The biggest mistake you can make in content marketing is jumping on the “next big thing” bandwagon without a proper content marketing strategy. A proper strategy adds structure and purpose to your campaign. A strategy will turn chaotic and irregular content production into an efficient, streamlined content producing machine.

Ghergich & Co. helps you craft a Content Strategy that is customized to your industry and the unique way you work within it. Every strategy we do is unique to the client, but here are a few common elements we usually suggest.

Define Your Goals

This may seem obvious but you would be surprised how many people skip this step in a rush to get to the “good stuff”. Your entire organization needs to understand your overall goals in order to achieve them.

Do you want more traffic, conversions, awareness, sales or retention? How you go about achieving each of these goals can be drastically different.

Understand Your Customers

To produce content that speaks to your customer’s needs you have to define and understand them first. You have to ask yourself questions like, are your customers active on social media? If so, what social networks are they using the most? What industry blogs are your customers already reading? Obviously traditional demographic data will come into play here as well.

Inventory Existing Assets

Unless you are launching a new site you probably already have some content that could be better utilized and promoted. Create an inventory of existing assets that you can use for promotion. Think about repurposing old content or updated popular blog posts so they are relevant again.

Competitor Analysis

After inventorying your best content assets do the same thing for your top competitors. Knowing what areas they have strong content in and what areas they are weakest in, is very valuable. This can shape your content production plans and provide you with a gauge to measure the quality of the content you produce.

Keyword Research

Selecting the right keywords for content marketing is vitally important. You need to understand what questions your customers have and what keywords they Google when they are looking for answers. Understanding these keywords will help you produce content that solves your customer’s problems.

Topic Research

Once you have selected your keywords you need to generate topic ideas around them. Keep track of what is being said in the News and through Social Media throughout your niche. Find content pieces that have been successful in the past in your space and ask yourself if they could be improved upon or reimagined.

Editorial Calendar

An editorial calendar is an absolute must. If you don’t have a very detailed calendar you content creation will become sporadic and eventually fall off entirely. You need to determine how many pieces of content you are doing each month and who will be responsible for the various parts of each project.

Content Creation

Finally, its time to create some content! You will need to select writers whose skillset and experiences match up with the content you are trying to produce. If you are working with graphic designers or illustrators make sure they are capable of the design aesthetic you need created. Just because someone is a talented writer or designer does not mean they are the correct match for a particular project.

You will be juggling multiple projects at one time so make sure to keep updating your editorial calendar so that your team stays on task.

Measure Success

This is another no brainer that we see people struggle with implementing. You need to define in your goals how you are going to measure success, and you need to track your progress towards your goal.

We typically measure Social Engagement, Links & Conversions depending on the campaign.

Final Piece Of Advice

Content Marketing will never lead to overnight success. However, it is your best bet for continued long-term success. Most people fail at content marketing because they go into it without a long-term strategy and they give up too soon. Don’t be that person!