Most of my career has been spent in regulated industries, so I’ve always held a close belief that no one knows my industry the way I do. It wasn’t really until the mid-2000s when social media started to take-off that I had to think about how to develop content like a publisher and think more like a journalist.
Medium-size companies can afford a dedicated in-house resource for content generation. Larger companies typically have a team of content creators. What I’ve finally arrived at, is a blend of in-house content execution, managed by a dedicated resource, a Content Manager, with outsourcing specific content types.
Hire a Content Manager
You’ll be stretched attempting to manage social media, blogging, email marketing, landing page copy, website, infographics, ebooks, whitepapers, etc. without a dedicated in-house person. It’s this person’s job to oversee your overall content marketing roadmap, ensuring your content is created in your brand voice and tone. Your content has to be written to convert customers, while educating and rolling up to your overall business strategy.
Create a Content Roadmap
Start by mapping out your customer channels — answer questions like this:
- What types of content does this audience consume?
- What are their preferences?
- How do they consume content?
- What are their needs?
- How do they communicate?
Conducting research and creating consumer personas is the best way to establish a content framework. Taking the time to research your existing customers and potential customers will allow you to create content they want, not content you think they want. Here’s a terrific step-by-step guide on how to create a roadmap.
Manage Your Content Like a Publisher
There’s a science to creating relevant, specific content. Once you have your overall content roadmap created, get in a room with your team and document what you’re going to be creating for the upcoming month, document future ideas and start benchmarking what type of metrics you want to achieve from your content.
Meeting frequency depends on how often you’re blogging. Weekly or every other week is a good place to start— this keeps your ideas fresh and relevant. Don’t get stuck in what you’ve planned because news and content is an ever-changing landscape. Be open to considering trending topics without getting too focused because you have many types of content to create and manage.
Work with your website or SEO/PPC resource to get a list of all the keywords that are relevant to your business and customer. This is where the science comes in — don’t keyword stuff your content. Consider the keywords that are high search terms in your industry for your audience. You want your content to be found, right? Potential customers are going to use certain phrases to find your business, and you want your content to surface to the top of the pile.
Invest in Thought-Leadership and Outsource Specifics
Utilize well-known research and content providers to help you create thought-leadership pieces. Also identifying external copywriters that understand your business is an economical way to supplement your in-house efforts. I’ve found that providing a prescriptive framework and guidelines to external resources is best for everyone. The copywriter understands your framework, timeline and budget — they’re free to get to work.