The Ultimate Content Marketing Checklist
Starting a content marketing campaign isn’t always easy. You might be asked to complete a half-completed campaign. You might be new to your position and be joining a campaign after it has already launched. Or you might be tasked with bringing a campaign to a new department, geographic region or target audience.
When you find yourself in one of these positions (or if you’re about to start a new content marketing campaign), take stock of previous campaigns, take a look at any analytics available to you and perform a content audit. When you’re done, it’s time to create a strategy and take your content marketing to the next level.
1. Review your strategy and set new goals
As your company grows, the focus of its marketing campaigns naturally change. If you are a new startup, you might launch content marketing campaigns to build brand awareness, establish your website in search engine results, gain social media followers and increase engagement. Then as your company grows, you might continue some of these efforts while also raising the bar. For instance, you might aim to gain 1,000 Instagram followers in an early campaign and aim to raise that number to 2,000 in the next. Or you might want to keep the same goal of, say, building brand awareness, and apply it to a new target audience or region.
If that’s the case, you’ll want to keep your same metrics. But if you’re changing up your content strategy, you’ll want to change your metrics. So if you previously focused on brand awareness but are now looking to generate more leads, you might spend time analyzing the customer journey and the kinds of content that works at each stage along the way. In addition, you’ll also want to measure engagement, time spent on your site and conversion. Regardless, it’s important to know how to measure the success of your content marketing campaigns.
2. Assemble (or reassemble) your team
Before launching a new marketing campaign, you’ll also need to put together your team. Stakeholders might include your boss and team; content writers, graphic designers and video creators, including freelancers or outside teams; and subject matter experts (SMEs), who can contribute authoritative content to your campaign. Some people might be ready to jump on board, but others might need to be hired or might take more convincing (like SMEs or your boss).
For these people, it’s important to remember that everyone wants to be heard and have their talent be appreciated. Buying a cup of coffee for an SME or your colleague in sales can go a long way toward opening the door to productive collaboration. Ask people about their experience helping create content for the company in the past. Listen and be willing to accommodate or address their frustrations and friction points. Make things easier with a content request system so they can easily communicate with you. Also, try to have an in-person chat or a video call with everyone you’ll be working with — especially if you’ll need their help asking for a bigger budget.
3. Set up an approval workflow
With your team assembled, it’s time to set up an approval workflow. This will prevent you from needing too many people to sign off on a piece of content before it’s ready to publish. Situations like the following are all too familiar. You assign an article to a freelance writer. When the freelancer hands it to you, you pass it on to your boss, who decides it needs some charts and graphics. The design team creates its visuals and then you punch up the copy and your boss gives it their take. By now, the article has changed so much that the art doesn’t fit anymore and the design team has to redo their work.
If you’ve been around for a few marketing campaigns at your company, you probably know who really needs to look at new content, who makes changes without understanding the strategies behind campaigns, who gives advice that improves your content and strategy, and who takes forever to get back to you. Eliminating people who don’t add to your efforts or who slow down the process will make your life easier and your content marketing campaigns stronger.
4. Examine new avenues of distribution
Just because Facebook is the most popular social network doesn’t mean that it’s the best fit for your brand (though it certainly might be). Depending on your audience, your content might be a better fit on another platform, such as Instagram, Snapchat, or LinkedIn. If you’re creating a campaign selling vacations to millennials, say, you might want to create videos and post them on Instagram. And for consulting services or B2B products or services, you’ll definitely want to consider LinkedIn.
At this point, you have a well-researched plan, your team is in place, your workflow is set and you have a social media distribution strategy. All you need to do is launch your campaign and start measuring so you can check it against benchmarks and continue to improve it.
Need help with your content marketing campaign? Reach out to us!