How to Implement a
Content Marketing Campaign
A step-by-step guide to executing
your content strategy
This is part 2 of the coverage of Ahavay Leitraub's talk, "Content Marketing and Content Strategy: A Peaceful Coexistence?". You can read her book The Digital Crown: Winning on the Web to go into more depth on these topics.
Part 1 can be found here.
After you have developed a plan for your external messaging, it's time to implement a content marketing campaign.
Your internal workflow is made up of five steps that you continue to repeat: Plan, Create, Publish, Distribute, Analyze
Governance is a set of practices that make it all happen. You have to deal with the realities of creating and publishing content in a real business environment.
How do you implement this process in a sustainable way? There's 4 steps that will ensure success by giving you repeatable results for your content.
1. Listen: You need to make sure you are addressing what your audience is telling you
2. People, process, technology: Find the right mix of personnel, internal process and tools to get the job done efficiently.
3. Advocate for systems: You need to find ways to simplify each step and make it part of your regular daily routine.
4. Iterate: You can always make it better over time.
Iteration is a process of its own, with 3 steps that will guide you to the next version.
1. Process Evaluation: What does our current process look like?
2. Review past projects: Let's examine one or two older projects.
3. Incorporate what you learned: What can we change?
These simple steps will guide you through the process of marketing your content. By listening to customers and then iterating upon the results it builds a feedback loop for improving results.
Goals of Content Marketing
Create content that will draw prospects like bees to a blossoming flower.
Give them the content in exchange for an email address or some other form of potential ongoing contact.
3. Engage or connect
Continue to engage by creating and sending relevant content about your product, service or knowledge base.
4. Drive to profitable action
Clearly align your content creation and distribution efforts with your business goals. This is what really matters.
Ahavay gave a great example of how NOT to do content marketing by telling us a story of an herbal supplement company. They did a campaign where they printed unique codes on all their packaging. You were instructed to go to their website and enter the code to get more information on that particular herbal supplement. She went to the site and entered the code. The site then simply displayed the information, and that was it. What if they had asked for an email address, or had some other way to engage? It was a missed opportunity to acquire more information that can then be used to connect in the future. Content marketing only works if you get the 4th goal: Profitable action.
The actual sales process can be broken down into a series of interactions that build and maintain the relationship.
The purpose of content marketing is not to achieve paying customers in one shot, but rather to provide a pathway to paying customers through phases of interaction. Creating a Customer Journey Map like below helps you plan out how the interaction can begin.
One good example is how pharmacies like Walgreen's have created apps to provide useful services to their customers. This keeps them coming back more often since it opens up a new channel for pushing additional content. You are able to notify them about discounts and special promotions directly. The more people interact and engage with your content, the more likely they will be driven to a profitable action.
Remember that Content is a product. High quality results take the right amount of time and effort. Rushing the process will compromise the results, so keep in mind that it's a long term investment.