Is It Time to Get Back to Basics with Your Content Marketing Strategies?
Recently overheard: “Content marketing is not rocket science.” It’s true. Simple content marketing strategies nearly always gets the job done best, but over time a brand’s marketing strategy may become overly complicated. Adding a lot of tips, advice, and suggestions from marketing gurus to your content marketing campaigns can result in them becoming bloated.
If any of the campaigns you’re working on take more time than they should – or rely on an abundance of tools and systems – it’s probably time to get back to basics. The challenge in making a content strategy plan simple again is that you often need to convey complex ideas. If you want to be perceived as an audience’s trusted guide, though, you’ll need to find a way to communicate elaborate ideas in an easy-to-digest way.
Simple Content Marketing Strategies
Research conducted by the Content Marketing Institutes shows that only 40% of B2C and 37% of B2B marketers have created a marketing strategy plan. Yet, study after study shows that those who do are more effective than those who do not. Whether you lack a written strategy altogether, or have one that now resembles the federal tax code, the CMI suggests starting with a simple one-page plan. This can be a great way to bring any plan back to its core elements.
Here are the first three steps to take to start simplifying your content marketing strategies.
- A Simplified Plan. The best content marketing plan considers what a brand’s content looks like today, what it should look like henceforth, and the environment in which the content gets created. Look at the client’s current content and assess whether its buyer personas, stated mission, and the content itself are meeting its marketing goals. Do a competitive analysis to see how it stacks up against its rivals.
Work with the client to decide how the content can be used in different channels to help them get where they’re going. Look at their website, landing pages, blog posts, email and social media campaigns, and ask whether they reflect a brand’s voice, meets its SEO goals, etc.
- A Simplified Content Editorial Calendar. An editorial calendar helps define the overarching themes of a brand’s content marketing plan. Done right, it gives you the peace of mind of knowing in advance how a marketing plan will play out. Start with the basics: details of who will create the content, what the content will be, where and when it will be published, and what goal is meant to be achieved. An editorial calendar may get more detailed as time goes by, but using a program like Google Calendar at the start will help keep things super-simple.
- A Simplified Workflow. A written content marketing workflow empowers your team and provides structure to the process. Want to get your content created, edited, reviewed, and approved in as little time as possible? Simplify how you do it. Most marketers use some combination of a word processing program (typically Microsoft Word), a spreadsheet, and email to get the job done. There’s a more efficient way.
A single, accessible system like project management software systems Teamwork or Basecamp organize everything in one central location so that everyone involved is on the same page and has access to all pertinent files and data without searching through spreadsheets or email chains.
KISS Complicated Content Marketing Strategies Goodbye
The bottom line: a simple content marketing strategy helps to keep the focus on what matters. Everything you use to create your campaigns should help you do your work faster and smarter. Use these tips to keep things simple and your content marketing plans will enjoy far greater success. To learn how to craft a simple content marketing strategy, check out our white paper, "What is Content Strategy? And Why You Need One!"