Driving the creation of compelling content that performs is an essential requirement for any marketing leader these days.

Today, we’re going to help you refine your content strategy with this five-point checklist covering:
• Targeting
• Your Authors
• Format
• Distribution
• Measurements

We’re going to provide you with some best practices in each of these areas to help you maximize the performance of your content.

So let’s jump in!

 

#1: Targeting–Target Your Best Prospects First

When putting together your content marketing strategy, focus on these two groups first: your best current customers and best potential customers

Following the 80/20 rule, generally, 80% of future revenue comes from 20% of existing customers.

Make sure that your content strategy cares FIRST for the persona of your best current customers, and you will naturally engage more of the same with your prospect audience.

 

#2: Your Authors – Carefully consider your author and voice when creating your content

Make sure your content marketing comes from a credible, authoritative source. It’s best when you can have an expert or analyst who will bring an objective point of view to the topic. They may also have research at their fingertips, which will increase credibility.

And finally, accept the fact that your choice of author can boost or hinder the message: content written by a vendor, about the vendor and delivered by that vendor, will be viewed as corporate collateral, not credible research. Going with a third-party who has evaluated your product or service or who is recognized in the industry is a great way to present outside validation of your brand’s value in the marketplace.

 

#3: Format – Is your content format engaging your audience?

Content is no longer just the written word. The format you choose for your content will have a big impact on its performance.

Here are just a few stats for you to consider:

  • Infographics are liked and shared 3X more than other any other type of content
  • Companies using video enjoy 41% more web traffic from search than non-video users.
  • Average attention span to decide if they will stick around for more is 12 seconds or less
  • Case studies told as stories hold attention longer than traditional problem/solution approach

Given these stats, you want to

  • Opt for visually-engaging content
  • Go for snackable 30-90 second videos or digital eBook versions of longer pieces like white papers to grab attention
  • Build stories around customer success

Once we’ve got the right format for our content, what’s next, Nicole?

#4: Distribution – The key is to select channels to match your audience and decision process

First, consider your audience’s generation as well as their profession and title when selecting your marketing channels and content formats.

A multichannel digital approach would be appropriate for some, while more traditional formats such as direct mail might work better for others.

Certain media channels or distribution networks skew younger or older, and that matters.

Regarding the decision process, certain channels are better for entertaining or connecting, while others are better suited to education and demonstrating use cases.

By carefully mapping your content to the right distribution channels, you are going to improve the performance of your content.

 

#5: Measurement – Always Track, Measure and Drive

If your content is driving people back to your website or landing pages, you’re probably already tracking things like unique visits, page views, shares, and visit duration.

What I want to focus on today is the conversion rate metric.

Specifically, micro-conversions and macro-conversions.

A micro conversion is any activity that the user takes towards your primary conversion goal, such as filling out a lead capture form when downloading a white paper. These customers may not have purchased a product yet, but a measurable journey has begun.

Macro conversions are any user completing your ultimate conversion goal. These conversion goals vary but generally are a user purchasing from your organization.

As you build out your MICRO and MACRO conversion activities, you will learn what you need to start scoring leads as scoring marketing qualified leads (MQLs) and sales qualified leads (SQLs).

Beyond name, company and title—what else do you need to qualify leads?

With this full picture of the results your content marketing is generating, you can take this information back to the beginning of the process and repeat the steps–Dropping those pieces or approaches that don’t work and spending more time and energy on those that do work.

So there you have it—your 5-point checklist to high performing content.

Getting ALL of your content to be high-performing does take time, but with these steps, you’ll be on your way to consistent improvement in your content marketing.

Let us know in the comments which one of these steps you most want to work on so we can keep the conversation going

 

Until next time, Grow your brand, and drive demand!

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