Great content marketing is as much about structure as content - so here’s your personal plan for doing it right.
Content marketing is a huge field, with over $100 billion spent on it each year, so inevitably, it makes the Content Marketer’s day a busy one. What’s the best way to leverage those eight (or more) hours you spend at work or thinking about work each day?
Here’s a plan taking you from post-toast to sofa-time. The needs of every Content Marketer are different, so adapt and improvise at will!
8 a.m. Catch up on content marketing blogs.
Your content marketing day starts before most people get to work. Those minutes on the Northern Line are the ideal time to get yourself in the right frame of mind - by reading the best blogs! (Preferably not if you drive - listen to a podcast instead.)
eMarketer, Adweek, and eConsultancy publish regular mobile-friendly articles. If you’re in an academic frame of mind, try Harvard Business Review and The Economist. TED is also a great source of fresh ideas accessible on your Kindle, iPad, or phone.
9 .am. Write up your ideas.
Ideally, you’ll reach work with an idea. Why not designate the first hour to writing it up? An article that’s in tune with flavour-of-the-month marketing, or even disputing it in a principled way, might be worth every clickthrough and conversion on your target this week.
Who knows, your notes might become your next blockbusting download. If you’re brave, try Write or Die to stay productive!
10.30 a.m. Keep calm and start analysing.
After your burst of creativity, take a hard look at the numbers. 54% of marketers say the right metrics lead to better messaging.
So take time to imagine what success looks like for your content marketing idea. 500 views? A thousand? Just two people, but the right two your sales department have been chasing for months? At mid-morning, put in the numbers.
11 a.m. Put a pin in the customer journey.
Remember, content marketing isn’t about “reaching out”. It’s inbound - leaving content “lying in wait” for your prospect to stumble upon at just the moment they’re ready to read it.
So before you spread the word, decide where it should be placed on your ideal customer’s journey. Is it an ideas piece, warming cold suspects up to the subject? Is it a detailed ‘How-To’ guide for people on the verge of a buying event? Timing counts.
12 noon: The pre-lunch talking shop.
It’s time to talk it over. Ideas get stronger in the field. So drop by the desks of two key colleagues: someone in your technical team and someone who works in sales.
Your technical expert will have ideas about format and delivery: he knows which e-campaigns from another department your article could be part of. Meanwhile, your salesperson can tell you what targets he has to hit - and what content might help him.
1 p.m. Lunchtime!
Even in sectors where lunchtime doesn’t happen, people still slow down in the middle of the day. Take the opportunity to take a critical look at which media is the best fit for your content and where it’s likely to get most readership. Which sites and which feeds? Check them out.
2 p.m. Find yourself an afternoon audience.
Lunch over, back to work. Head for your marketing database. Why? Because a great way to get your content out there is to demonstrate the audience for it.
Who’s your piece aimed at? Functional experts? Fellow marketers? The C-suite? Cut and count how many people it will really interest; content marketing isn’t about the batch-and-blast of mass emails.
4 p.m. Take it up a level, to the corner office.
If you manage social media for your CxO, go to them with ROI numbers in hand. Winning Content Marketers sell the business case, not the purple prose. Only 23% of marketers believe they enjoy excellent collaboration with the C-suite.
Your CEO is far more likely to put his name to your article if you can estimate its clickthrough rate among his key constituencies. Make this a habit.
5 p.m. Relive all your yesterdays.
Spend the last part of the day looking back: reviewing your existing campaigns and how they’re doing. Being the best-informed marketer in the business helps you deliver better-researched, more relevant content to the largest audience. Every time.
So stay on top of every report you need. This time is never wasted. According to Forrester, 85% of marketers find it hard to connect content marketing to its actual business value.
6 p.m. The commute home. Go mobile!
Thinking time again. Look back over your day - what didn’t you enjoy?
What metrics played hard-to-get? Which dashboards had low ease-of-use? If you found them hard, your colleagues did too, meaning there’s a business advantage in changing them.
8 p.m. Rework the day’s menu, over dinner.
Content Marketers often work long into the evening. This is a continued reflection of the day, deciding which activities delivered most value today. Most of all, did your work today in synchronisation with the broader strategy?
Get these things right and you’ll be beyond content - you’ll be the go-to person for countless marketing activities. You just used the Holy Grail of content marketing: the right thing, at the right time.
● Get the structure of your day right, and it becomes a habit.
● Turn content and concepts into hard numbers for your CxO.
● Look for continuous improvement opportunities in your process.
A majority (85%) of marketers can’t link marketing investment to business value. Download the Modern Marketing Essentials Guide: Content Marketing to get into the 15%.