September digital round-up: the content marketing cycle

This month we’ve been looking at the content marketing cycle, from strategy design through to measuring success (or failure) of your content marketing campaign. We thought we’d share our broad content process along with some of our recent reading from our trusted sources.

1. Develop a content strategy

Firstly, the Content Marketing Institute takes a look at why marketers need an effective content strategy in order to “provide the right content, to the right people, at the right times, for the right reasons”. Take a look at their 4-stage process here.

In a separate article, the CMI shows the more artistic among us how to produce a visual content strategy. No more spreadsheets…? Find out how here.

2. Define your content goals

Once you’ve nailed your content strategy, you’ll have a good idea of your goals. By knowing what you want to achieve from each piece of content you can hone your time and reduce the temptation to churn out content for the sake of it. Read more about how to determine your content marketing goals here. 

3. Develop your personas

Before you begin planning and writing your content, it’s important to understand your audience. The first step is to
develop a persona, an imaginary 3-D person who reflects the needs of your target audience, so that you can produce content that responds directly to that persona’s needs.

Hubspot have created a great little tool to help you to create a persona profile. Why not give it a try?

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4. Find the right tools

Let’s face it, there are a zillion online tools out there for marketers, and there’s a danger of becoming overwhelmed by the seemingly endless choice. Our advice: be clear about what you need your tools for and why, and if something works, stick with it!

Jeffbullas has listed 20 top writing tools that will help get you started with content production.

5. Capture your content ideas….

By developing a plan and building a persona you’re half way there, but sometimes it’s hard to even get started with your content. We all know how frustrating writer’s block can be!

The Content Marketing Institute, in this article, shares their top 10 tips for getting around writers block.

6. …and write a killer blog post

We’d all love to be publishing the best possible content that gets noticed, shared, used and, says Digital Doughnut, this isn’t hard to do. They’ve shared tips on how to produce the kind of content that’ll get you the attention you deserve in record time. Find out more here.

7. Remember a Call-to-Action!

Hopefully, when you were drawing up your content strategy and goals, you’ll have identified ways in which your uber ctacontent can convert browsers into leads. Here’s where the call-to-action (CTA) comes in. By putting a big, clickable CTA at the bottom of a blog post, and designed a work flow to take them through to an action, then you have turned a piece of content into a much much more.

Hubspot has shared some of their favourite CTAs from around the web. Check it out!

8. Amplify your content

Now that you’ve created a piece of content you’re happy with, it now needs to be put “out there” for the world to see. It’s no good, after all, leaving it on your blog post waiting to be stumbled upon. Search Engine Journal has given you 15 advanced ways to promote your content on social media.

9. Measure success

Great, you’ve now shared your content with the world and, hopefully, it’s getting the attention it deserves. But hold off the smugness just for now. Unless you’re measuring your content, you won’t know how well it’s achieving its objectives. Luckily, Content Marketing Institute has shared their tips on using web analytics to assess the real value of your work.

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