How to Make Your Content Creation Plan More Productive & Profitable
Small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) can sometimes find themselves overwhelmed with the task of maintaining, marketing, and managing their content creation plan for websites, blogs, social media, email, or other areas of their online presence. This is largely due to the fact that search engines are demanding higher quality content in terms of SEO, and searchers are demanding higher quality content in terms of their overall user experience.
When it comes to dealing with your content, the three tasks mentioned above - maintenance, marketing, and management - should be at the root of all your content-related activities. Each one functions independently of the other but they all work together to create a seamless process for handling your company's content creation plan in the most productive and profitable way possible.
The 3 M's of Your Content Creation Plan:
Content for websites is quite different from content published to other areas of your online presence, like your social media feed, industry-related blog posts, or a weekly email newsletter. In most cases, the biggest difference is that content for websites is more professional and formal in terms of style, tone, or format. The other types of content can be presented in much less formal ways depending on the platform chosen for publication. Content maintenance takes these differences into account as a necessary part of its basic functions.
Maintaining content for websites, blogs, email, social media, and other publication platforms or channels involves five primary activities:
- creating original content from scratch (doing so yourself or by using in-house staff as writers)
- procuring content from external sources (such as a content development platform, curating from existing content, or by using the services of freelance writers)
- selecting a central theme, concept, subject, or style for the content ( which should reinforce your company's mission, align with your goals, support your marketing objectives, or function symbiotically with the values and ideals of your business)
- revisiting and revising previously published content on a periodic basis to ensure that it remains relevant, current, and valuable
- keeping track of all content, published and unpublished, in a way that gives you an at-a-glance look at what you have, where it is located, and the subject or theme it focuses on
There are other aspects of content maintenance beyond the five items listed here, but these are the primary activities involved. By implementing a maintenance plan that uses these five items as the foundation, you can structure a highly effective and successful process for maintaining all your company's marketing content.
There is no mystery to content marketing. Even so, some SMB owners, managers, and marketing professionals find it to be a confusing maze of verbose yet vague instructions on how to increase ranking on search engine results and attract more visitor traffic. At the most basic level, a content marketing strategy consists of the following:
- who you are marketing to (target audience)
- what you are marketing to them (product, service, idea, brand)
- where you are distributing your marketing message (social media, email, blog, newsletter)
- when you are delivering your marketing material (date, time, season, special occasion)
- how you are telling them about your offer (style, format, tone, type of content)
- why you are doing all of the above (goals and objectives you hope to achieve with your efforts)
An effective content creation plan incorporates all of the above items into a well-defined, well-developed and properly deployed content strategy framework for accomplishing each item.
Viewed in broad strokes, content management is a process that incorporates maintenance and marketing into a cohesive and unified plan that makes all your content-related efforts more effective and efficient. The management of content for websites, blogs, social media, and email (plus other types) entails the end-to-end process of handling your company's content from the birth of an idea to final deletion of outdated material.
Because content management can be a very involved process with a variety of related tasks, you can implement programs or applications to handle all or part of the necessary duties. Some companies use outsourced content management platforms or agencies, whether they have limited content inventories or large-scale content creation and distribution activities. Doing so frees up the time and energy of the business professionals to continue doing what they do best - running the business.
Whether your content pool is small and shallow or wide and deep, the three Ms of your content creation plan should be considered vital components of your marketing strategies, especially if you want your content development and deployment activities to align with and successfully support your company's overall marketing goals. If you need help learning how to create a content strategy, check out our whitepaper, "What is a Digital Content Strategy? Any Why You Need One!"