By Ben Molfetta
Online marketing is all about content. You must be a content publishing organization to be successful online; the first commitment you need to make as you embark on your online journey is to consistently produce and distribute current, value-based content.
Once you establish your content marketing goals – based on the informational needs of your target audience – you can begin content development and distribution in earnest.
Your content marketing activities must be encapsulated in a content calendar. A content calendar is a necessity for “operationalizing” the content marketing strategy. It details the content that will be developed and distributed over a specified period of time – usually from three to twelve months.
The content calendar includes information (by target market) related to content topics, formats, frequency, distribution channels, and target distribution dates. This calendar keeps you on track and accountable for maintaining on-going content development, and allows you to build a reputation as a subject matter expert over time.
Here’s an example content calendar:
As you execute on your calendar, be sure to conduct on-going analysis of how the content is performing versus your goals. Analysis can be based on feedback secured through surveys, social media metrics such as “likes” and “retweets”, website traffic, bounce rates, conversions, search engine rankings, and inbound links.
Content elements that you can test and analyze include:
- Topics/subject matter
- Headlines/subject lines
- Offers/calls to action
- Tone (voice)
- Content formats (e.g. text, video, images, etc.)
- Frequency of content distribution
- Distribution channels
The insight gleaned from the analysis should be used to refine the content strategy, which is then reflected in the content calendar.
Developing content that helps your prospects make informed decisions and that positions you as an authority is a pre-requisite for long-term online marketing success. It requires thoughtful consideration and planning, organization, and putting in the time. But done properly and consistently, it is definitely worth the effort.
Ben Molfetta is the co-founder of Core Online Marketing. Core helps small and mid-sized businesses grow by planning, implementing, and executing winning online marketing strategies. Visit coreonlinemarketing.com or email Ben at [email protected].