep the following steps in mind to ensure you’re getting the most out of the content you create and the strategy you’ve defined.
Master the Content Loop in 7 Steps
Always craft content with your audience in mind. Be consistent. Create a rhythm.
Keep it easy-to-digest. Whether you’re writing an email newsletter, a blog post or a Facebook status update, keep in mind that packaging and presentation matter. Use this as a chance not only to craft and share a message, but to build your creative skills, too.
Excite, engage, educate and entertain your audience with fresh content to avoid fatigue. It’s not feasible to create content all the time. Instead, learn to identify, organize and use quality sources of content that will keep your audience as informed and engaged as they are with original material.
Synergized brand content across all channels increases impact, reach and response.
Today’s fragmented media landscape calls for integration across multiple touch-points. Make sure your message is aligned across multiple channels. And use tactics like social sharing integration to make it easier for your audience to share your message, too.
Embrace the 4 S’s of Content Distribution and Delivery: Searchable. Shareable. Social. Simple. As you distribute and share your message, listen and interact with your audience. Share their content, too. Pay attention to what they say about your material. Refine your content strategy (and what you write) based on audience feedback.
Your data will tell you how your content is performing. Keep the 4 M’s of Data Analytics in mind: Measure. Monitor. Moderate. Modify. Decide your KPIs first.
Build a feedback channel. Focus on insights. Select tech/ tools that work best for you. And continue to refine your content strategy based on what the data shows. This is a valuable goldmine of audience insight—use it.
Optimizing your content will help others find it—and the more eyes, the better. Include external and internal links. Integrate pertinent keywords. One important tip? Optimize content for people, not spiders—that way, you’ll create a solid SEO foundation that weathers the myriad Google algorithm changes.
What sort of ROI metrics are you measuring? Think in terms of eyeballs, brand engagement, retail sales or customer acquisition. Once you’ve identified these benchmarks, you’ll be able to better measure the efficacy of your content strategy—and make adjustments as needed. Help your brand evolve into a social business model and align content marketing with your sales funnel. After all, content is another sales tool—and no matter your industry or company, we’re all in the business of selling more stuff.
By keeping these 7 steps in mind, you’ll maintain a solid grasp on the full scope of the content loop—and create a complementary strategy that helps you better achieve your business goals, too.
Amar Trivedi is an Integrated Marketing and Communications Consultant with international experience across diverse cultures and markets. He offers strategic advice to help businesses leverage social business models at scale. A blogger, writer, social media columnist and content marketer, he runs a business blog at Mr. Social, tweets @Mr_Madness and is open to connect on LinkedIn.
Image by Intamin10 via Creative Commons