Content rules the web and as such marketers need to be more categorical in the manner in which they generate and promote their content. The web is inundated with lots of content from the millions of sites online meaning you have to do much more than just string together words if you are to stand out among the sea of competitors. Contrary to what some content marketers believe, content promotion doesn’t start when your content goes live, but rather begins way before in the production stage.
With every marketer determined in 2016 to produce much more content than they ever did in 2015 and the years past, you have to brace yourself and have a framework to use in producing and promoting your content. In case you are at a loss not knowing what to do and how to go about content production and marketing, below is a content plan you can use to achieve your campaign goals.
This is the foundation to any successful content campaign. Whether you have lots of money and time or not, conducting a survey of your audience to determine their unique needs is a must do. This will give you insights into the nature of your audience and what they are expecting from you.
Though many people skip it, the rewards that come from audience research are invaluable. You can start on your social platforms and the conversations you have had with your customers as the basis for your research.
For effective research, you need to segment your audience based on their content demands and expectations. For instance, part of your audience could be using your content for educational purposes while another group may be interested in applying the knowledge in decision making.
Still there is another category of your audience who are simply interested in sharing good and useful content with their followers. Segmentation sets the foundation for the creation of influencer lists as well as outreach messaging.
Before you start producing your content, take a step back and ask yourself the value each of the segments above will gather from your content. Ask yourself the things that will promote your audience to share your content and what may make it un-sharable. If you are the only one coming up with the content, this can just be a simple mental exercise with presentation in bullet points. However, if you are working as a team, you may need to come up with a draft and share it with your team for reference purposes in future.
Some of the questions you may have to ask include:
- Who are my audience?
- What is it that I am offering them?
- How will my audience find my content?
- Why will they share or not share the content I am coming up with?
Once this stage is done, you can proceed to content creation.
Content Development and Launching Preparations
When developing your content, you should have a goal in mind of who you want to share with. This can be easier if you come up with a list of websites and people in advance for each of the segments you identified above possibly two weeks before your launch. For each segment, come up with a list of top tier and mid-tier influencers.
Thereafter, note down the mediums you will use in serving your content to your audience. This could be email, social media, press release and so forth. In case you haven’t met or interacted with an influencer and you would love to share your content with them, you can try cold pitching.
A week before your launch, you should start drafting your social media posts, customer messages and outreach emails. Planning targeting and queuing up social media ads can benefit you at this stage.
Streamlining Your List Size
To enable you determine your outreach response rate, you should set down your sharing or coverage goals. This will go a long way in giving you an indication of the number of people you will have to reach out to. You can begin with a long list and gradually narrow it down to the most targeted and appropriate prospects for your outreach. Even though this can be hectic and time consuming, it is worth the effort.
Engage before Launching
Before you pitch your content, ensure you connect with the people on your influencer lists and reach out to the websites you have indicated. Some people will not have a problem if you tweet them or do a post and tag them and this can easily win their attention.
For the other influencers who may be a little bit more difficult to connect with, you have to be creative to bring them on board. Some of the ways you can do this include igniting a discussion with them or just comment on their blog posts. If you meet them in person during conferences, seminars or events, the better it will be for you.
Test Driving Your Content
Before finally rolling out your content, you must test drive it with your targeted influencers. This can give you an opportunity to obtain their guidance and buy-in to help you in reorganizing your content before letting it out. Give them enough time to go through the content and give feedback.
You can prepare different email templates about two for each segment. These templates should essentially test aspects such as the subject line or call to action while at the same time allowing room for personalization. Ensure your top 5 to 10 influencers get customized messages. In order to save on time during the day of the launch, prepare these emails in advance. If you have had a discussion with your influencers before, link or refer to those discussions for familiarity purposes.
During launch time, ensure you share your content as much as you can because this is your big day and your content will reach all corners of the globe. Put it on social media and make your ads live.
After the launch fireworks go off, it’s time now to start looking at the patterns in the results streaming in. Some templates will do much better than others and it is important you observe the patterns and eliminate the less performing templates. Pick the good ones and use them in coming up with a new template.
As part of your post-launch patterns, you may see yourself connecting exceptionally well with some groups and not so much with others. This should guide your investment in resources including time and build better relationships with the responsive segments because they can easily publicize your content.
Moderate and Respond
Ensure you are available to moderate the comments coming from your shared content. Retweet those that are pleasant and respond appropriately to the questions popping up. This is important in ensuring you connect and build your audience trust in your brand.
A week after the launch, it is normal to see your content growing fainter. Instead of becoming discouraged because of the somewhat downward trend, be energized and concentrate on what is working so that you can keep your content afloat.
Paid Social Media Campaigns
As part of your post-launch analysis, be careful to observe the social media platforms that did exemplarily well and earmark them for continued expenditure. In the event things flopped up, shrug it off and make another attempt using a different targeting strategy or headline. Do not stop retweeting and sharing the nice things people are saying about your content because a timely retweet can help you create good traffic spike especially during off-peak hours.
Smooth Your Victories
Take time to put your content on weekly roundups and email newsletters. This can bring additional sharing which can go a long way in helping you attract quality traffic to your site. Using tools such as Fresh Web Explorer and other link retrieval strategies, you can find out where your content is shared and whether you are getting some credit for it. This is important in reclaiming links.
Ongoing Opportunities and Wrapping Up
As you wind down, don’t shut the door but rather track people constantly who are sharing your content and put in a thank you note. Continue keeping in touch with the influencers of the campaign because they will be significant even in your next campaigns. Observe your email services, social media as well as the web for opportunities to repurpose and re-share your content. You can even decide to turn it into a case study.
As you close in to the finish line, take time and evaluate important metrics such as visits, shares, likes and conversions. Make a note of everything you want to remember the next time you are undertaking your campaign. You can also refer back to your original influencer list, restructure it based on your results and prepare well for the next project.