Congratulations! You’ve created a written content marketing strategy! Your chances of success just improved significantly. What’s next? Well, there are a few more documents you need to support your strategy in order to keep your campaign on track and targeted to the right people.
If you followed my 7-step process for creating a content marketing strategy, you should have thought about audience personas already. But now it’s time to take that thinking a step further and really illustrate your target audiences not just as groups of customers but as real, complete people. There should be a representative persona for each audience segment. Once those are established, it’s time to divide your actual target list into the the various personas in order to create segmented, targeted marketing messages for each.
Every marketing campaign should have a messaging blueprint. Here’s why: integration. The messaging blueprint is the plan for all future marketing pieces. Whether its building a new website, sending a series of promotional emails or drafting social media posts, the messaging blueprint should guide the communications.
At a minimum, messaging blueprints should contain the brand story, the campaign theme, key terms in the industry or related to the product, a list of messaging points that support the brand and/or product’s overarching marketing theme. It can also include suggested headlines and relevant calls to action (CTAs).
The document should take into consideration all of the audience personas so that segmented marketing pieces reach the persona with the right message.
Most importantly, anyone and everyone involved with marketing and communications in any way, from the marketing and sales teams to customer service should be guided by the messaging blueprint in their work.
At its core, an editorial calendar will keep you on schedule and make it much easier to avoid the last minute rush of “needing to send an email this week” or struggle to think of a blog post idea. By planning in advance you can ensure you don’t miss the right opportunity to market each milestone throughout the year as well. Finally, it also helps establish deadlines to collect relevant information from other team members and let any other potential marketing contributors, such as guest bloggers, know when they are expected to participate.
An editorial calendar should contain the dates and topics of all of your content efforts so that you can see how the puzzle comes together in one document. It will also help you ensure you’ve integrated your campaign and are maximizing the amplification of the content.
It’s unlikely that you’ll create a fully complete annual editorial calendar in January and never change it (after all content marketing and social media are fluid strategies), but you can fill in the big picture items and update the calendar with detailed ideas at regular intervals, whether monthly or quarterly.
Investing the time to create these supporting documents will make the content marketing strategy you built much easier to implement and much more effective. But, if it seems too time consuming or you need expert support in assembling them, glee is happy to lend a hand. Contact us anytime to discuss your projects!