A writing licence doesn’t qualify you to drive a content HGV!
In general, there’s still not enough thought and strategy going into content marketing. Think for a moment. How do you plan your content marketing strategy? Do you even have one?
A fellow writer was discussing a project with me on Skype. ‘This company has just set up a new blog and they’ve asked me to populate it.’ she said ‘ You know what it’s like when a blog is new and content is sparse, it doesn’t look attractive. So I am busy scribbling away a whole raft of 350 word articles.’
Our conversation continued. I listened but at no time was a content marketing strategy mentioned. The company had simply hired a skilled writer and she was filling the blog with ‘stuff’. But what was the point of that I wondered?
What is content marketing for?
Well, if you consider – 4.75 billion pieces of content were shared daily on Facebook (May 2013) (Source:Facebook) the one thing you can say is there’s competition for eyeballs. So if I was to populate my blog with random, generic posts who would see them? To whom would they appeal? Who would care if my words weren’t talking to people about specifics they care about? So what qualities would my content marketing have to exhibit? It would have to be found first, read, then considered significant, entertaining, useful, provocative and, well good enough, to be shared. They are just the very, very basic considerations.
A writer or creative is not necessarily a skilled content marketer
Yes you can find a talented writer who may well be a whizz, a published author, a creative writing student. But, and this is a big but, they may well have a driving licence. They may have been driving for years but could they handle a fully laden heavy content marketing goods vehicle on a busy mobile highway? They need to know more than that. Don’t forget too that Social media too is a content marketing driver!
Some basic questions to ask before commissioning any content marketing
- Have you made use of information your audience has provided?
- Have you defined your target audience?
- Do you know anything about your target customers?
- Do you know where they are, what they like and what they share?
- Is your content marketing created on a hunch, an approximation, some random idea?
- Have you actually looked at available data to see what kind of content performs best for your brand?
Content marketing is now considered mainstream in 2016
So the pressure is on. As companies increase content marketing investment then strategy refinement is an essential. Before you create a single piece do the planning carefully. Remember, content strategy is never finished, it never remains the same and requires constant creativity and careful analysis.
Check this infographic out for some great tips for 2016
Don’t be afraid to get help. You may baulk at paying someone to assist you in planning but it will save money in the long run. After all, what’s the point of paying for content no one cares about? That’s the biggest waste of investment in every sense.
Vivienne Neale is a content marketer, commentator, consultant who is the engine that drives successful business content marketing strategies.