Step 2: Plan your content creation and distribution channels
With your purpose and goals in place, you can begin to look at your content creation, distribution and management plan to grow your business. Content marketing can include any written, visual or downloadable assets you create and own. Take note of how content is currently being consumed by your target market and site visitors. Content that is likely to be read or watched on a mobile device needs to work on a small screen.
Take a consistent but not uniform approach
Create content with a consistent and human voice to engage your audience, and post regularly to keep your users engaged. An editorial style guide and creative templates will help your content creators understand your audience, messages, brand voice and personality. Consistent does not mean uniform, so consider how you will differentiate your content for different platforms.
Answer customer questions
Help customers. Answer the questions your audience is asking to make their journey as pain-free as possible - map your content to the pain points and choose the best type of content for that problem. What obstacles can you solve for customers in their customer journey from awareness and consideration through to purchase, retention and advocacy? Use search analytics to understand what keywords to use.
Establish workflow and governance
How will you manage content creation and publication? Develop a simple content calendar and workflow to begin with, including stages such as creating, reviewing and publishing. Then build into the process key decision points and decision owners. Review content carefully as typos or factual errors can quickly undermine your brand.
Experiment with formats and distribution
Look at which types of content you want to create (blog, video, infographics, white papers, case studies, user-generated content, podcasts etc.). Think about evergreen and more tactical short-term content and explore how you will distribute this to your audience (e.g., social channels, influencer outreach). Test content in different formats and pivot towards what content is resonating and driving results. Don’t spread yourself too thin. If something is working for you then it often makes sense to double down and focus your resources where you are getting results.
Create a content experience
Be careful not to focus solely on individual pieces of content – consider the customer journey as a whole experience and create content that has a logical flow.
Not all content is for everyone. Consider customer personas as well as how you are different from the competition. Demonstrate your unique points as a business, the added value you will bring to your customers, and what step you’d like a customer to take after consuming your content.
Keep it fresh
Include a content ideation and review cycle, so you regularly take the opportunity to step back, ensure input from different stakeholders and create a steady flow of diverse ideas. This process should include audience insights, identifying collaborators to support content efforts and checking back on business needs.