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3 Keys for the Content-Challenged

What is your biggest content marketing challenge? When Joe Pullizi (Content Marketing Institute) and Ann Handley (Marketing Profs) asked that question in their 2012 B2B Content Marketing Survey, the overwhelming answer (over 2-to-1) was, “producing the kind of content that engages prospects.” Whether you are B2B, B2C, or anything in between, the need for good content is staring you in the face. Let’s take a look at three keys that will help you get a handle on the content process:

1. Identify your creators. You probably don’t need more content ideas—your problem is, “who is going to produce the stuff?”  First, make a list of all the types of content you have the resources to create: blog articles, social media posts (Facebook, Twitter), webinars/webcasts, in-person presentations, newsletters, videos, white papers, research, ebooks, podcasts, emagazines, and so forth.  Make a list of the people in your organization that are experts in their fields along with their area of expertise. Look at that list and identify who might be good on camera for a webinar, or who might be willing to write a blog entry. Do you have any curators or people who are always finding good articles for others? Consider tapping them for your Twitter feed. The next step is approaching them and getting them on board. Sell them on the idea of sharing their expertise. That might include offering to help get them started or getting them resources, appealing to their vanity, offering to help with other tasks that might free time, showing them examples of what competitors do…whatever. If you are a one-person shop, you might consider soliciting guest creators. Jay Baer (Convince and Convert) does a good job of this, especially in his latest Social Pros podcast series.

2. Create an editorial calendar. If this is a new concept for you, here is some basic information from Spin Sucks on how to set one up and why you need one. I use an Excel spreadsheet for mine. This tool will go a long way to helping you recruit potential creators as well. People want to know you’re not going to call on them every other day to produce content. We are all busy, and a calendar is a great time-saving tool. It gives people a tangible understanding of what their commitment is, and helps you devise an effective content strategy.

3. Consider segmenting your content. What are you content goals, anyway? Are you trying to develop loyalty with your existing fans, raise brand awareness, attract new fans or customers, or all of these? Whatever the goal is, one content size usually doesn’t fit all. We are past the day where social media is new. The space is crowded with messages. The key is not to understand what platforms and tools are the coolest, latest things. The key is what you are putting on those platforms. Don’t confuse content and tools. What types of content will appeal to your prospective customer? What kind of content moves that frequent fan to advocate for you? What kind of information do potential fans want? Do your research.  You’ll want to appeal to people at all levels, and it can’t always be done in the one single piece of content. It takes a broad strategy.

At CKSyme.org, we look at content as a strategy, not just something we have to churn out on a regular basis. How do you look at content? What tips can you share in the comments?

Image from urbanmoms.ca