(Image via @macgeidt on Instagram)
I had the pleasure of speaking about how to Plan, Create, Amplify and Measure Content at Confab in Minneapolis on June 4th.
You can view my presentation here: http://bit.ly/PamConfab. I’d love to hear your comments!
Try covering four ambitious topics in 45 minutes! Instead of talking about Intel-specific processes, I chose to focus on lessons learned from talking to experts, reading books and working with my colleagues. I discuss the 4 key points of the content process below:
#1 – Plan
While you gather business objectives and determine your audiences, many questions will come up that require you to do research and gather intelligence from different people and sources. Typical questions to consider are:
• What do we want to accomplish?
• Why do we need content planning?
• What content is out there?
• What do we want to convey?
• Where should we engage our audience?
• How do we manage content?
• How much is our budget at each stage?
• How often should we refresh our content?
Three tips for planning content:
1) It’s OK to not know everything.
2) Get key stakeholders to agree on objectives and strategies.
3) Content Audit is a must.
In real life, we make decisions based on limited data we have at that time. It’s called risk-taking. You won’t have all the answers you need before you create your content strategy. At a minimal level at this stage, you must know your business objectives, understand your audience and conduct a content audit.
#2 – Create
Once you conduct a content audit and analysis, you can identify content gaps that will help you to scope your plan and budget. Before jumping into creating content, it’s very beneficial to create an editorial plan. The editorial plan can help you identify what type of content to create, to whom it should target, and when it should be published.
Of course, if you have a “big idea” to tie some content together for a campaign or target audience, it’s fantastic. However, a big idea is not necessary to create content, especially if you are under deadlines with limited resources and budget. Sometimes, a short straight talk about your product benefits is sufficient to do the trick.
In addition, don’t feel pressured to create all the content on your own. It’s OK to source third party content and curate it in a way your audience will enjoy.
Three tips for creating content:
1) Create content with a purpose.
2) The editorial plan serves as the guiding light.
3) It’s OK to skip ‘big ideas.’
#3 – Amplify
Once you have original and curated content, it’s not enough to just upload to your website or your communities. Don’t be shy! Promote and publish your content to various sites with pride.
I often get asked how to select the right content for the right channels at the right time. It really depends. It depends on your company, your industry, the marketing channels you use, etc. In general, you know what works best for your brand (trust yourself!) Stick to your routines, but try something different, such as promoting a coupon offer on Twitter or syndicating a white paper on Facebook. The way to discover something new is trial-and-error.
The ultimate goal of publishing content to other sites is to bring the traffic back to your own website. Make sure that you have an awesome website. Awesome does not mean it has to be gorgeous with all the bells and whistles. Awesome means it’s easy for your users to find what they want. Have a site that your users are interested in opting-in.
Three tips for amplifying content:
1) Optimize via trial and error.
2) Breakdown down lengthy content into small pieces.
3) Bring them back to your awesome website!
#4 – Measure
Measurements should align with ‘Create’ and ‘Amplify’. Key measurements to track are the quality and quantity of content, the effectiveness of content syndication, the inbound traffic, and the leads.
There is no panacea for measurements. Here is a fact of life: you will need to go to different places to find different measurements. Remember that everyone needs to agree on an objective and strategy. It’s also important that everyone agrees on 2-3 strategic measurements at each stage. If you have a strategy to inform your desired content destination, the key measurements are your compass to reveal where you are and how you are doing.
Three tips for measuring content:
1) Fragmentation is reality.
2) Pick 2-3 measurements at each stage.
3) Draw assumptive insights.
• Managing content is complicated. It takes a team. Pull the right players together and create a virtual team.
• A holistic view is challenging. You need to get data from multiple sources. Content creation and planning can be trivial, but you need a 20,000 feet view (a strategy) to guide the creation and planning process.
• Understand what data means to you. Data does not mean anything unless you interpret it.
Content management is a never-ending journey. By taking that journey, you will slowly and surely improve the quality of your content, elevate content’s role in your company and contribute to achieving your business objectives.