Content marketing is the biggest thing going in marketing these days. When combined with marketing automation it can be a powerful method to help overwhelmed, over-exposed, information-overloaded people decide they want to buy your product or service.
It’s also easy to get lost in KPIs, content types, promotion, distribution, editorial calendars, personas, SEO, content upgrades, etc. – all important pieces of your content marketing strategy. However, focusing too early on these details can block out the two things you need to keep squarely in your sights if you want to create effective content that also gets the reaction you want from your audience:
- Who are you talking to (persona or audience)?
- What can you teach them that they want to know about (what information do they need)?
That’s really it. Those are the two questions from which all the myriad tasks and challenges around content marketing flow. One of the best ways we’ve found to keep the answers to those two questions is to build a content marketing strategy mission statement. If you have multiple audiences you may need more than one but they should all follow this simple formula. (We didn’t make this up, and I’m not sure he did either, but credit to Andy Crestodina).
Our content is where [audience x] gets [information y] that offers [benefit z].
This mission statement should help your audience answer the question ‘why am I here’ as they encounter your content. For example, if your company is a software provider your mission statement might resemble this:
Our content is where IT professionals find expert advice on enterprise level computing trends in order to keep their companies ahead of the curve.
Or, for a manufacturer: Our content is where corporate executives find ideas and tools for building more powerful and efficient supply chains.
Or, for a financial services company: Our content is where businesses and consumers can come to find smart advice on using financial tools for financial growth and stability.
So, ask yourself (and research) who your audience is. Then ask yourself (and research) what they’d like to accomplish. Plan your content around those two things, obviously concentrating on the areas where what they want to accomplish overlaps with something you can help them with. And then go forth and create.