Do you suffer from a common condition that afflicts content marketers? It's known to paralyze even the strongest writers. And even make them queasy. It's so strong that it can force inaction and second guessing and erode the ability to produce effective content marketing.
Jack Black would call it Fearofpublishingcontentneosis. If you have written any kind of customer-facing content, when you look back you've undoubtedly found:
- The occasional misspelled word or grammar error
- A topic that didn't really connect with your audience
- A point you found compelling when you wrote it but nearly as much so when you look back
- A weak headline or subject line
- Missed publication dates
Fearofpublishingcontentneosis causes you to hesitate publishing your content. Sometimes it derails well-intended content marketing program. But, if you take these four steps you'll produce more effective content and remedy the affects of Fearofpublishingcontentneosis!
5 Critical Components Of Effective Content Marketing
If you're embracing content marketing, congratulations. But before you launch a program, take a step back and do these five things first to ensure an effective program.
1 Develop A Content Marketing Strategy
Build it and they will come worked for Kevin Costner but effective content marketing requires a different script. It needs a defined strategy. For example:
- What's your goal?
- Who is your target audience?
- What are their needs?
- How can you help them fulfill their needs?
- And more - link to other post 35 questions you need to answer before you start a content marketing program
That detailed work includes getting inside the heads of your target audience.
You know your customers. Plus, your sales and customer service teams may have great relationships. But, effective content marketing requires a deeper customer understanding than the typical relationship provides. Dedicating the time to ask questions and gather information will uncover the insights necessary for a successful program.
Customer personas are the most common method used to collect these insights. Customer research is an essential part of this step. Don't skip it!
2 Idea/Topic Generation
A compelling topic that speaks to the needs of a target audience will dramatically increase the amount of people who consume the content.
So, before you start writing, foster ideas and develop topics that connect with your audience. Although your customer research will uncover clear themes, tools such as:
In addition, defining topics in advance promotes productive writing. Researching topics online and engaging internal and external subject matter experts will uncover information that makes your writing both easier and better.
Ultimately, it's unproductive to write content when you don't have a topic but do have a tight deadline. Use the Content Tool Set as a guide to develop an effective content marketing program.
Ultimately, the quality of the written material you produce will determine the success of your content marketing program. Poorly written, uninteresting and unhelpful information will hurt not help your cause. Developing effective content marketing programs require effective writing sources.
Internal Writing Sources
You can succeed without a professional writer. You, or someone on your staff, can undertake that role. But, not without a commitment to:
- Prioritize the content marketing program
- Meet deadlines
- Hone your writing skills
External Writing Sources
However, if your current job functions and other priorities limit the time you can spend on a content marketing program, external sources are a good option. Freelance writers, college interns with communications backgrounds and content marketing organizations are viable external writing alternatives.
Although each resource can develop written materials to quickly elevate your program, content marketing organization are more versed at tactics that target your audience and elevate your investment.
If you are in the market for a new home, which one is better?
- A yard with perfectly manicured grass and shrubs
- A yard like the Addams family?
If you click on a link to read an article, which one is better?
- Well-written content
- Content with spelling and grammar errors
Although artificial intelligence tools, like spell-check, reduce errors, they aren't fool proof. For example, spell-check doesn't sound the alarm when you use the correct spelling of the wrong word. Nor will it correct missing words or wrong dates. But a good editor will.
In addition to proofreading, restructuring and editing an effective editor will also integrate keywords bolstering your position in search when possible.
5 Headlines & Subject Lines
What is the one thing that guarantees more people read your content? Effective headlines and subject lines. Yet, content programs often devote little time and effort to arguably the most important component. Plus, in order to meet a deadline, headlines and subject lines are often rushed and slapped on as an afterthought.
A writer can develop good headlines. So can other members of your staff. But, it requires prioritization.
Effective content marketing programs need powerful headlines and subject lines. Make sure you identify that source.
But What If The Lone Ranger Didn't Have Tonto?
Can one person execute these functions? It's not easy but keep these tips in mind if you're going it alone:
- Research is still essential - it will quantify the most effective content components
- Let your writing breath - finishing up a blog post and sending it out a few minutes later is a recipe for mistakes. Instead, revisit your content the next day. It will open your eyes to improvement opportunities you previously missed
- Enlist a coworker in accounting or estimating to review your content- they are great sources for identifying mistakes that we marketing folks make
- Write 20 headlines or subject lines for every communication - spend the necessary time to develop the right one.
Need content marketing strategy support? InterEdge Marketing excels at developing strategies that connect with your ideal customer and convert prospects into buyers.