10 Out-of-the-Box Ideas That Will Make Your Content Marketing Campaigns Run Smoother

 In B2B Engagement Marketing, Content Marketing, Demand Generation

This is a guest post from Maja Mrsic, content writer and editor at Active Collab. 

It’s a no brainer that you need a clearly defined marketing plan to get the best out of your campaigns. But what happens if things don’t go as planned? What do you do when you have limited resources and still want to keep maximum control over your marketing campaigns?

As a small business, our ultimate goal at Active Collab was to get a much better sense of when and where we were able to distribute which kind of content.

To achieve this, we decided to distinguish between different types of content we were producing and to benchmark our entire content production looking for one clear KPI: time investment.

In this post, we’ll show you how we benefited from this approach and how you can apply it to your content strategy.

1. Know your goals Out-Of-The-Box Ideas That Will Make Your Content Marketing Campaigns Run Smoother

How can you know what to expect from your marketing campaign if you don’t know what you want to accomplish with it? Are you trying to increase your brand’s visibility? Are you focusing your efforts on building a strong customer base?

By setting realistic and actionable goals, you can tackle any issues that may arise along the way and accurately measure how you’re working to achieve your objectives.

2. Define your product or service

Your product is a golden nugget, a key to your success. You have something that will bring value to your audience, and outlining the major benefits that single it out from the rest of the competition is an imperative if you want to gain competitive advantage.

To achieve that, you need have a clear vision of what you should focus on and who you are building your product for. Let’s say, you have decided to sell handmade organic cosmetics. Your first step is to decide what skin care products you want to sell, what kind of packaging you want to create,  and how they will be priced. Next, you have to carry that through not only to your product roadmap and customer success, but also to the way your employees think and feel about the product on an individual level.

3. Research your buyer persona

Instead of spending an arm and a leg on targeting your consumers on every possible channel, consider your customers’ attitudes and interests and focus on the channels and sites they visit on daily basis.

For instance, if you are offering a project management software, getting featured on product review sites like Capterra or G2 Crowd should be your number one priority. Or if you’re selling a collaboration tool for designers, focus your attention on popular design blogs such as Design Week and Creative Review. You may also consider discussion websites like Quora or Reddit which can help you understand your customers better.

4. Choose the right content

With the plethora of low- and high-quality content in the market today, on so many different media platforms, how do you create something that’s truly powerful?

To ensure your content reaches the right audience, think about the key topics you want to cover and places where you will share your content. Keep in mind that communication with the target audience should be clear, concise, and consistent.

5. Create a customer journey

For this exercise, think less like an entrepreneur and more like a customer. Focus on your client’s complete experience with your brand, from hearing about your product, to seeing your advertisement and, finally, making a purchase — and everything in between.

Control your customer’s touch points and create a more friendly (but still professional) relationship. This will help encourage brand loyalty.

6. Categorize your content

Once you identify your target audience and distribution channels, you need to plan the workload that you will be distributing to interested third-party publications.

At Active Collab, we wanted to find a way to calculate monthly workloads for our writers. With that in mind, we decided to focus on establishing quality benchmarks and grade the articles on a scale of 1-5, based on the time needed to produce all content projects in advance. In this way, we knew the exact time investment required to assign to each piece of content created.

For example, we decided that posts on our blog, on a scale from 1-5, should always be a 5. Top priority, maximum available time. Therefore, our KPI is time — not quality.

Here’s an example of how you can set this up at your own company:

  • Grade 1 is the lowest time investment for a 500-word article we’re prepared to stand behind. In this case, let’s say it’s 2 hours.
  • Grade 2 would be double the time, with the same word count. If you have double time, you can add double value. Therefore, we observed that the quality of our content is directly influenced by the time invested in research and writing.
  • Grade 3 would be triple the time, and so on. It’s up to you to define the benchmark.

After grading every piece of content you’ve created, you’ll know exactly how much working time you can assign for each category, and how many articles you can produce on a weekly or monthly basis.

7. Develop an editorial calendar

To track everything you’re working on, you need to create a real marketing editorial calendar. From blog posts to email newsletters to social messages, there is a variety of content you can add to your calendar, to accurately gauge timelines and keep your team organized.

8. Manage your content production

After implementing your content quality standards, you will know exactly how many articles in each category could be assigned to each writer every month. This will enable you to work towards designing a precise content schedule for all different mediums.

The most important outcome is that you will know precisely at what stage your content is and who is working on it — which will help you focus on creating the best quality content.

Out-Of-The-Box Ideas That Will Make Your Content Marketing Campaigns Run Smoother

9. Manage your content distribution

After you have carefully determined all the steps and removed the ambiguity around owners and deadlines, you can more easily manage the distribution of all of your content.

It will not only help you better and promote and introduce valuable content to people, but it will also enable you to focus on generating interest and engagement from your outreach campaigns.

10. Let people subscribe to your content

Finally, continue building your network by offering your consumers a chance to subscribe to your content.

Keep in mind that only a valuable and powerful piece of content will hook your audience and encourage them to continue their engagement with you. So no matter how many blog posts you produce, they each need to offer a distinct value to your reader.

The bottom line is that if you want to get the most out of your marketing campaigns, you need to strike a balance between attracting your customers and selling your product to them. It’s a process that allows you to experiment with new techniques, make necessary adjustments, and learn what works best for your business in the long run.

Maja Mrsic is a professional content writer and editor at Active Collab. After finishing her Master’s Degree in English studies, she pursued a career in content and technical writing in digital marketing.

To learn more about leveraging content marketing to grow your business, register for the B2B Content Marketing Summit, live online from October 17 – 19.

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