But there’s more to it than that. Think of it as “pre-reporting.” Before you develop a content marketing strategy, you have to think about your objectives, the challenges you’ll face and the types of metrics you’ll track.
Know Why You’re Doing It
What are you trying to achieve by marketing your content? You are not creating content for the purpose of having content, so make your business objectives clear. “The best and simplest way to solidify your purpose is to create your content marketing mission statement,” explains the Content Marketing Institute.You can take it a step further and state a mini-mission for each post.
Consider the Challenges
Pinpoint potential challenges. And that doesn’t mean overwhelming yourself with data – simply summarizing your key challenges on a couple of flow charts can provide data that’s considerably easier to digest, and also a good deal more persuasive. Use a tool like Gliffy to help you create simple flow charts.
“A successful content strategy always brings new insight to users,” says Jason Brewer, a writer for Convince and Convert. “Your content must be valuable by educating or informing the audience on a deeper level. If you aren’t informative, or if your content is trite, redundant, or can be found easily elsewhere, your results and viewership will suffer.”
Think About Your Metrics
It won’t matter how much time you’ve put into your content marketing strategy if you can’t tell how successful it is once everything is in place. That’s why you have to analyze your data and recalibrate if necessary.
“There are four types of content marketing metrics: consumption, sharing, leads, and sales,” explains marketing consultant, Jay Baer. “Most marketers overvalue the first two (blog page views and retweets, for example) and undervalue the last two (email subscriptions from people who first read the blog and, ultimately, sales from among that group). If you focus your metrics on behavior, rather than on data aggregation, you’ll be measuring points of greater business value.”
Don’t Forget the “Little” Things
When drafting a content marketing strategy, it’s easy to overlook the “little” things. A few points to keep in mind include:
- Who are the influencers you’ll reach out to as part of your strategy – and are they actually thought-leaders?
- Are you using the right kinds of keywords? What about local and long-tail keywords?
- Are you making sure that the links you use are valid and go to high-ranking sites?
- Is your strategy Google friendly?