Jan. 1, 2018

IM Checklist Volume 2 Review: Why Should You Get It?

With IM Checklist Volume 2 Review reporting that as much as 70% of B2B content goes unused, what steps should marketers take to ensure their content hits its targets for the month and the quarter?

We have some simple (and free) templates that can help with the planning, creation, distribution, and analysis of content-based projects.

Develop a Content Audit Framework

First, you’ll want to do a content audit to understand what assets you have and where your gaps occur. Oracle’s Pawan Deshpande provides some questions to ask when doing a content audit of your website:

  • Which parts of your site generate the most traffic and which pages convert the most users?
  • Are there pages or posts within your site that bounce users away? Why?
  • Which content can be optimized to improve its ranking?
  • Are there pages that could be consolidated to minimize overlap?
  • Which pages lack relevancy and could be removed from the site altogether?
  • Which posts and pages rank best and engage users the most?
  • Which pages and posts on your site should be ranking, but aren’t?

Next, look beyond your website at marketing assets that address each stage of the customer journey—be they eBooks, blog posts, white papers, landing pages, emails, infographics, or videos. Kapost’s 10 Essential Marketing Templates offers a simple “Content Audit Framework” you can use to conduct a content audit.

Know Your Core Strategy

There’s a German proverb that says, “What is the use of running if you are not on the right road?” With CMIrevealing that only 41% of B2B marketers report that their organizations have clarity on content marketing success, developing a core strategy and sharing it with key cross-functional stakeholders is vital. You’ll also want to ensure your core messaging is aligned with this strategy.

To break this process down into manageable parts, Kapost has a handy “Classification Worksheet” that you can use to map your content assets in terms of theme, goal, channel, buyer persona, buying stage, geography, and product.

Create a Campaign Outline

Next, you may find it useful to create an outline that organizes launch plans and informs your team about campaign expectations. Our “Campaign Outline” template can easily be altered to the needs of each campaign. It’s also a great tool for planning how to succeed with re-purposed content.

For a deeper dive into getting started with re-purposed content—and why, when done correctly, it does not incur a Google penalty—Neil Patel’s post on the subject includes some great pointers and data-driven case studies.

Understand Internal Content Activation

Internal content activation is essential for external engagement. Docurated has found that 31% of sales reps’ time is spent searching for or creating content (rather than focusing on selling) and much of this content does not get used. To ensure that marketing content is relevant and available, it is important to track how and when your content is being used.

To keep on top of internal engagement, consider tracking internal views of assets, downloads, and shares that drive referral traffic. Our 4 Simple Marketing Templates download provides a “Content Activation Insights Dashboard” that will help ensure your content is relevant and accessible.

Avoid Silos!

Today, many companies have generated a flood of content, only to find that these assets can quickly become overwhelming and unmanageable. This causes teams to retreat into inefficient silos that lack integrated planning.

Kapost’s “Company Priorities” checklist helps teams align company and marketing priorities.

Measure Content Conversions

Winston Churchill said it best: “However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.”

For B2B marketers, measuring reach and engagement of content should go beyond clicks or shares to extend across marketing channels, including buyer personas at each stage of the buyer journey. Our “Content Conversion Insights Dashboard” can help.

Knowing your KPI’s will impact the bottom line. According to the Aberdeen Group, “best-in-class” B2B marketers are three times more likely to be able to track a piece of content to revenue, allowing them to know exactly which content drives conversions.

“They prioritize building an environment where every piece of content can be evaluated not on the creative, but on its revenue contribution to the organization. The results? Time and money saved with an increased impact on the business, thanks to a more targeted, measured approach.”

These free templates are intended as a starting point for developing and measuring content strategy. Our eBook The Simplified Guide to B2B Content Strategy, explores these topics in more detail and also delves into building timelines, establishing workflows, leveraging influencer marketing, and social strategy.

The end goal is simple: ditch the content chaos and develop a strong, efficient, and successful marketing strategy. https://goo.gl/fnjFdQ

From the comments to this question, it seems that this group is engaging and willing to respond to comments. This is a forum where you can ask questions to identify the needs of your target market to develop your content marketing strategy.

Another tactic worth trying, especially if you have limited time available, is to sign up for a free account on Quora.  Select the categories that you are interested in and get question suggestions from community members.

2.    Do I need to redefine my content strategy?

A defined content marketing strategy, complete with specific goals, is the backbone of any content marketing campaign. Publishing one-off articles, absent a proper strategy-backed campaign, is the equivalent of spinning your wheels: you’ll expend effort but get no closer to your goals.

This is why B2B companies with a documented strategy are 25% more effective than those without a documented strategy.

The content strategy that you develop and how you deploy it should largely depend on the information you got from your target audience in step 1.

Let’s take a cue from the needs of our target audience to plot out content strategy.

  • Audience Statistics: Say this was the snapshot of your audience stats after readers took your survey:
  • Age range: 30–50
  • Niche: Internet marketing
  • Competitors: problogger.net, becomeablogger.com
  • Engagement via: Facebook, G+
  • Needs: blogging, content marketing

From these results, you can figure out what to focus on:

  • Subscribe to 5 or 10 blogs in your niche and follow them on social media.
  • Focus on the keywords that your competition currently ranks for and target long-tail keywords, to increase your chances of ranking highly in Google.
  • Pay more attention to your business page on Facebook.
  • Write more blog post ideas on content marketing.
  • Consider hosting a webinar.
  • Plan your content to attract, engage and connect customers.

Attract: There are several ways that you can attract your target audience, including a recent favorite of mine: writing data-driven posts.

Data-driven posts are especially helpful for building authority with your readers. When you can prove to your audience that you’re not just writing off of the top of your head, but rather have done real research and can back up your content with solid facts, you increase the chance of building your audience and earning their trust. A small business that is the authority usually dominates the local market.

Another way to garner more content promotiont is to take the advice of advertising guru David Ogilvy.  Create provocative and powerful headlines that get clicked. In fact, according to Mr. Ogilvy, the headline should take up 80% of your marketing dollar.

Engage: If your content is merely attracting people to your page, but not engaging them, you will experience a high bounce rate and might even be penalized by Google.  

So, many business owners make the mistake of building their content strategy around producing content and not considering how the content will engage with readers and lead them to a specific action.

Connect: Another way to attract attention is by emotionally connecting to your target audience.

Jon Morrow was able to connect emotionally with his target audience by sharing his personal story, “On Dying, Mothers and Fighting for Your Ideas.”

Because he was able to find a point of connection between his story and audience, that blog post has received over 5000+ shares, opened up business for him and has become a point of reference for other small business sites as well.

In content creation, your story doesn’t have to move people to tears in order for you to connect emotionally with your readers. It doesn’t even have to be your story. You can interview one of your successful clients, for example, and share that story on your website.