How a Checklist Helps You Develop the Perfect Content Marketing Strategy

There’s real psychology behind the effectiveness of checklists: setting smaller, incremental goals motivates us to accomplish bigger things.

Small Steps Lead to Big Achievements

Big goals, such as an effective content marketing strategy, are important. But how you achieve them doesn’t happen in one giant leap. Setting small, achievable tasks helps lessen the stress that comes from trying to accomplish something complicated, challenging, and complex overnight.

The “SMART” method is a great model for setting up a workable checklist you can tick off as you move towards completing your content marketing goals:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound

The science behind SMART’s success is simple: when people experience even a little bit of success, their brains release dopamine which is connected to feelings of, among other things, motivation. Brains love the dopamine high they get from success, so they motivate their owners to repeat the successful action. Known as “self-directed learning,” this process helps successfully drive long-term projects.

A SMART Checklist for Content Marketing Strategies

Ready to get smart about developing strategic marketing goals? Here’s how to get started.

Have You Set Specific Goals?

This is the “why” of your content marketing strategy. Why are you creating specific content and who are you creating it for? How does your solution help your audience in ways other brands’ solutions don’t? Make a list of what you hope to achieve. Increase revenue, lower costs, and/or better leads and customers, be clear on the result you want to attain.

Is Your Strategy Measurable?

If you can’t measure your ROI, how will you know if your strategy is working? Because there’s no one way to measure success, it’s sometimes difficult to do, but if your clear strategy is in place, it’s a lot easier than you might think. Some people use numbers based on AdWords results, others look at social media shares or lead generation metrics. You’ll need to experiment to find the one that works best for your brand.

Does Your Content Help Attain Results?

Or are you producing content for content’s sake? It helps to know, of course, just what you’re trying to attain. Brand awareness? More customers? Increased conversions? Randomly posting content that is vague and/or unfocused will not get you the results you’re looking for. You may reach a wider audience, but if your content doesn’t connect your brand with the people who need it most, you’re failing at one of the most important aspects – and benefits – of content marketing.

Are Your Goals Relevant?

A good content marketing strategy aligns with a brand’s overall goals. It’s vital to understand what types of content will be the most relevant to your target audience. There are dozens of types of content you can employ to get your message to the right people. Blog posts, social media, white papers, eBooks, newsletters, case studies, videos, and infographics are some of the most popular. Many marketers worry about not covering all their bases, but it can be dangerous to spread yourself too thin. Take a cue from baseball and focus your effort and resources on 3 bases, or types of content. You stand a much better chance of hitting a home run.

Are Your Goals Time-bound?

If specifics are about the why, time limits are about the “when.” Each goal of your content marketing strategy should have an endpoint. Too-vague goals keep you on a path that it might be best turning off from. Remember, too, that it’s easier to stay motivated when there’s an end in sight. Setting time-bound goals to your content marketing strategy also helps establish regular periods of measurement, evaluation, and retooling.

The Bottom Line

A cohesive content marketing strategy is needed to establish a strong brand identity, increase content marketing productivity, analyze success rates, and maximize a brand’s ROI.

Create a SMART checklist to help you better understand the whys, whens, and hows of your content marketing goals. It will help you eliminate risk, doubt, and guesswork while developing a strategy that helps make your customers’ lives easier and your brand more successful.

Topics: content marketing strategy

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