How to Start a Content Management Program in 5 Steps

Consumers are not only responding – they are demanding more content.  So you keep writing. What should you be writing? In what format? Where it should be sent or posted? Do you know how well it is being received? Here is a quick-start plan to starting a content management program.

1.      Assess
Your current library. This includes any whitepapers, case studies, published articles, brochures, social media posts, etc. Anything that your company has written and owns the rights to should be considered here. While you are digging around the archives, consider building a single database. It can be a simple spreadsheet that will track;

· Title
· Author
· Date written and revised
· Where it is located/saved
· Where it was published (distributed)
· We’ll talk about the metrics later.

If you haven’t already started to track data that shows the performance of your content, then you should start now. It’s never too late. There are a few ways to keep track – whether manually or through various marketing software products; Co-schedule, Hubspot, Marketo. Strictly sticking with social media is Crimson Hexagon.

2.      Competition
Take a look around on your competition’s website and social media network. Analyze what is working for them –

· Are they getting attention with a particular subject? With images or interactive discussions?
· What publications are they writing articles for or placing advertisements?
· What are their press releases and news events regarding?
· Who are they following on social media?
· What subjects are they writing about on their white papers or case studies?

Are they missing something? Are you doing something differently, better than them? Write it and get it out there!

3.      Audience
Dive into your audience. Really get to know them, not just what you want them to buy. There are important factors that you must know before anything you write will become effective:

· Demographics – Gender, age, geographic location, where they are hanging out.
· Psychology – What are their pain points? What makes them happy? What are their interests?

How can you connect with them emotionally? They want to belong to something. They want to feel good about themselves. If they are young moms – maybe they want to feel reassurance or a sense of freedom. If they are twenty something males – maybe they want to feel a sense of thrill. Outdoor enthusiasts – maybe want to learn more about protecting the environment.  This is the level of understanding and empathy you need for your audience. Don’t skimp on getting to know them.

4.      Buying Journey
Companies need to place strategic content across the entire buying journey. If you haven’t already mapped the customer buying journey – you are in for a big whiteboard treat! First, read this blog post. Then, get out your colored markers, grab a nice mix of your coworkers (particularly those that work on customer touchpoints) and lock yourselves in the room for a few hours. This is important! There are different stages that a customer experiences when deciding to make a purchase. Even as simple as a cup of coffee.  You can place yourself into these shoes – what first crosses your mind that you want coffee? Perhaps you smell the aroma in the air. Perhaps you didn’t get enough sleep or have a very long, boring – er – important meeting today. Or you just don’t like the office selection. Then you think about where. And this could be based upon your favorite place, or where you happen to be located at the moment. Or maybe you have a loyalty card that is ready for a reward. The journey continues to beyond the purchase – where you want the customer to come back and you want to stay in touch. Think of all of the possible content that is needed at each of these points. Then decide the best format for that stage and communication channel. A whitepaper teaching a complicated subject? A How-To video once the customer makes a purchase? See – it is important!

5.      Goals
Remember I mentioned that we would discuss metrics ‘later’? Well, it’s that time. While tracking metrics is important, and there is plenty of helpful marketing software to help with that, it is critical to set goals. You can track the numbers; clicks, shares, visits, likes…but what you really want to know is – are you helping them? Are you engaging them and connecting with them?  You can find this out by tracking the length of visits, the number of opens and re-opens and how many are following your Call-To-Action?

 

The content trend isn’t fading anytime soon. So begin a management program that will organize all of your content and track its performance. If you need help on writing the content…give me a call!