Investing in your content

So, you wrote a new blog post and shared it around. Now what?

Simply publishing content isn’t really a strategy, or a replacement for search engine optimization or a social media plan.

When used effectively, the content you just created can serve as the hub of your content distribution strategy, feeding the ever-hungry social media networks, creating new opportunities for engagement in email marketing, and carving out a bigger canvas to build your brand, listen to your audience and discuss big ideas.

But how do you get from writing a blog post to a creating a full blown strategy? Investment.

Investing in your content strategy doesn’t start with handing out writing tasks and deadlines. Investing in your strategy is taking inventory of what you have, re-energizing your efforts and shifting the creating process just a bit. It takes time, brand knowledge and lots of creative ideas, but your investment will be rewarded with more visitors, more effective marketing dollars, and extended reach.  

Here are 4 steps to start investing in your content strategy this week.

1) Identify your goal.

Without a goal, a strategy is just a bunch of thoughts and ideas. Here’s a simple example:

First Goal = Grow my Influence in a new product category—eco-friendly yoga gear.

Many companies are looking to extend their influence, whilst protecting their marketing budgets. With each piece of content you either already have or will write shortly, plus a small shift in focus, you can grow your influence and extend your reach into current and prospective audiences.

2) Find your audience … And get to know them.

You’ll need to know who your audience is, where they currently get their information online and what kind of content do they most often share?

Example: The audience most likely interested in eco-friendly yoga gear currently read top yoga blogs, follow Pinterest boards that curate yoga information, and follow Facebook fan pages of top gear brands. Looks like they love to share inspirational images and quotes, yoga tips, and recipes for healthy snacks. Be sure to consider these audience learnings as you create your content.

3) Create Content … not just words.

Each piece of new content should be planned and created with the goal of having a few diverse components included. I’ve come up with a few here to get started with.

  • Why: Your content could be a hot topic in your industry, a newsworthy event, a launch of something, unique buzz on celebrity gossip…. whatever it is, your audience needs the answer to why should I read this?
  • What: A fresh info-graphic or image to illustrate your idea.
  • Fun: An unbelievable statistic, a quote, a quick video, or an audio piece provides a little entertainment.
  • Question: A question to garner a response.
  • Take-away: A download or other resource for the reader to take with them.
  • Shareable: Make it easy to share something from your piece, pre-written headlines, awesome  images, and share buttons.   Need a trusted resource to create fresh new content? We can help.

4) Distribute! 

Each piece of content you create should have many planned destinations, including social networks, email marketing, blog partners, paid ad campaigns and SEO. Each component of your content piece (remember the six I listed above?) will be used to leverage its strength when distributed out to partner and network sites.

Example: Have a zinger of a headline? Use it in the subject line of an email campaign. Did you include a killer statistic? Use that as a twitter or Facebook headline. Did you create an inspirational or hilarious image? Post that to Pinterest, Instagram or Stumble.

Blogs and social networks are powerful tools to reach new customers, and create discussions within your online community. But they need goals, creative thinking, fresh content creating, careful planning, and investment of your team to reach their potential!

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