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Ashley Zeckman

Content Marketing Confessions: 5 Simple Tips to Improve Marketing Performance

By Ashley Zeckman     Content Marketing, Online Marketing

Content Marketing ConfessionsThink back to a time when you created a piece of content marketing awesomeness.  Visually it was appealing, you were very confident about the content, and you were sure that it was going to be a hit.  Unfortunately, it fell flat.  And it left you wondering, how did this happen?

Your first instinct may be to assume the online audience just didn’t understand how good the content really was.  But here’s the gig, it’s time that we as marketers understand “why” we’re creating content and “who” it is for.  This will allow us to make better marketing decisions and project what type of content will resonate best with our audience, and meet business objectives.

People working in a marketing position can often get caught up in executing tasks and tactics, without thinking about the “why”.  In some companies tasks may be broken into smaller pieces and spread between different employees.  For example one person might be responsible for writing a blog post, while someone else entirely is tasked with promoting the content.  This can cause some of the meaning to get lost from the writer to the promoter.  Or, you may simply be rushed or not have enough time set aside to complete a project and the quality suffers.

It’s really important to have some key information before you create content for marketing purposes.  Here are 5 simple things to remember when creating any content marketing project, program, or strategy.

Know Who Your Content is For

It is always a good idea to have a deep understanding of who your customers are, what they care about, and the pain points that drive their purchasing decisions.  It is hard to create content that will appeal to the masses, so remember that a particular piece of content markting does not have to be for everyone, but it should be for someone.

Depending on which industry you work in, you may have vastly different target markets, and/or decision makers.  Within the marketing editorial calendar you can plan for creating content that meets the unique needs and preferences of each customer segment.

Determine What Your Content Will Be

In order to turn content from good to great, a unique hook or story is always a plus.  People like content that they can connect with, relate to, or helps them solve a problem.

Our team has recently spent time using Visual eBooks as a means of presenting information in a useful and entertaining way.  You could also consider creating infographics, videos, or other compelling content types.

Identify Why You’re Creating the Content

When creating any piece of content, but especially a major marketing project you have to determine what success will look like.  Take some time to decide:

  • What the key messaging is.
  • What are the objectives?
  • How will you measure success?

How will you execute the project?

The logistics of executing on a special marketing project, or even organizing your monthly editorial plan takes creativity, and a templated process.  Each time our team creates a new Visual eBook, infographic or other content type, we continue to improve our process so that the next time we will be even more streamlined and efficient.

How Much Is It Worth or Will It Cost?

Even if there are no hard costs associated with a content marketing project, that doesn’t mean it’s “free”.  The amount of time spent by team members or resources on a project takes away from other marketing strategies that they could be working on.  You should assess priorities in order to determine if the timing is right for a particular project.

Additionally you should determine how much this content marketing object is potentially worth to the company.  How many new connections or inquiries do you expect to generate from creating and promoting a particular content marketing strategy?

It’s funny how the simplest steps are often those that are overlooked.  If you get in the habit of creating content marketing without  knowing “why” it’ll have an impact can cause a great degree of difficulty in implementation, promotion, and measurement.

If you had the opportunity to go back and redo a project that didn’t fare so well in a more qualitative way, what would you do differently?  Do you make a habit of determining the worth of a project or why it’s important before jumping in head first?

Image provided via Shutterstock.


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