After publishing the Content Marketing Playbook: 42 Ways to Connect with Customers, Joe Pulizzi and I were hit with a crush of requests for content strategy: given all the tactical possibilities, how do you create a manageable plan for your enterprise?
Well, we’re not ones to slouch, so we’re working on a one-day content marketing strategy workshop. Our proposition? You come for one day, you leave with a viable strategic plan you can act on immediately. It’s that simple.
Our workshop is a work in progress. But at this point, we’re examining key questions I’d like to share with you. Even just thinking about these issues will give you a leg up on competitors who are randomly pursuing tactics without any underlying plan. Here’s what’s on our minds — and should be on yours:
- What are your content goals? Are you aiming for lead generation, lead nurturance and/or customer retention? Are you establishing thought-leadership and building communities of influence? Are you playing an elaborate SEO game? Or some combination of the above?
- What resources do you have at your disposal? What’s your budget? Where’s your talent and expertise? Do you have real internal commitment to content? And have you audited your current content to see what should be expanded — or abandoned?
- Who’s your audience? What do they want? What do they fear? What kinds of content do they prefer and how do they prefer to consume it? Most importantly, where do they “live” — where will they find, appreciate and share your content?
- Which tactics are right for your enterprise? What’s the “magic mix” between your resources, audience preferences and subject matter expertise? Where should you direct your time, money and energy?
- How will you distribute your content? Who will actively promote it? Who will share it? How do you optimize SEO? Should you use traditional marketing methods (advertising, direct mail, PR) to drive traffic or downloads?
- How will you monitor and measure your content efforts? How will you define and quantify success? Which metrics matter — and which are irrelevant? Can you determine ROI? Bottom line: how will you know what works and what doesn’t?
- What will it take to execute your strategy effectively? How will you designate roles and assign responsibilities? What should be accomplished in-house, what should be out-sourced? What expectations are reasonable? And how will you respond to new information as it arrives? What are your plans for corrective action?
That’s what we’re sweating. How about you? It’s not reasonable to expect you to know all the answers, but you should be exploring the possibilities. Have you and your colleagues asked the big strategic questions? Are there any we’ve missed? What answers do you want to have?
Update: I’ve put together a content marketing strategy workshop here.