As we’ve seen over the past month, there’s much more to content marketing than you at first might think. It’s a complex subject that lots of people – including so-called content marketers – struggle with.
In this final blog post on the content marketing series, I summarise the main points from the previous blog posts to give you a comprehensive look at all that a good content marketing strategy contains. Then, in the second part, I explain how you can take all that you’ve learnt from your successful campaign, and use it to inform your campaign strategy for next time.
The Content LIFECYCLE Story So Far
What we’ve been building up to is a model that views content marketing as having a lifecycle. Each of the blog posts in this short series on content marketing has shown a particular aspect of the lifecycle:
1. Idea Generation: (How to create a brilliant, marketable idea)
- A good idea is a powerful weapon
- Collaboration is essential to idea generating
- Mapping out topics thematically helps to narrow down your idea search space
- Selecting your idea of choice is simple with the right analytic tools
2. Content Targeting: (How to pitch your content at a relevant audience)
- Provide your reader with at least one “Ah-ha!” moment by answering the question you set out to answer
- Choose a method of delivery that finds your target market
- Make your content relevant and reader-focused
3. Choosing the Format: (Selecting a suitable format for the content)
- Different types of content allow you to target different audiences
- Using a number of formats is more effective than using one
- Keep your voice consistent across formats
4. Channel Selection: (Isolating the platforms the content will be delivered on. Three ways to choose the right channel are:)
- By who you’re targeting
- By choosing between paid, earned or owned channels
- By analysing effort required versus the budget allocated and ultimately, the likely ROI
5. Measuring Success:
- Decide on your objectives, and then how you’ll measure them before creating content
- Ways to measure whether your objective is to attract, convert, close or delight
- The tools to measure your content marketing success – free and paid.
The above bullet points have all been discussed in lots of detail in the weeks past, so before we round out the last step in the lifecycle of content marketing, have a look back and refresh yourself.
Step 6 – Iteration: The Last Step in the Content Marketing Lifecycle
Now that you’re all caught-up, we can move on to the last piece of the puzzle – content strategy iteration. As a simple definition, iteration refers to the process of taking a thing, looking at how it can be improved, and then replicating the original thing with those improvements. It’s not a complex process, but it’s one that virtually any system, product, model or idea can be improved by.
In a content marketing context, iteration looks something like this:
- Idea Generation
- Content Targeting
- Choosing the Format
- Channel Selection
- Measuring Success
- Record/Report Successes
- Return to 1, using 6 to guide you
As you can see, iteration is crucial to any long-term content marketing project. It allows you to both learn from your past mistakes and do something constructive with them, and it also allows you to take your strategy and move it forward rapidly.
Rounding Off Content Marketing Month
Iterating on your content strategy is the last piece of the puzzle for content marketing, and it concludes our series on the subject. If you’d like any more advice on how to get started with your content marketing strategy, I’d highly recommend you join us for our free seminar on that very subject. Click here to find out more.
So go, fellow marketers, and produce successful content marketing campaigns.