It’s funny, as a Demand Generation consultant, I constantly beat the drum with my clients on the importance of developing consistent, relevant content. No matter what format the content takes – it can be a newsletter, webcast, whitepaper posting or a blog – if you’re trying to build a relationship with a customer or sell something to a prospect, they need to have a reason to raise their hands to show their interest. Good content and offers make that happen.
However, creating a content library is easier said than done. And as you can tell if you’ve ever reviewed my Twitter or LinkedIn accounts, I suck at it. Totally ignore it, as a matter of fact.
In my defense, I’m lucky enough to be really busy with client work so it hasn’t been a priority, but I admit I’m embarrassed to have a near silent Twitter and LinkedIn presence.
So, I’m putting my money where my mouth is. I’m starting a blog and commit to regularly posting content, thoughts and ideas on good demand generation and direct marketing programs that work.
So while I’m new at the content posting for myself, here are six pointers on creating a content strategy that have worked for my clients:
Be committed. If you start, be prepared to continue. It doesn’t matter if you’re kicking off a newsletter, blog, whitepaper or webinar series, if you say it’s going to be monthly, make it monthly. Too often, companies finish the first one, are late with the second and never do a third. Customers can see that as lack of professionalism.
Do a work back schedule. I provide one for each client who has monthly content. The schedule works back from the blast or live date, adding the date approvals are due and when any layout is needed and then works back to when copy needs to be completed and the topic needs to be picked and content started. If you put those dates on your task list, your content is done on time and you avoid last minute fire drills.
Even better – work a month or two ahead. I’m busy so before I kicked this off, I’ve already outlined five blogs so that I’m ready to go with the next one, even if I’m buried in deadlines.
As with anything in direct marketing or demand generation, make your content meaningful. Each piece of content should both offer something educational and meaningful to your target audience and also promote your company’s product or services. For example, what I’m hoping to achieve with this post is to provide a few quick useful tips on content strategy and also prove I have the experience to help if a client is looking for someone to help them kick off a program.
Recycle your content. If you write a blog, put the content in your newsletter. If you put it in your newsletter, maybe expand on the content and create a whitepaper. Then use the same subject for a webcast. This lets you maximize the effort of developing new topics.
Last, don’t overdo. Folks are busy and most companies are shorthanded. Think 500 words for a blog or a few pages for a whitepaper. Short content has a high likelihood of being read and is easier to create.
So, done! Let me know what you think.