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CONTENT FIRST

Content is the lifeblood of your marketing. It is your primary vehicle for communication and learning. Apply these best practices to your content development to stay in step with your market.

OPTIMIZE YOUR CONTENT TEAM

There are so many aspects to content marketing. Exactly how you structure your content marketing activities will depend on many factors.

Some organizations run a dedicated content unit as part of the marketing function. Others choose to distribute content creation responsibilities across the business.

For most companies, the solution is somewhere in the middle. In any scenario the bottom line remains the same: content needs to be managed with a strong central vision.

COVER YOUR TALENT BASES

Most companies will require a mix of the following skills to do content well:

  • Editorial
  • Design & UX
  • Video production
  • Social media  
  • SEO & paid
  • Data analysis
  • Strategy planning

You may combine certain responsibilities in the same role. Perhaps your writer takes care of social media, or your marketing manager is responsible for producing blog posts as well as drawing up the content calendar and managing freelancers. 

However you structure it, you will expect your team to produce from an array of content assets, including:

  • Blog posts
  • Website copy
  • Product & service videos
  • eBooks
  • Corporate promos
  • Webinars
  • Infographics

Content done well is exciting and engaging, and your business should feel enthused and informed about your content creation activities. Extend this approach to any external partners, such as agencies, you involve in the development and execution of your content program.

EMBARK ON BLOGGING

Blogging is a central element of many well-rounded content marketing programs, but it is not a requirement.

The practice of regularly updating a dedicated blog on your website has advantages in terms of thought leadership, site traffic and SEO.

More important, however, is first ensuring that your website is in good shape overall.

It's like investing in an addition to a house that you haven't updated in years.  Better to spend your time reviewing and refreshing your existing site copy and architecture before you commit to a dedicated blog strategy.  

CONTINUOUSLY EDIT

Most organizational websites are exhausting. A new paragraph here, a new page there. Layer upon layer of content. They sprawl.

Yes grow your website. Add pages, add content, add detail over time. But don't forget to be continuously editing what you have already published. Update old messages, refresh and deepen content, and delete what is no longer relevant. Editing is key to successful and sustainable growth.

EMBRACE VIDEO MARKETING

You can run a content marketing program without video for a while, but don't leave it too long. 

Video is a proven format, and engaging relevant videos across your website and through your channels will serve significant value to your customers.

The format is great for telling stories, and stories are at the heart of strong content marketing. Let video projects serve as core elements of your content marketing plan. 

“You don’t stand a tinker’s chance of producing successful advertising unless you start by doing your homework. I have always found this extremely tedious, but there is no substitute for it.”
— David Ogilvy

THE IMPORTANCE OF RESEARCH

You don’t need to know everything about a subject to start work on it, but you do need to know the basics.

David Ogilvy (1911-1999), the advertising pioneer, knew a thing or two about research. “You don’t stand a tinker’s chance of producing successful advertising unless you start by doing your homework,” he wrote in Ogilvy On Advertising (1983). “I have always found this extremely tedious, but there is no substitute for it.”

Research requires diligence and application. But the discipline of hard work will guard against the perils of charlatanry and put you in a stronger position over time.