385 words, 1:55 minutes
First off, for you infographic lovers – I’m not implying that this is an ineffective form of content. It might be. It might not be.
But let’s back up before we get into that.
The most common issue with content marketing is that most of us start with what we’re going to create rather than why we’re creating it or for whom we’re creating it. We’ll fall into the “shiny new object” syndrome – or be pushed into numerous content ratholes by excited leaders.
“We got to get on the Snapchats!”
Even if you’re the voice of reason when it comes to content you may still be at fault. Have you laid out a plan? Do you know how everything fits together to make prospects into customers? Nature and marketers abhor a vacuum. We’ll rush to fill the empty space. We tend to be box checkers, get-it-doners.
There are so many variables about content that it can be difficult to organize a plan. What should the subject matter – the raw content – be? What format should it take – video, whitepaper, tweet, etc? How should it be served? Should you use paid, owned or earned media? All three? Where does it belong in the decision funnel and the customer journey?
“We need a Super Bowl ad!”
Don’t fall into the trap of making content for content’s sake. Content must do something. It must evoke action. One strategy for creative content development centers on two principles. First, content must be delivered in fresh and engaging ways. Sometimes the objectivity of a white paper is needed, sometimes audiences prefer the visual “Aha!” of a nicely designed infographic, and increasingly the power of video is used to tell the complete content story.
This brings us to the second principle. The method for content development should always start with “Why?” and moves left through the Content Mapping System model shown below. Your messages, tactics and media placement should always answer the “Why?” question while moving your audiences through the decision funnel.
Developing a solid process like this Content Mapping System will help guide your strategy, be efficient with your budget, fill the vacuum and, hopefully, stop you from chasing the next shiny object.
“We got to do some virtual augmented reality Pokémon stuff!”
Stay out of those ratholes, marketers.