It’s no secret that content creation is more important than ever before. Your prospects are online, researching constantly. You need to have relevant material available for them at all stages of the buyer’s journey.
In addition to that, you need content to build out campaigns. Your PPC campaigns, email nurtures, and organic social strategies depend on content marketing. Without a good content creation strategy (or no content creation strategy for that matter), you won’t succeed. Here, we take a look at what you need to do to put your best foot forward when creating content.
Identify the gaps
Before you start writing content, you need to figure out what type of content you should write. Performing a content audit is the first step in identifying where your gaps are. Break down your content by these stages: Awareness, Consideration, Decision, and Post-Decision. This tells you what stage of the buyer’s journey you’re missing.
You also need to identify types of content: blogs, eBooks, white papers, case studies, infographics, documentation, etc. If you have an overwhelming amount of blog content but very few gated assets, work on that. If you’ve abandoned your blog in favor of case studies, work on publishing blog posts. Make your content audit sheet easy to ready and accessible to anyone who needs it.
Find your voice
Okay, not your voice. Your company voice. What is the voice of your company? There are a lot of things to consider here since you’re speaking on behalf of an entity in many ways.
The voice will depend on the type of content as well as your company culture and target audience. White papers will always be more formal, but some will be stricter than others. Will you address the reader as “you” or will you explicitly write in third person?
On the blog, you might have multiple writers contributing but you still have a set of standards you need to follow. Is your company more playful or formal? Does your company (*gasp!*) curse? Defining your buyer personas will have an impact on how you talk to your audience. So make sure you have those ironed out (or close to completion) before you begin the content creation journey.
Now that you’ve found your voice, it’s important not to lose it. Create a style guide that includes your company’s tone and whether or not you like the Oxford comma. Does your company put a hyphen in “email”? I think that’s crazy, but if you prefer it that way, make sure everyone knows it. Include a definitive list of vocabulary words that have more than one spelling so you have your very own company dictionary.
Make sure everything is proofread by another employee who is familiar with the style guide.
Does it matter?
Finally, it’s important to determine whether or not the content you’re slaving over matters. This can be a tricky thing to figure out, but one thing to continually ask yourself is “So what?” If you can’t answer “so what” with an answer that would convince you, your audience won’t be convinced either.
One way to figure out if the content you’re working on matters is to do a little research. Has anyone else ever covered this topic? Has there been a big development in this topic in the past 6 months? If you can’t find anyone talking about the topic you want to write about, that doesn’t mean it’s not relevant. Reach out to subject matter experts about your topic to get their take. They might come back to you with great advice on whether or not to pursue your content. But do it early, before you’ve spent hours of time and resources only to scrap something.
Still not convinced you can start working on your content creation plan by yourself? We’re happy to advise you!