In our ongoing series about Content Marketing, this week we are talking about creating content. Content is extremely important to all your marketing efforts, but generating it can also be one of the most frustrating tasks. It’s really hard to get right. It has to be carefully crafted so you can help inform your audience’s decisions without the pressure of a hard sell. Great content is a communication strategy that can help you build relationships between your company and your consumers. Nothing is more important.
That seems like a tall order for just a bunch of words or images.
Content is the foundation of all your marketing, so how do you come up with your message and then create content that drives it home? It might seem daunting to start with, but chances are your company already has a lot of background that can serve as the foundation of an excellent Content Marketing strategy.
Start by taking an inventory of what you already have: research papers, white papers, articles written by a shareholder, etc. Any existing long-form content can easily be repurposed. What about an information pamphlet from 10 years ago? Sure it is a bit dated, but with thoughtful editing and current data, it might be just the thing to get your Content Marketing started. Another resource is your people—staff, association members, or even industry groups can help to provide quality content.
Take an audit of what material is available and where you might be able to get more, and you will have your base content that can serve as the foundation for your Content Marketing plan.
Doing this analysis has the added benefit of seeing where you have come from—in regard to marketing—and gives you a framework of where you need to go. It may seem time-consuming to create this “library” of old content, but you will find that great ideas can come from reviewing good information that has already been developed.
Once you have gathered your information, start crafting your new content by bringing in up-to-date ideas and processes that reflect your current business. While developing the new content, keep in mind that one blog post will not do. With so many information outlets available to marketers today, you need to develop content in a way that can be shaped and reshaped to fit a number of outlets and venues. The core message will remain the same, but how it is delivered will change as necessary—from your company message on your website, to a guest blog post on another site, to a tweet, to a printed company newsletter. All of these outlets require different housing for your message.
Creating the right content is by no means an easy proposition. In fact, it may be one of the most difficult aspects of getting your Content Marketing strategy underway. But without a solid content foundation, all other marketing efforts could be undermined. The good news is that there are professionals who are experts at creating content. The YGS Group is one of the leading companies in content development, and we are here to help.