Last time we discussed the idea of inbound marketing and identified an important feature of it – namely the idea of having different types of digital content for people at different stages of their buying cycle. Its accepting that nowadays the web and web content is the main port of call for most people – whether they are buying, researching or just looking for answers to questions , and we want to be in a position to be in the picture regardless of which stage they are at.
A Content Strategy
What underpins this then is some form of content strategy – this doesnt need to be as grand as it sounds – it’s just making sure, in a structured way, that…
- We have good content in different forms (or we have plan to produce some)
- We know which platforms the content will be distributed by (Facebook, Blog, website, RSS, email, press releases, etc, etc)
- We know who is responsible in the organisation for its production, distribution and how often they will produce/distribute it.
A spreadsheet is a good way of recording this information – with different columns for the items above and possibly additional area for notes.
Here’s a partial Content Plan spreadsheet one of our customers produced to give you an idea…
The important thing here is a documented plan shareable amongst all the individuals who have responsibility for getting the content produced and distributed.
A good starting point is to do some sort of Content Audit – that is looking at the current content types you routinely produce then deciding on which platforms to publish through. For example you may already produce press releases but dont maximise publishing opportunities. There are loads of online distribution services to get this content out through – PRWeb, PR World, Market Wire etc.
This type of activity will lead to identification of gaps – for example, you may decide, as we do, that you will produce regular blog posts to your contacts and distribute via RSS, Facebook, Google Plus etc. You may not do it at the moment so need to decide who will do it, how often what about and so on.
Incidentally a by product of this activity is aiding your SEO through link building activity – so another way of looking at link building is to treat it as a component of your content distribution strategy.
Another aspect of this is you may decide you dont have resources to do all that you think is necessary – you may decide you can’t post to Facebook twice a day of you can’t produce articles and blogposts as frequently as you think its needed. This is where 3rd parties like us can help supplement you activities and even manage the whole content disstribution strategy for you if you wish.
Again, it’s worth repeating your type of businesses will determine to what degree you do all this. If you run an ecommerce site maybe the important things are product updates through the web, product offers through Facebook and Twitter, Getting users to review you products/services – so generating useful ‘User generated Content. Maybe if you are an on line travel agent your priorities are different – producing regular unbiased blogposts about the locations and resorts you service, for example, may be the most important thing. So at least think about it and think about the ‘sales funnel’ we discussed last time at how best to engage with your audiences at different stages – remembering that it’s much more effective that you have multiple contacts with your audience at different stages rather than just expecting them to find you at the point they wish to make a purchase.