A captive audience that is easy to target by interest is pretty much what every marketer dreams of – and you can find these people through social media. The challenge is coming up with content that people will really respond to – and your 30 second TV ad will not cut it.
How do you create the tweets, videos, photos and text that your audience will notice? I’ll map it all out for you in 8 steps.
1. Determine your goals and objective
If your goal is simply ‘to get more people clicking on my stuff,’ you will need to dig deeper. Your online marketing goals need to come from your general marketing goals. You wouldn’t just say ‘I want more people to buy my stuff. You’d say “I’d like to improve sales over the third quarter by 15% over last year.”
This can be difficult if you’re starting out, look to your competition and build goals off of their performance. Set numerical goal which you can measure, such as Facebook fans, number of comments or followers.
2. Research internally and externally
Take the time to speak with both your shareholders and employees, as well as your current customers and prospective customers – online surveys can help with this last group.
Make sure that you have a plan for what you want to learn from this research. Finding out what people in your industry use, such as which social platforms they enjoy, can help you tailor your content marketing plan to the appropriate social platform.
3. As always, know your target audience
This is another example of online marketing mirroring traditional marketing. If you’re developing content that is popular, but speaks to people who do not want your product, then you are wasting your time.
Do not just blindly say you want to keep going after your usual target audience in offline contexts. The web opens you up to a whole new group of people, you need to ask these questions to yourself at this point:
- Who have been our best customers?
- What interests do these customers have when they’re online?
- What information will they seek when it comes to these online interests?
- What channels have been supplying that information to them so far?
- How have they interacted with that information in the past?
4. Know your competition
Take the time to see who your competition is in the online realm and ascertain if they are doing a good job of content marketing or not.
Do not assume that what they are doing is great, especially if they’re local. Go international and get a sense of what is really working and apply this to as local a context as you need.
5. Idea time
This is the fun part as you look at the points above and start to figure out what you will actually send out as part of your content plan. Let it get a bit crazy and have fun, but do not allow it to turn into one big mess of a brainstorm. Organize by social platform (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc), content type (text, photo, video, contest) and theme (the type of story you’re telling).
While at this meeting, take the time to bring up your current content. Find what is working well and find new ways to interpret it and add onto it for your future plans.
6. Determine exactly which channels will be used for which content
You’re developing content to share it, where you publish it will play a large role in how well it is received. You will have done some brainstorming above on where it can go, now look at how different ideas can be adapted to different channels.
For example, can you take some of that text and photo content and turn it into a video as well? Will that video script work for a blog post too? Figure this out to maximize the use of your ideas across the appropriate channels.
7. Get the right team together and track performance
Now that you know what you want to do you can get the right talent in. Having a great copywriter around is super, but what if you want to shoot videos too? The right team of creatives will be your surest line to success.
Once they are set you’ll need to set up tools that track their performance. Some examples include:
- Content management systems
- Web analytics
- Social media aggregation platforms
- Customer relationship management software
8. Measuring success
Your measurement of success should track key metrics such as:
- new follower or fans
- interaction with content (comments, likes, replies, retweets, etc)
- unique visitors to your website
Then look at how they impact what matters – sales. A million new fans don’t matter if they’re not the million new people who are interested in actually purchasing your products or services. Set up your web analytic accounts to track your new users through the sales funnel so that you will know that your content marketing is turning into dollars, and be able to tweak it when it is not.