How a One-Page Content Marketing Strategy Can Revolutionize Your Brand.

Documentation is critical to the success of any marketing strategy, especially a content marketing strategy. Studies indicate that creating a documented content marketing strategy sets apart the high achievers from the mediocre or poor performers. A notable statistic from CoSchedule’s 2022 Marketing Strategies Trend Report highlights that marketers with a documented plan are 414% more likely to achieve success compared to those without one.

Currently, only 40% of B2B and 39% of B2C marketers report having a documented strategy. (People who claim to have a strategy but don’t put it in writing are not considered.) An undocumented strategy lacks clarity and direction.

  • Consider the perils of an undocumented content marketing strategy:

  • Your brand’s content marketing won’t reach its potential.
  • Your content marketing endeavors are less likely to align with organizational objectives.
  • Securing backing and budgetary support from leadership becomes challenging.
  • There’s a risk of different content teams, both internal and external, veering in diverse directions.
  • Time is expended onboarding and re-educating your team.
  • Without a documented strategy, you’re like many content marketers—the unsuccessful ones.

So, why is it that marketing content leaders neglect documenting their strategies?

Drafting any strategy is time intensive, and many question whether the investment of time will yield results. Additionally, will team members read the entire document or remember and implement the strategy? Those concerns are why I advocate creating a one-page content marketing strategy. Its condensed format enables swift creation and clear explanation. Your team (and you as well) are more inclined to read and retain strategy content.

6 Easy-to-follow steps to success.

Let’s explore the six steps to create your one-page content marketing strategy, starting with aligning it to your business objectives and goals. Your content marketing efforts will fall short if they do not support your organization’s program.

With an understanding of your business leaders’ objectives, identify how content marketing can contribute. Initially, focus on a broad content marketing goal rather than specific methods or tactics.

Example
For demonstration purposes, let’s consider the fictitious Farmers Credit Union as the entity to create a one-page content marketing strategy. This credit union, similar to banks, caters to its community as a member-based organization

  • Business objective: Enhance the perception of Farmers Credit Union as a reliable lending source.
  • Business goal: Boost loan applications by 10% year-over-year from members.
  • Content marketing goal: Position as a primary source of personal finance information for members.
  • The specific and measurable business objective and goal lead the content team to a strategic aim that supports the overall target.

Avoid the temptation of targeting a broad audience. It’s more effective to focus on a specific primary (and possibly secondary) audience. Conduct thorough research to understand Farmers Credit Union’s target market demographics, behaviors, interests, needs, and challenges, as well as their current information sources.

With the audience in mind, consider who would be most receptive to your company’s content theme and likely engage with your content. Also, consider who will most likely take action to achieve the business’s operational objectives.

For instance, Farmers Credit Union identified parents with young children as their primary audience based on their likelihood to seek loans within five years.

Attributes of this audience include:
• Farmers Credit Union members
• Family budget managers
• Anticipated changes in living and transportation needs
• Struggle with balancing spatial and transportation needs as the family expands
• Time-constrained in all life areas

Understanding your audience paves the way for relevant content creation.

Engage in brainstorming sessions to compile a roster of content concepts—overarching ideas, specific story angles, or a blend of both. As you sift through the list, highlight those ideas that would most benefit your target audience.

Choose several overarching themes and list specific topics under each that align with your content marketing goals. Farmers Credit Union selected themes like home life, car travel, and affordable activities, focusing on topics relevant to young families considering future loans.

The selection of content formats and types is closely intertwined with step five (distribution channels). Pose two queries:

1) How would the target audience prefer consuming the content?
2) Which formats align with available resources and competencies?

Be pragmatic. Match your audience’s content consumption preferences with your team’s capabilities and budget. For instance, your audience might relish videos. But, if none within your team has video production skills, and there needs to be a budget earmarked for hiring or outsourcing, refrain from designating video as one of your formats. If specific formats are beyond your current capabilities, consider more feasible options.

Farmers Credit Union chose a mix of digital and print formats, catering to the varied preferences of their audience, including:
• Blog posts • Newsletters • Social media, and • Videos.

Define the specific platforms for each content type and establish a realistic production and publishing schedule. Aim for consistency rather than overextend.

For instance, articles may be disseminated on the company’s blog or a third-party website. Social media posts could find their place on platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn.

At this juncture, an assessment of available resources for content creation, publication, and promotion is imperative. Determine the minimum frequency achievable for each content type.

Remember not to set overly ambitious goals. Opt for a realistically attainable frequency, with room for potential increases in the future.

Example:
In Farmers Credit Union’s strategy, they specify the frequency and distribution channels for their content formats as follows:

• Blog articles: 3 times weekly on the FCU website
• E-newsletter: Once a month, distributed to FCU’s subscriber database
• Tweets: Once a day from FCU’s Twitter handle
• Facebook posts: Three times weekly on FCU’s Facebook page
• Print newsletter: Twice a year, distributed at FCU and partner physical locations
• Video content: Twice a year, uploaded to FCU’s YouTube channel

With the formats, platforms, and frequencies determined, FCU proceeds to delineate the categories from step three for each format and plans to:
1. Rotate the three categories for each blog post and social media posts
2. Include all three categories in the e-newsletter and print newsletter
3. Select the travel-by-car category as the theme for videos

Farmers Credit Union planned the distribution of their content, ensuring a balanced coverage across their chosen formats and platforms.

Now, it’s time to revisit the initial stages. Adding measurable goals to your content marketing objective aligns the strategy with the business purpose outlined in step one.

Consider:
1. The desired action you want your audience to take after engaging with the content.
2. How success will be measured.
3. Specific goals, ensuring they are tied to the business’s operational objectives.
4. The timeframe for achieving these goals.

Example:
Recalling FCU’s aim to increase loan applications by 10% year over year, the content marketing team’s objective is to position FCU as the primary resource for personal finance matters. Here are their measurable content marketing goals:

  1.  Increase awareness of FCU as the go-to resource for family-focused personal finance topics
  2. Achieve a 10% monthly increase in visits to blog pages on the site.
    Expand the database of members interested in FCU’s content.
  3. Attain a 20% quarterly increase in member e-newsletter sign-ups.
    Convert member subscribers into loan applicants.
  4. Increase the number of member subscribers applying for a loan (personal, home, or auto) by 5% over a year.
  5. Notice how these measurable content marketing goals directly contribute to the overarching business operational goal.

Now, FCU has a comprehensive one-page content marketing strategy.

So, after you finish step six, your content marketing strategy is good to go. Here’s a little tip: it’s wise to add a seventh step, like an honorary one. See, many content marketers get so caught up in getting things done that they forget to check back on their strategy now and then. It’s like making sure your GPS is still guiding you in the right direction.

It would help if you revisited your strategy when:

  • Your goal timelines are up.
  • Business factors change in your company, like if you get fewer resources for content marketing or if you start using new tech or platforms.
  • Things happen outside your company, like a big event or a shift in how people act.
  • Your big-picture plans change, like if you set new business goals or tweak your vision.

So, once you’ve got all your ducks in a row and your strategy is down on paper, it’s time to share it with everyone who needs to know. One pitfall to avoid is confusing a strategy with a tactic. Visit our post strategy-vs-tactics to learn the difference.

And hey, next year, you’ll be ahead of the game. You’ll have a solid content marketing strategy in place that’s helping you nail your goals, both for your content and your organization.

Documenting a content marketing strategy can be a challenge for any company. Let us do the heavy lifting and guide you through the process. Take the first step today with a call or text to 954-257-7066.

 

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