Before you start creating any kind of content for your marketing plans, there are a few things you need to define.
By outlining these elements before you start, you can ensure that each piece will support your overall goals and bring results.
This outline will work for any type of content, whether you are producing a video, writing an article, designing an infographic or developing anything else.
Who your Target Audience Is
To create content that moves an audience, you need to know who you are talking to. Define exactly who you want to reach with each piece of content and even make a few notes about these people, like where they are, what motivates them and why they should care about your content.
Keep in mind that your target audience for a specific piece of content may be a subset of your general target market.
What you Want People to Do
All of your content should help you inspire people to take action. Of course, content marketing plans often use dozens, or even more, pieces of content in correlation with each other to achieve this. However, even a single piece should have a purpose and call to action.
Ask yourself, “After people view this, what do I want them to do?” The answer could be anything from visit your website to follow you on social media or buy a product.
What you Need to Tell People to get Action
Now, determine what you need to tell your audience to get the desired reaction. Start by providing information, offering an incentive, triggering emotion or using ideas that influence your market. Then, finish strong with a call to action that directly asks people to do something.
The approach you take will depend on who your market is and what you want people to do. What inspires one group of people to take action might not be inspiring for another group. Track your efforts across all of your marketing, including social media and content marketing, to find out what strategies get the best results for you.
Where you Need to Publish
Finally, know where your content will be published before you even start creating it. Why is this so important? Because it can help you play to a channel’s audience and features to make your content that much more powerful.
Content you publish on your website will likely be different from a guest post you submit to a popular industry news site. An infographic you create for social media could be different from one you create for an industry report. Knowing your channel will help you develop content designed for its platform, which is more effective than random content that doesn’t have a strategy.
Taking the time to determine these four elements before you start content creation will pay off in the end. These extra few steps will help you focus your efforts so your content will be more strategic and more likely to demand results.