- Know your audience. Writing to someone in particular is always more effective than writing to “them.” Know who is visiting your site or social media channel using Google Analytics, Facebook Insights or Crowdbooster.
- Deliver value. Attention is valuable, and you’d better be a reliable source, dependable resource or generous participant. Don’t use content to sell something or talk about yourself. Instead, use the opportunity to inform, help or have a conversation with your audience.
- Stick to a strategy. Work from your business plan: each content item needs a call-to-action aligned with your company’s marketing goals. Do you want the reader to download a resource? Subscribe to a newsletter? Where in the sales cycle are they? Set, and meet, strategic editorial goals with a calendar and benchmarks that measure success.
- Rely on your expertise. What you take for granted is often valuable news to someone in another industry or specialty. Leverage the experience of your team for unique, first-person content for articles, blog posts and webinars.
- Mix it up. Content marketing takes many effective forms: e-mail, newsletters, white papers, webinars, case studies, articles, infographics, and social posts to name a few. Some, like case studies, are better at convincing. Low-stakes, softer pieces, like Facebook or Twitter posts, help convert and keep the faithful in the fold.
- Calendar your deployment. Good content doesn’t happen, it takes work. So schedule time to build to a strategy, write and design, distribute and measure. Make content development part of your job, not something to do when you have a spare 5 minutes.
- Outsource. Creative talent for good posts, white papers, videos or case studies may not be in-house. Freelance or agency talent may be the best value – even short-term – when quality, budget and deadline considerations are met.
- Waste not. Repurposing is the easiest way to amplify resources and increase exposure. Last year’s conference report becomes the basis for this year’s conference tip sheet. Your colleague’s internal PowerPoint can fuel an informative blog post. Republishing in new formats in new places reinforces brand themes and valuable topics.
Building a brand requires publishing content. And your content’s value is measured by the response it creates so track, measure and adapt. And start creating.