In the first installment of our three-part blog series, dedicated to the key building blocks of a successful content marketing operation, we covered creating targeted content for buyers personas at each stage of the buyer’s journey. Why is it such an important step? Creating targeted content enables you to deliver valuable and interesting information, engage with your audience on topics they actually care about, and build trust and genuine relationships with your prospects.
So what’s next? Once you understand what kind of content is valuable to your target buyers, you need to establish processes to make the ideation, production, and distribution of that content seamless.
Building Block 2: Repeatable Processes
Content marketing is not only generating buzz, but driving measurable results from increasing website traffic, generating more and better leads, and closing deals at the bottom of the funnel. As 2013 budget reports show, even the timid marketers of 2012 have jumped to implement content marketing strategies this year. But understanding the importance of content and implementing a scalable content strategy are two very different things.
Many corporations struggle at the onset. According to IBM research, 80% of companies that begin a corporate blog never post more than 5 times. But why does this happen? There are lots of high-level business people (like Jill Rowley of Eloqua or David Lewis of DemandGen) who successfully use content as the backbone of their marketing initiatives. So what are these successful content marketers doing differently than those who struggle?
It’s simple: success comes from defining a repeatable process for the ideation, production, and distribution of key pieces of content and effectively managing (and optimizing) those processes.
Get started with defining a repeatable process for your organization by mapping out a general framework and timeline for each piece of content your organization creates (eBook, video, email, infographic, syndicated article). Ask the following questions:
- Who are the key collaborators and what are their responsibilities?
- What approvals are required? For example, does content need to go through legal review?
- What steps need to occur before the content is complete, and how long do they take?
- How, when, and where is the finished piece distributed?
Next, now that you have identified the roles, responsibilities, timelines, and distribution plans for the various content types, you can easily map those key pieces of information on your editorial calendar. If possible, set up automated email reminders so each key contributor can keep track of their tasks and deadlines for submit drafts, input, edits, or approvals to help keep everyone on task and help your team sidestep unnecessary bottlenecks.
With workflows and processes for content creation, production, and distribution in place, as well as an organized editorial calendar, your foundation for a solid content marketing strategy is almost complete.
Keep an eye out for Part 3 of the Building Block Series, and in the meantime, remember that defining processes and workflows may take time and energy upfront, but that initial effort will save you and your team hours and headaches in the longrun. To find out how Kapost can help you manage the processes behind your content marketing strategy, take a look at our quick video product tour.