For instance, we are going to produce more content marketing, when what they really mean is we are going to produce more content.
Another good example is when someone says we need a plan for our content marketing. When they are really saying we need a content strategy.
Am I being knit picky? Perhaps. However, the subtle nuances may make a difference in how successful your content marketing ultimately is.
Breaking Content Into 3 Unique Buckets
For a business looking to leverage content as a vehicle to drive brand advocacy, help better inform prospective and current clients and ultimately create inbound leads, it is important to put your content plans into these 3 areas.
1. Content Strategy: Your content strategy is where you determine the 4 W’s and the H.
- Who are you creating content for (Target Market)
- What will you create content about (What important business questions is your content addressing/solving for potential and current customers)
- When will you create and publish content (This is where you consider frequency. How often will you publish? Daily, weekly?)
- Why are you creating content? (Both literally and figuratively, why is this part of the integrated marketing strategy? What are the goals of the strategy upon execution?
- How will you create and deliver content. (Who will generate the content? What medium will be used (video, blog)? What sites will you publish on (Owned, Paid, Earned)?
2. Content Development: Content development comes down to the actual act of generating the content. Whether written, spoken, video or some other medium, the development phase is when the content is created.
In itself, content development is important and time consuming. Just because you know what your content strategy is (outlined above), it doesn’t mean your business has the time or resources to create high quality content at your determined frequency rate.
3. Content Marketing: Specifically, content marketing isn’t actually the creation or planning portion whatsoever. Content marketing is really the promotion of the content created to drive conversions.
Conversions can be looks, likes, sign ups or sales, but they happen as a byproduct of successful content marketing.
Where you share the content, how often you promote it, when you update your owned media with new content are all examples of the act of content marketing. This includes Social Media, Blog Sites, Syndication etc…
Successful content marketing does start with good content, but that is really a small portion of the whole story.
Why 1 and 2 are key to being successful at 3 (Content Marketing)
If you want successful content marketing then you have to start with a good plan (content strategy). Understand who your audience is, what they want to hear and why they want to hear it.
Then figure out when to share it, what platform and vehicles you will use to create it and where the content will ultimately be placed.
This is the core (while simplified to the nth degree) of a content strategy.
Once you know your strategy, then you have to figure out how to get the content created. It won’t happen on its own and great writing and video isn’t magic. You need vetted and highly capable resources.
Once you have your strategy and your means to develop the content, it is then that you can focus on Content Marketing.