content marketing

Three Steps to Developing a Content Marketing Program

We have heard the drumbeat of the importance of content marketing for years. Long before it was labeled “content marketing,” communications pros were utilizing the tactic in client work. Yet, with heightened focus (and dollars) on content marketing, many pros are doubling down and ensuring that they have a masterful grasp on what is needed to create and sustain successful content marketing programs.

Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.

Content Marketing is a valuable tool in the communications arsenal. Content marketing supports your efforts to:

  • Create and amplify brand awareness
  • Connect and engage your target audience
  • Demonstrate thought leadership
  • Generate and nurture new business leads
  • Build trust

Further, as a solo PR pro, mastering content marketing opens up business opportunities for you. In a recent survey, 93% of respondents indicated that they outsource all or part of the execution of digital marketing tactics to specialists, while nearly two-thirds consider a collaboration between outsourced and in-house resources as the most effective way.

To plan and manage a successful content marketing program, don't forget these 3 key steps:

Step 1. Define your goals

Articulate what you want to achieve with your content marketing program.  Before you can guide your clients’ programs (or your own) you need to clearly define goals. Take a broad view and look at the overall organizational goals – what is driving the company in the next 6, 12, 18 months? How does content marketing fit into that plan?

Step 2. Gain approval and buy-in from stakeholders

To successfully create and manage a content marketing program for clients, you will need all key stakeholders to be on board with the strategy. This may include the CEO, CMO, marketing team, social team, and others. There is nothing more frustrating than having a strategy that you know works and hitting internal roadblocks that derail the program. You can be proactive by engaging the right people right from the start.

Step 3. Define success targets and measure them

To show the value of any communications program you need to show results. Use Step 1 to define what you will measure. For example, if the goal is lead generation, you may measure lead forms, web traffic or appointments.

These 3 steps are not all that you need to do but will help you to set a solid foundation to plan and manage a successful content marketing program.

We'd love to hear from you. What are your top tips for building successful content marketing programs? Share in the comments or on social media using #solopr.

This post was excerpted from the Members Only Pro Download, “Content Marketing: Your 10-Step Checklist.” Get this and more resources designed for solo PR Pros by joining Solo PR Pro. Join now to lock in 2018 rates!

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