Flickr / Chung Ho Leung
Earlier in the week, I posted about the fact that 48 percent of business-to-business content marketers don’t have a documented content marketing strategy. I talked about how this is a major problem and whether you are using content marketing to reach businesses or consumers, a documented strategy is essential.
When you take the time to document your strategy, you can focus your efforts, streamline your strategy, find ways to make content marketing work with your overall online marketing plans and get much better results.
Documenting a content marketing strategy can be very simple, and these steps will help you get started.
1 — Write Down your End Goal
First, write down what you want to accomplish with content marketing. What do you hope to achieve or how do you want your content marketing to benefit your online marketing efforts? You may have a couple end goals, and that’s okay. Just be sure to clearly define each one.
2 — Set up Benchmark Goals
Now, ask yourself: “what do we need to do to make our end goals happen?” The answer to this question should help you formulate some benchmark goals. Benchmark goals are smaller goals that will lead to the end result you outlined in step one.
These goals should be very detailed and measurable. Consider outlining things like the type of content you will use, topics you will address, how often you will publish and where you will publish content.
3 — Determine how to Track Success
Now you need to set up a way to track success. This is an essential part of your documentation because it will help you continually improve so your content marketing plan is always becoming more and more effective.
Tracking things like number of pieces published, website traffic, URL clicks, social media followers and sales can help you see what kind of impact your content marketing is having on your business.
4 — Build in Regular Assessments
Once you have a tracking system in place, you need to use it. Track your efforts carefully and set up a regular assessment. This could be a team meeting or just an item on your personal calendar that reminds you to look at your progress.
Determine how well you are meeting your benchmark goals and if you are on track to reach your end goals. If you feel that you aren’t being as successful as you could be, identify problems or try something new.
5 — Know when to Make Changes
Finally, understand when you should make changes. It takes time to see results from content marketing, so don’t give up on your goals too quickly. By the same token, don’t stick with a plan that’s not helping you be successful.
Successful content marketing requires some experimentation and the idea is that by regularly assessing your efforts you’ll see when it’s time to try something new and even be able to quickly identify what could be working better, saving you time and resources.
If you want to be successful at content marketing, documentation is essential. These steps can help you document your strategy and use it to make sure you are doing things that will bring results.