According to Google ZMOT, in 2011 people researched and digested 10.4 unique pieces of content (blog posts, web pages, video, Twitter posts, Facebook status posts, SlideShare presentations, etc.) before making a purchasing decision. Your online content is the voice of your company, each item is speaking to your customers and telling your story while you’re very busy growing your business. You need to develop and maintain content marketing documents to track your content marketing efforts.
Your paid online marketing strategy (Google AdWords, retargeting, banner, display and old media buys) is expensive and ultimately is supposed to drive visitors to your online content marketing (your website and social media channels). Whether you have a paid online marketing strategy or not you need to practice content marketing.
Here are examples of 5 essential content marketing documents to guide a successful content marketing strategy.
Content Inventory: Use your Content Inventory to find existing information to highlight in your current publishing cycle. Reference your inventory to link to related content. Create different pieces of content on the same topic at the same time. Cross-promote each item to extend its usability. What in your Content Inventory can be created in a different format? (PowerPoint to Blog Post; Case Study to Infographic; video to web page).
Keyword Suggestions: SEO strategy must integrated into your content marketing strategy so each content item supports your overall findability. Use Google AdWords to identify keywords related to your top products and services. Now use these keywords to build your branded message and deliver online via organic and paid content, as well as, email, real time media and your website. Use these terms to link your thought leadership to company events and the sales cycle. Select relevant keyword phrases and then focus landing pages to maximize SEO value.
Online Metrics. Track page views, bounces, referrals, sources, mobile and more for your website. Understand successful (and less than successful content). Track metrics for your real time channels (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc.), as well. Improve poorly performing content and landing pages and repeat successes.
Content Calendar: Establish a publishing cycle and deliver new and repurposed content on a regular basis. Set a pattern of good, consistent and unique thought leadership on your Content Calendar. Be flexible enough to adjust to the news and sales cycle. Check Google Trends, Insights and your Online Metrics and prepare the content that web visitors are seeking.
Event Participant Inventory: Build an online community by staging regular events and then maintaining connections with your participants. The Event Participant Inventory shows all digital touch points (websites, social media/real time channels, etc.) where your event attendees share their branded messages. The Event Participant Inventory provides opportunities to identify influencers through your company’s event, and to share and affirm branded keywords.
Create (and maintain) these content marketing documents and then follow your content marketing task list to connect with your customers. And in case you were wondering why content marketing is so damn important – it is.