First, learn the most effective way to use content as a marketing tool. Then develop topics and themes for content relevant to your audience.
Understanding the purpose
Content marketing works to establish your voice of authority within your community and helps you connect with your audience. By answering their questions and speaking to their needs, you build long-lasting trust-based relationships with your audience. The goal of your marketing is to educate your readers, fill your pipeline, and nurture your leads.
Identify what your audience will find useful
Consider the different people that comprise your audience (CEO, CFO, HR manager, Risk manager), then brainstorm topics specifically relevant to them. The key to good content is ensuring that it speaks to the pain points and needs of your audience.
What challenges are they facing in their company and individual roles? When you identify the frustrations they experience day-to-day, then you know the type of information that will likely resonate with them – anything to help better understand and manage those challenges.
Break content up into themes
To make the most out of your content strategy, break each of the subjects into themes. For HR, that could look like:
- Company Culture
With a list of broad content topics, talk to your team and start documenting the questions they get from clients in each of these areas. For each question, create a piece of content to answer it. Keep it simple to one topic per content item.
Ask your team to keep a running list of questions and discuss them in team meetings to keep people thinking about ideas for content development.
Use multiple mediums
Not all content needs to be in the same format or on the same platform. Produce and publish in multiple locations. For example:
- Publish a blog
- Email your audience with a link to the blog
- Create a social media post sharing a link to the blog with a short description
Put your audience at the center
Whenever you publish a piece of content, consider how you have placed your reader within it. Are they the hero of the story, or are you?
Make sure you’re placing the reader at the center of your story, speaking to their emotional desire to reach their goals. This will help you create content that connects with people on a deeper level, and will set your brand up as the guide people need to get where they want to go.
Create a consistent schedule
Content is not a one-and-done solution. To be successful, you need to produce content with consistency. Without that, your audience will fail to rely on you for your insight.
Ensure you have a set calendar for publishing content and stick to it. You’ll build more trust with your audience by consistently following through and showing up in their feeds. The quality of the content you produce, plus the quantity you share, combine to create a sense of trust with your readers. They start to feel they know you and can count on your company and its advice.
For your content to be seen, and for social platforms' algorithms to pick it up and show it to more people, each of your posts needs interaction. Interaction creates visibility and momentum. It tells the platform that your content is quality and worth sharing with more people.
Set the expectation that your team (from marketing to sales to leadership) will interact with your content online as part of their role at your company. Ensure your leadership team sets the tone, or you will have a difficult time getting the rest of your company on board.
Commitment and accountability
The first step to success is setting up a plan so you can follow through on your commitments to your audience. The combination of commitment, consistency, and well thought out, relevant information will work together to create a cohesive body of content that will represent your business long term, building an audience that relies on and trusts your brand.