Content marketing has also proven to be much more cost effective than other forms of marketing or advertising. According to marketing analysis firm Demand Metric, content marketing is 62 per cent cheaper to produce than traditional marketing but creates three times as many leads.
Pete Matthew, managing director for Penzance-based Jackson’s Wealth Management and a winner of UK podcast of the year, says: “What content marketing does is enable any adviser to get their voice out there to their target market, for free. It doesn’t cost anything to write a blog; it just costs you time.”
Putting together a content strategy
Legendary business improvement consultant Dr H James Harrington is famously quoted as saying: “If you can’t measure something, you can’t understand it. If you can’t understand it, you can’t control it. If you can’t control it, you can’t improve it.”
This quote sums up one of the cornerstones of good marketing practice, which is setting SMART objectives. While there are several slight variations on the meaning of the acronym, essentially it translates to setting objectives that are:
- and within a given Timeframe.
So, for example, if you are producing regular blogs you should decide what you specifically want to measure to determine whether those blogs count as successful or not. Is it purely the number of people that visit the blog web page or is it the percentage that sign up to your email newsletter or make an enquiry?
Once you know which specific data you want to measure, you can analyse and compare the data over a given timeframe, whether that is monthly or quarterly.
Once you have obtained the data, you can take action to either repeat the success or improve the performance of your blogs. For example, the data can help you to determine which blog subjects are of most relevance and interest to your audience and which subjects turn them off.
Figure 1: How people check email
Your strategy should also involve planning how often you intend to publish content, including set deadlines for when blogs need to be written, as well as a process for signing them off. You should also establish how you intend to distribute your content.
Even if different members of the organisation are contributing to blogs, it is best practice to appoint a content owner or manager who takes on the role of editor.
- Generating content ideas as an individual or within a group.
- Commissioning or producing content, ensuring all content is grammatically correct.
- Ensuring all content meets a consistent house style/tone of voice.
The further ahead that you can plan your content, the better. Most blogging platforms, such as WordPress and Blogger, enable you to write blogs in advance and publish them in the future.
Even if you are a sole trader producing one blog a month it makes sense to plan them well in advance and allocate a time to produce them. This could either be a couple of days a month, which are dedicated to producing your content for the month, or a set morning every week.
Questions appear on the last page of this article.