Content marketing is getting more and more competitive. It is no longer an option to just publish and hope ’they will come‘. Every step of the way has to be planned out in meticulous detail – from who will read it, what content you create and in what format, to when to publish and how to promote it.
As we saw in part one of this two-part series of posts, Fresh Egg applies its five-step approach to content marketing. In this second post, we concentrate on the final four steps of the process: Planning and Setup; Execution; Reporting, Analysis and Insight and, lastly, Refinement.
In essence, these last steps are about taking the Discovery work outlined in the first post and turning it into a strategy for publishing and promotion that will get the best ROI for your content marketing.
Read on to find about the final four steps, or first follow the above link to refresh your memory.
Step 2: Planning and Setup
Step two of the five step approach is all about turning the Discovery work carried out in step one into a plan for creating, publishing and promoting excellent content for your website.
The first step here is to create a content strategy that:
- Fills gaps identified in the Discovery phase
- Is business and search engine friendly
- Creatively meets the needs of your audience
- Gives your audience the information it needs at all points of the buying cycle (Trigger, Awareness, Research and Choice)
- Joins up your audience’s journey – across devices and platforms using relevant calls to action (CTAs) and messaging
- Targets your audience groups for content promotion
- Identifies how to create top quality content as economically as possible
- Identifies the content types that need to be created
In the above list, we mention giving the audience the information it needs at all points of the buying cycle. But what does that actually mean? Below is a diagram of the way in which Fresh Egg puts together aspects of a content strategy, visualised from the perspective of the conversion funnel. This graphic illustrates the relationship between the buying cycle, content types and the purpose(s) of content at different stages of the conversion funnel.
Of course, any real life interaction with a site is very fluid, and this diagram illustrates the journey from prospect to customer in an idealised fashion. Still, it helps illustrate the basic concepts of a content strategy:
Fresh Egg also recommends buliding audience personas to help plan and exectute a content strategy. These can be as simple or detailed as required. The most important factor in their creation is ensuring that they represent your audiences – in essence, being a sort of advocate for exactly what it is your audience groups need from your content marketing.
Here’s an example of a lightweight persona that lays out the needs of an audience group, who they are, the problems they are trying to solve and how best your site’s content can meet their needs.
Audience personas are a great tool, both for helping writers craft content in the right way but also for brainstorming content ideas, too. They can be as in-depth, or as lightweight, as is needed.
Here’s a (by no means exhaustive) list of questions that your personas should answer to be of use to your content marketing needs:
- What problems do this group need solving?
- What are they searching for online?
- What are the key messages to help sell your products or services?
- What is the most likely journey this audience group will make to your site, and around it?
- What content do they need for every stage of the buying cycle?
- What are your audiences’ key interests?
- What types of content do they like to consume?
- On what devices do they consume this content and when?
- Where is the best place to target your audience with content amplification?
If you tie in these questions with an understanding of the offline events that prompt a need for your products and services, (trigger events) then you are starting to understand your audience groups, so that you can target them effectively with your strategy.
For example, your strategy could include a combination of the following, depending on what the Discovery work in step one uncovers:
- Improving and adding to evergreen pages
- Restructuring site architecture to accommodate new content
- Building content hubs
- Publishing content types relevant to your audience, such as video or podcasts
- Targeting audience groups with social promotion
- Paid content promotion
- Offline promotion
- Content curation
As part of the Planning and Setup phase, we can also create content calendars and planners to guide the creation of your content marketing assets.
To do this, we need to get the velocity of content publishing right for your business, and so will talk with you to get an understanding of your resources for content creation and how Fresh Egg can help you with this. It is pointless for us to recommend a strategy that your business does not have the resources to fulfil.
Fresh Egg also has a host of assets to help you with content creation, from content briefs for all content types, to best practice guides to ensure all of your content is created to current best practice.
Here’s what a small part of one of our briefs looks like before being populated with information:
And here’s an example of a content production calendar for a blog:
Contact Fresh Egg now to talk to us about how we can help you with your content strategy and planning.
Step 3: Execution
The Execution phase of our content marketing is where Fresh Egg puts into practice all of the research and planning that has been carried out so far.
Fresh Egg can work with you on the Execution phase of your content marketing strategy in a number of ways.
- Execute all of the content creation, optimisation and promotion
- Enable your in-house team to do the above
- Carry out a combination of the above two ways of working
- Create initial best practice content, promotional messaging and material for your in-house team to use as a guide
- Work with your digital marketing and paid media teams to promote content
- Perform the content promotion for you
We will work to support you however you wish to implement your content marketing strategy, to maximise the returns you get on your investment.
Fresh Egg’s own content creation and promotion abilities are formidable: we have a team consisting of seasoned journalists, inbound marketing experts, video marketing pros, and top quality designers and developers.
This means, whichever assets our content marketing strategy recommends you create and promote, our team will be able to give you industry leading expertise.
Check out some great examples of our work here:
- Nationwide Vehicle Contracts' guides
- Sykes Cottages' Discover Cornwall
- Sykes Cottages' A Visitor’s Guide to Norfolk
- Confused.com’s Future of the Home
Step 4: Reporting, Analysis and Insight
Understanding the performance of your content and promotion is crucial. Across our insight, biddable, inbound and content teams, we will set realistic targets for your content marketing. This enables a robust measurement process, which will ensure you understand the true value of the work.
Fresh Egg will help you create a measurement plan for your content marketing, and this regular feedback is essential to understand how your content is performing across all of the relevant channels. Here’s an example measurement plan:
Step 5: Refinement
So, all the elements are in place. We’ve researched, audited, strategized, executed and measured your content marketing. Now is the time to use all of this data to feed back into the content marketing strategy, and assess how it is performing against business objectives.
Why is this essential?
- Continually refining your publishing and promotional strategy will drive better results
- Audience tastes can change so quickly – it’s vitally important to keep track of this
- Available platforms for promotion are continually changing – you don’t want to miss out on the latest opportunity to amplify your content
- Your business will be constantly changing and your content marketing needs to reflect this
- Your business’ digital marketplace will be continually changing, as competitors seek an advantage
You can see a summary of the final four steps on our slides here:
So that’s it: Fresh Egg’s five-step approach to content marketing. We do it like this because we want to deliver value and results. And we’ve found that this data and results-driven approach to content marketing delivers.
By integrating our content marketing across all of our digital marketing disciplines, we ensure that all stages of this process get the input they need to generate the success you want.
But it must be remembered, the key to all this work is our audience-led approach… it’s the foundation of all our work for you.
Get in touch to find out more about how our approach to content marketing can help your business get a step ahead of the competition.