The media landscape has changed over the last five years as consumers have turned to the digital sphere for their news. As more businesses and individuals turn to online sources to help make decisions, self-publishing and social media platforms have becoming an integral part of marketing plans. Developing content on platforms like LinkedIn Pulse helps to establish a leadership team as thought leaders and helps companies connect and engage with target audiences.
While traditional PR pushes a message out, content marketing draws interest in by speaking to the interests of specific audiences. PR professionals use content marketing to position clients as thought leaders and as a way to keep audiences interested even when there isn’t a “newsworthy” announcement to share.
Here are five questions to help develop a framework for a content strategy:
- Who are our target audiences?
- What information is interesting to them?
- Where do they receive information (i.e. email, blogs, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc)?
- How often can we realistically publish new and engaging content?
- How will we measure success?
Setting the framework and aligning campaign goals before putting pen to paper will help ensure all elements of a campaign are working together to meet the organization’s business objectives. By asking the above questions, you’re paving a path to follow and direction on how to make sure goals are met.
Once your framework is set, define the type of content, based on audiences.
Keep in mind that content is for the target audience(s), not you or the company/client you’re working for. Content should not be “salesy.” With content marketing you’re not overtly selling a product or service, but rather sharing knowledge and qualifying yourself/client/executive as a thought leader. The best way to do this is by producing content that speaks to target audiences needs and interests.
Two tips on developing content:
- Get in the mind of your intended audience – determine what is most important to them and show that you can solve their problems
- Stay on top of industry trends and issues – you can’t be an industry thought leader if you don’t know what is going on in the industry. Spend 10-15 minutes each day reading industry publications/websites/blogs so that you are aware of the latest news.
Get in front of intended audiences.
Promoting content via multiple channels is key in establishing thought leadership. Here are just a few content vehicles to consider:
- Company blogs: Blogs play a key role in educating potential clients, referral sources and media on a particular topic while at the same time positioning a particular individual or company in a given field of expertise. In addition, a blog is also an extremely useful tool in drawing consumers in who are looking for information online.
- LinkedIn Publisher: LinkedIn Pulse is a self-publishing tool that more and more people are using as a key part of their LinkedIn profile. Posts are shared not only with one’s LinkedIn network, but also with members of the greater LinkedIn community who are interested in the topic of the post. Publishing on LinkedIn Pulse helps build credibility as an industry thought leader and keeps you/your client in connections news feeds.
- Social Networks: Social networks not only help companies connect with target audiences , but also provide an effective way to network outside of traditional circles, drive traffic to an organization’s blog and website, and become part of larger industry conversations. Knowing the target audience well will help in determining which social networks are appropriate.
And finally, the last part of developing a content strategy is determining how to measure success.
Here are just a few questions to ask:
- Is the proposed schedule being met? Consistency is key in establishing an effective online presence
- Is your audience engaged? Don’t waste time and effort in developing content that isn’t reaching anyone. Regularly check your analytics to ensure content is reaching the right people and they are engaging with it. If one approach isn’t working, switch it up!
There are a lot of factors to consider when creating a content strategy and not every plan is going to work for every brand. But, by creating a framework and regularly measuring success, you’re bound to see inbound messages and engagement increase.
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Categorised in: Content Marketing
This post was written by Maven Communications