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A Checklist for Developing Content Marketing Strategies in 2018

Good quality is the benchmark for content marketing success. Companies today are investing heavily in content production, including hiring journalists to give the content more credibility. The aim is always to produce high quality content that’s effective in fulfilling its objective, while cutting through the clutter. Don’t produce content for the sake of it because creating poor quality content will only add to the content glut.

The demand for valuable content is greater than ever before, which is why you need a proven checklist to guide your efforts. Doing so will reduce your mistakes, leaving more energy and time for increasing engagement with potential customers:

  1. Set clear content marketing objectives

Before you begin planning, you need to know what your business needs are, and then set goals for your content marketing initiatives. The content you create will depend on your business need. For instance, you might need to create performance marketing content, content for recruitment, or content for promoting a product. You will also need to list down the problems your consumers are facing and how your brand will help solve them. Set clear goals and deadlines, and determine how you will measure success to ensure you’re accountable at every stage.

  1. Know your target audience

Content is a conversation with your audience; it’s not a transaction where you’ll get more clicks, likes and shares. To make this a successful conversation, your content needs to resonate with your audience’s needs. Is it directly addressing their pain points? Is it solving a problem for them?

To assess the real needs of your audience, you not only need demographic and behavioral data, but you also need psychographic insights. Psychographics tells you why your audience acts the way it does. It gives you deeper insights into their psyche, motivations, fears, desires, and core personality traits. The content you create has to target these core needs.

  1. Create a content strategy and know the content market fit

A content marketing strategy is the backbone of any content marketing initiative. What kind of conversations you choose to have with your consumers will depend on the insights you gather about them. Once you have the insights, you’ll have a better understanding of the type of content your audience consumes, which formats work well and on which platforms, which content categories are preferred, etc. Think of how your content can add to the conversation, how it can fill the need gap in your industry, and how it can communicate your brand’s value proposition in an authentic, engaging way.

  1. Generate quality content Quality content ensures your readers continue to return to your website to consume more of it. Plus, it enhances brand visibility on search platforms like Google and Bing because they, too, want to provide quality content from credible sources to their consumers. So, it’s a win-win for everybody.

Now, how do you go about creating quality content? Here’s a checklist:

  • Would you share the piece of content you create with your network?
  • Can readers get better content elsewhere on the Internet?
  • Does your content provide useful information to your audience?
  • Does it have a call to action?
  • Is this content backed by research?

If the answer to any of the questions above is ‘No’, don’t publish the piece. Don’t succumb to the philosophy of “I’d rather publish something, than nothing.”

  1. Amplify your content

Your content doesn’t hold any value if nobody sees it. Content is worth much more when it is amplified to the right segments in the right environment. Detail a strong distribution strategy to promote your content via different channels.

  1. Measure the results

It is critical that you define what success looks like to you. Ensure you’re as detailed as possible while finalizing your goals for success.

Here’s a sample pyramid to help you define your campaign’s success by listing key metrics and tracking set KPIs.

If your goals are not being met, you’ll need to optimize the content to achieve the desired results. So make sure you track your engagement and traffic to find out what steps you need to take to meet your goals.

Ultimately, content is the lifeblood of your brand. So, build a vision thoughtfully and understand that great content requires patience, dedication, and perseverance. Attracting your target audience doesn’t happen overnight. Solve your audience’s problems, and you’ll win their hearts.

(The Author is Neena Dasgupta, CEO & Director at Zirca Digital Solutions)

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