January 13, 2020

Creating a Content Marketing Checklist (that actually works)

Honestly, it’s pretty simple. When I create a content strategy, there are effectively five parts to the system that I need to check off.

Step 1: Set Your Goals

What is the client trying to achieve with their content strategy? Usually, it’s an increase in inbound site traffic and a full sales funnel, but there’s a lot more that a good content plan can do.

Maybe they want to demonstrate their expertise to their users. Maybe they want to build a community of the people who are already buying from them. Maybe they want to educate the broader public on their industry and the opportunities they’re seeing.

Whatever the case, a content strategy is only as strong as it’s connected to the client’s broader goals, so identifying and defining that is always step #1.

Step 2: Find Your Topics

Once the goals of the campaign are set, it’s time to develop an editorial calendar to achieve those goals. I like to do this by filling buckets.

For example, if a client is simply looking to drive inbound interest, I come up with 4–5 content topic buckets for them to group the content by subject. It might be something like SEO topics, user education topics, company announcements / information, commentary on the market, etc, but the idea is to form thematic groups for their content so it isn’ the same thing over and over and over again.

This ensures variety, performs better, and is far easier to produce. From there it’s just a matter of filling each bucket with 20–30 topic ideas to fill out the calendar / plan.

Step 3: Choose Your Platforms

OK, we know what we’re going to talk about, now we need to determine where we’re going to talk about it.

Usually, this starts on the client’s site — the goal is typically to drive traffic back to their marketing site / funnel anyway, so choose a format for where that will be going. Maybe it’s a blog, but it can also be a white paper, landing page, news page, etc. Then look at their social accounts — do they have a presence on all of the major platforms in their industry? If not, create them.

Then look at syndication. What publications / blogs / influencers are out there in their niche? Even B2B has outlets like this. Find them, create relationships, and get the client’s content in front of those people. That gets them into the conversation.

Step 4: Produce Your Content

From there, it’s simply a matter of producing the content. Pretty straightforward, but doing it at scale requires some planning and management for proper execution. This can be a whole other subject in itself.

Step 5: Gather and Track Your Analytics

And of course, there are metrics. A content strategy is only as strong as what you can measure, so it helps to determine what you want to measure, and how, early on in the process. That’s how you’ll know if the plan is working as expected and if you need to make changes midway through in order to correct course.

But this is just the beginning. Want to know what the whole process looks like from soup to nuts? Contact us at hello@wearelayup.com to set up a demo call.

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