So you’ve decided to commit to content marketing for your business. Now is the time to set some simple processes in place to ensure that your efforts deliver content marketing ROI for your business or organisation. Here are 15 Proven Steps for Ensuring Content Marketing ROI:
Over the last 5 years, for Mykidstime.com, our award-winning parents blog, we have refined and tweaked our content strategy so it delivers results for our business. Here are 15 Proven Steps for Ensuring Content Marketing ROI that you can follow to ensure content marketing ROI for your own business or organisation:
#1. Create a Content Plan
You definitely need a content plan to help you manage your content production. A content plan lets you plan out your themes, your seasons and individual content pieces across a time period.
Start with your first month, then build up to a quarter and then you can roll that forward for the rest of the year.
When you create your content plan, you are also deciding on when particular content needs to be published and distributed so you can work back from that to set creation and editing deadlines.
TIP: If you are writing seasonal content then you need to be publishing that at least 6 months before the season to allow search engines time to pick it up as relevant content.
#2. Decide What, Who, When
Now decide who is going to produce what content and when to meet your publishing deadlines.
- What exactly is the content that you need? And what format will you produce it in? Content can be blog post, video, infographic and more.
- Do you have people in your organisation who can write or create that content?
- Or are you going to have to outsource some of the content creation? And if so, who will you outsource to?
- What deadlines are required? Work back from your publishing deadlines and remember to allow editing and proofing time.
#3. Clarify Exactly Who Your Target Audience for the Content Is
Who are you targeting that you want to read your content? If you have customer/prospect profiles or avatars then you can use these. Is your planned content solving a particular pain point for them?
The more vertical or niche you can make your target audience the better the chances are of your content appealing to that segment and getting read.
#4. Do Keyword Research
No matter how you plan to distribute your content you still want the search engines to work in your favour if possible to bring you organic traffic.
Use tools like Google Keyword Planner to see what the keyword phrases are that your prospective audience uses and don’t forget context of searches too.
TIP: put your keyword phrase into Google to see exactly what type of content is being returned to decide if you would like to be there too.
#5. Decide Content Objective(s)
For each content piece decide what the objective(s) for the content are. These will inform what metrics you use to define the success of the content. These could be
- raise brand awareness
- drive website traffic
- capture leads or
- engage your community (e.g. video or visuals that you share on social)
- make online sales
#6. Plan the Distribution Channels
Your content will likely sit on your website but will it be freely available or viewable only with a link?
Do you plan to use email to send it to your subscriber base?
What social channels are you going to use and what paid options are there on those.
What other publishing platforms could you consider using as well as your own website – e.g. Medium, or Facebook Instant Article?
What influencers/network/groups can you leverage to distribute the content?
#7. Decide on Content Length
If it is written content, is the content going to be one long article i.e. a mega blog post or is it going to be a series?
Search engines reward the longer formats e.g. 100 lists and articles over 2000 words, however series articles have a benefit in potentially bringing ongoing visits/leads as people want to find out “what happens next” as it were.
If you are producing video, how long will the video be?
#8. Will the Content be Online or Printed or Both?
Are you intending for the content to go just online or be printed or both?
There are differences in going offline, for example, you will need higher resolution images, and formatting and layout may be different for print.
#9. Set the Working Title of the Content
Picking a title for your content piece is just as important as the content itself. In our experience at Mykidstime, tweaking titles can increase click rates significantly.
This may take a few iterations before publication but spending a little time initially on the title (bearing in mind keywords) is well worth the time.
You might find 10 Easy Steps for Writing Great Blog Titles That Parents Will Click On useful
#10. Decide the Sub Topics and Structure
Once you have the working title, what sub topics are going into the article? What structure do you plan to use? Where are visuals potentially going to sit in the piece?
TIP: Remember most people read content online using smart devices so you need your visual to appeal quickly.
#11. Decide What Visuals will be Needed
Depending on format, distribution, structure decisions, what visuals do you need to create or source for the piece? How many, what size, etc.
Who will create these for you? Do you have skills inhouse or time to create e.g. on Canva? Or do you need to outsource?
You might find Proven Ways to Use Visual Content to Engage Parents useful
#12. Decide on the Key Metrics
How will you measure that the objectives have been met when the content is released?
What are your key metrics that you want to measure to know that the content has worked?
Define these now so you can then get everything in place to do that measurement.
You might find The Most Useful Content Marketing Metrics To Help Measure ROI useful
#13. Make sure Processes are in Place
Have you set up all the processes needed for your content production?
Content creation covers everything from
- making sure the objective CTA is in place
- social sharing
#14. Think About Repurposing Now
With each piece of content you produce, you have a valuable opportunity to repurpose it so think about this now rather than later as this will save time and effort.
Plan the repurposing as you plan the original content piece.
So can we repurpose this into e.g. a Slideshare, Infographic, Checklist, Podcast, Video?
#15. Social Proof your Content after Publication
Search engines take note of social shares so make sure you get some social shares immediately you publish your content to help. Ask employees or colleagues to share newly published content to help this process.
These 15 steps outline the stages you need to plan for to really deliver results from your content marketing. In our experience, following these will make your content more likely to succeed in delivering to your objectives. After all, if you spend time creating content, you want your content marketing ROI to be positive!
Over to you. What has worked for your business or organisation? How did you ensure content marketing ROI? We’d love to hear your experience, share it with us in the comments below.