You want content marketing that will make a difference to your bottom line. However, without a plan, it’s like being on a treadmill. You’re building up a sweat but not really getting anywhere.
Have you considered creating a content marketing mission statement? Although mission statements have often received a bad rap for being outdated, they still can serve an important purpose.
A mission statement will help you define your goals and clarify what you need to do to reach them. Here are a few questions to ask:
- What do you want your business to accomplish?
- What are your differentiators? (ex. faster service? One-of-a-kind product? YOU!)
- What does your business do better than anyone else?
Let’s explore further.
Using Content Marketing to Find the Pain Points
Pain points focus your attention on what your customer needs the most. Whatever you offer, your customer and prospects struggle with deciding on whether to choose you or your competitor. Start hammering on the pain points that you know exist and then match them to what you do really well.
For instance, let’s say your business is a heating and cooling business. There’s a lot of pain in those areas!
This type of business would do well with a blog post series focused on how to save on electricity bills and still keep warm throughout the winter. Or a special report that exposes the five most common myths homeowners believe about their thermostat.
One of my favorite examples about a business that nailed content marketing is the story of Marcus Sheridan and his pool business, River Pools and Spa. In 2008, Marcus’ business was tanking. They were close to filing for bankruptcy when he discovered inbound marketing.
He began to produce content that was helpful to prospects. He wrote about some of the most common questions asked about buying a pool. He was honest and named pricing figures. Curious buyers started to flock to his site.
Fast forward to 2010. Within 18 months of blogging, his company was at the top of the industry. Leads and sales were strong and they never spent less in advertising and marketing.
Today, River Pools and Spa is a thriving pool business and Marcus has branched out into sales training for business owners. His site is “The Sales Lion” and you can download his free eBook that will explain exactly what he did to succeed in a very tough market.
Make a List of the Players
When developing a content marketing strategy, you’ll need input from your team. Let’s go back to the air conditioning and heating example. One important team member is the technician. What kinds of complaints or concerns does he or she hear from a customer? That would be excellent starting points for creating a mission statement.
You need to gather as much information as possible about your audience so that you’ll create meaningful content. Your accountant may have insights regarding your clients’ budgets and when they’re well-funded versus not having access to resources.
Plan for the Unexpected
Although you may want to create content marketing that helps your customers and prospects, think about the potential risks of your business. How will they affect your content marketing plan?
Do you have several people who contribute to your blog? Do you have a calendar for your blog updates and do you create content ahead of time so that if someone was unable to create a post, your blog would have a “back up plan?”
Think of what could influence your content creation. Vacations, conferences, trade shows, etc. are signposts that will help direct your planning.
The Big Question
After taking into consideration all of the above, return to the basic question: what are you trying to achieve? Perhaps you want to build up a library of case studies so you could sell more of a particular service. Or you may want to take a series of blog posts and turn them into a prospect guide.
Your content marketing plan will be a continual process that will make the most of your marketing programs. With a firm plan in place and an understanding of who you are, you’ll then be able to focus on how to create innovative products and services that will keep you ahead of the game. Ultimately, it is well worth the effort.