Content marketing has, in recent times, become a buzz word among online marketing professionals. But beyond being a buzz word, content marketing when done right, can greatly turn around the fortunes of any business because of the evolving changes in customers’ buying behaviors.
It is a confirmed fact that buyers are now more educated and will want to research different options before they approach a sales rep. Therefore, content marketing is basically a strategy to position your organization so that when the customer goes on her self-education quest, you will be there for her to find you! The beauty of this is that instead of you being an ‘intruder’ in the life of the customer, you become the sought-after authority in your market! So, content marketing at its core is a strategic ‘permission marketing’ rather than ‘interruption marketing.’
A Content Marketing Framework Is Necessary
For your organization to truly succeed with your content marketing campaign you need a framework that works. The challenge that many online businesses face today is that of a workable content marketing framework. Many are confused with the what, the how, the where, and the when of a strategic content marketing structure.
In this post I want to lay out the essential elements of an effective content marketing framework. This is to help you design a structure for your organizational needs.
The 7 Essential Elements of an Effective Content Marketing Framework
1. A Workable Content Marketing Plan
It doesn’t matter the size of your organization you need a well thought out strategic content marketing plan that aligns with your overall business goals. Your content marketing plan should be built on answering some very pertinent questions about your organization like, who are you as an organization and what do you bring to the market? What are your marketing challenges and how can content marketing help you overcome these challenges? Once this plan is laid out it will become the driving force of your on-going marketing optimization.
2. Your Audience
The next element in your content marketing framework is your target audience. Once you have an idea of who you are, where you are and where you want to get to with your content marketing, you seek to know who your target audiences are. What are their needs? How does your product or service help them with these needs? How best can your reach with your marketing content?
Besides this, you should also take into consideration how your target audience needs may change as they go through your sales cycle. This will help you in delivery your message with the right medium and at the right time.
3. Your Brand Story
Content marketing helps you in building relationship with your target audience. A relationship that is necessary in to build your business success. This is where story telling in marketing is gaining strength these days. You should be able to use your knowledge of who you are and who your target audience is and what their needs are to build a story that will help your connect with them emotionally. Remember your brand story is not a “selling tool” but a bond-building tool. Get your target audience to bond with you and selling to them later will be a thing of joy.
4. The Delivery Channels
There are different channels available for you deliver your story to your target audience. One thing however is that your choice of a delivery channel should depend on your content marketing goal. The two shouldn’t be aligned. Besides, the context within which your target audience will consume the story should also play a role in your choice. Your delivery channels could be: (1) Text – example, blog posts, case studies, press releases, article marketing etc, (2) Video – example, product demonstrations; and (3) Audio – example, podcasting.
What you simply need do therefore is to consider the story you want to tell, to whom you want to tell it to and where you will want to tell that story and then choose your delivery channel.
5. Content Creation Process
This is where your aforementioned planning is translated into action. Some of the questions you need to answer here are: who will be responsible for creating your content? What content should be created at a specific time? And when is the right time to create a particular piece of content? This stage of your content marketing framework is very important because if you get it wrong all of your planning will be in vain. Getting the right content marketing services to create your content is as important as knowing when to create the content. If you do not have in-house content writers getting outside professional help will become inevitable. There are thousands of so-called professional web content writers out there but be careful that you don’t pick the wrong ones. The best bet is to have an in-house Chief Content Officer who will then take charge of dealing with in-house and outside content creators.
Recommended: How To Choose An SEO Content Writer For Your Content Marketing Needs!
6. Interacting And Conversing With Your Audience
It’s unfortunate that many business organizations still see the internet today with the eyes of yesterday. Their websites are nothing but an extension of their business catalogs – beautifully designed with enticing graphics but no interaction with their audiences! As an organization that wants to succeed with content marketing, you must understand that content marketing is a 2-way conversation. When you tell your story you also need to listen to what your audience is saying and respond to that. This conversation may happen on your own platforms like business blogs and social media profiles and also on external media like forums and review sites. Your strategic content marketing framework should therefore include a well laid out plan to interact and converse with your target audience.
7. Measurement And Evaluation
It’s definite, every business is about profitability. No business will want to invest in any venture without any commensurate return in investment. This being so, there is need to monitor your content marketing activities to know what is working, what needs to be changed and what to focus on etc. of course, this measurement and monitoring should be carried out at every stage of your content marketing framework. There are indeed many variables and metrics you may want to measure but don’t be taken in by that. Determine the fundamentals necessary to enhance your content marketing plan and concentrate on that.
Content marketing is not just a buzz word. If you are not involved right now right now you might just be miles behind the competition. Get to work today. Design your content marketing framework and commit to working it. If you do not have in-house content writers/officers to create and manage your content marketing campaigns, then it is good business sense to get freelance writers to do it for you. I recommend that you check out LocalDigitalHERO.com for professional help.
Your Turn: How do you think businesses can better tackle the challenges of getting quality and valuable marketing content for their marketing needs? Share with us in your comments below.