We know that with the success of social media and online blogs, most small businesses are greying the lines between marketing and publishing. And yet Joe Pulizzi, founder of The Content Marketing Institute, claims that less than ten percent of small business owners actually establish a content marketing plan- or even fully understand the business of developing content that users covet. Pulizzi hopes to not only introduce those who are “content illiterate” to the marketing basics, but also supply ideas on how to expand an audience by generating messages without the help of an outside media firm- in this weeks Shweiki webinar.
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What is content marketing?
Pulizzi describes content marketing as marketing content through a businesses’ owned media channels. By streamlining content marketing throughout multiple channels, one can reach a larger audience and therefore enhance their message virality. Where many owners lose their content efficiency is when they assume that just uploading regular content is enough to 1) keep their audience interested and 2) enhance their brand. Pulizzi warns that whenever one starts to generate content through a marketing medium, they owe it to their audience to keep pushing content as long as their product/service is still intact. In other words, content generation isn’t just a message to one’s consumers- it’s a life-long promise that a company is going to keep up a certain level of communication. The loss of that promised communication will inevitably lead to a loss of confidence in the brand itself. Pulizzi majorly stresses the development of a content marketing action plan. He claims that constructing a plan will not only help improve the quality of one’s content, but will also lead to stronger lead generation as the readers of the correctly developed content will automatically be pre-qualified as one’s target audience.
Find your Why
The first step in building worth-while content is “finding your why” as a company. A why is an underlying theme of why a business wants to promote content in the first place. He gives an example of an online mens magazine Man of the House creating a why that reads, “helping men become better men.” Pulizzi believes that without a good “why”, marketers forget what they’re selling. And even when they reach a new reader with fringe messages- they don’t normally cash in on that audience grab, because the reader is most-likely outside of their core ideology.
Create content marketing mission statement
After one finds their why, the next step is creating a content mission statement that clearly states the businesses’ content marketing goals. A marketing mission statement is a paper identifier of the final outcome in a positive content marketing campaign.
Questions one asks when developing a mission statement
- who is the core target audience
- what will be delivered
- the outcome for the audience
Develop Buyer Personas
Pulizzi recommends building a full buyer profile of a businesses’ target audience and placing it around all generation stations to remind content marketers of what their audience consists of. Whenever one keeps a detailed profile of their readers, they can climb in the head of their viewer, and in a way reverse engineer their message.