Create the Foundation for Content Marketing

Grazitti Interactive shared their top content marketing trends for 2020, and the big five are:

  1. Video content
  2. Interactive content
  3. Hyper-dynamic content
  4. SEO-centric content
  5. Voice search tailored content

Now, before you run out and ask are you doing these and how well are they working, take a breath. Remember, you can have the most outstanding content or digital graphics team in the world, but if you don’t start with a clear strategy, you will continue to waste money and be disappointed in the results. So, what should you do first?

As I’ve outlined on, strategy requires forethought and planning. You have to start with a clear mission, vision and values, design a compelling segmentation, define your end user, clarify your positioning & what makes you meaningfully unique, and establish your metrics & investment approach. I highlight this in my Strategic Clarity Cycle:

Once you are clear on the above, it’s time to develop a content strategy. A good way to capture this is with a brief that can be shared across internal and external stakeholders. What should you be including in your brief?

  • Strategic Goal. What is a meaningful goal for your business that is easy to understand and straightforward to measure? You can have ongoing goals (no end date, regular measurement) and campaign goals (time sensitive activities). I would also include both leading indicator goals as well as firm financial goals. Somewhere in the 2 – 5 goal range is ideal.
  • Audience Target. If you’ve done your homework in the strategic clarity cycle, this will be copy/paste, with perhaps a bit of additional texture. Think “who is this for, what do they want, and how is our business going to serve their needs?” Creating a persona (or profile) is very helpful here.
  • Topical Choices. Knowing your target and the needs of the personas/profiles, you can outline how you can bring solutions to their challenges or needs. You can also use consumer feedback to understand patterns, such as media consumption habits, engagement effectiveness, cross-shopping patterns (market basket), etc.
  • Organize & Focus. Create categories for your topics. Make sure they are focused, meaningful and authentic, and that each category can relate to the other in a complimentary manner so the collective sum enhances your overall brand.

Once you’ve created the brief with the above information, it’s time to decide on which content you will produce and how it will do two things: (1) Tell a Simple, Effective Story; (2) Highlight Meaningful Differentiation. There are so many different tactical ways to deliver content, and the five mentioned at the top from Grazitti Interactive are definitely worth considering as part of your content strategy.