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Content Marketing Checklist

6 months ago on

Content Marketing Checklist to Follow in 2018

Content marketing strategy is the foundation of success in digital marketing. It aligns all your content campaigns and content pieces in one direction. It ties in all your efforts for maximum effect.

It is different from content plan which only details the content topics, timelines and actions to be taken. Content marketing strategy on the other hand, answers broader questions of how you will achieve your marketing goals through content marketing.

An effective content marketing strategy must answer fundamental questions before directing and content creation actions. Without answering these clearly, your content marketing strategy will fall flat and simply fail.

But once you have done this groundwork, you can easily come up with content that is valued by your audience and brings in leads and customers regularly.

So here is the checklist of questions to make sure you are on the right track for your content marketing strategy.

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1. Do I have a Clear Objective?

Answering the ‘why’ before setting out to do content marketing (or anything really) is important. ‘What’ and ‘how’ you build your content depends on your purpose of content marketing. Your reason could be to get leads, attract traffic or simply build a brand authority online. Whatever the goal, it must be SMART.

  • S – Specific – clearly defined and narrow enough
  • M- Measurable – quantified if possible
  • A- Achievable- has to be realistic
  • R – Relevant – relevant to your business and overall marketing strategy
  • T – Timely – have a timeline

An example could be “Getting 50,000 unique visitors to our site by this quarter end.”

Once you have a clear objective many other decisions such as content topic, target audience, content format, etc., become clear.

2. Do I Know my Audience?

 You cannot come up with a content strategy without knowing who your audience is. Everything you do has to appeal to your target audience, so if you don’t know them you are pretty much shooting in the dark.

You must know your visitors/ readers/ customers like the back of your hand. Ask yourself if you can answer these about them:

  • What are their pain points?
  • What are they searching for?
  • Where are they searching for it?
  • What is the buyer’s journey?
  • What are their hopes and fears?

Yes. These are intimate questions and you should know your audience intimately.  Without knowing this you risk building content that nobody even wants to read.

3. Does my Plan have Visual Content?

Every content strategy is not the same and in fact should be different depending on your business. However, visual content is form of content that must be a part of every strategy today. It’s too profitable to leave out or ignore. After all, video content will make up 80% of all traffic by 2019.

This means that your content plan must have infographics, videos and images in it. Visual infographics not only explain your point easily they are also more fun and are shared 3x times more than any other form of content.

Video platforms like YouTube are also turning out to be a good source of website traffic. It is a great way to attract new visitors and get them curious about your offering. So invest in video channels early on and pay attention to video search optimization.

4. Is My Content Optimized for Mobile?

 Mobile traffic is another trend that is here to stay for good. More than 60% of traffic not comes from mobile and so your content must be optimized for mobile audiences.

With Google Hummingbird update it has become even more important that content creators serve the mobile traffic first.

This means content built for small screens, shorter attention span and competing with continuous notifications from other apps.

To make the most of your time your headlines must be grabbing and content length just right to hold attention. Content should also be scannable with bold headings and big fonts.

5. Does my Strategy have Feedback built into it?

 Content marketing is an ongoing strategy and does not end at publishing content. There is the whole process of moving visitors along the funnel and growing your loyal following online. All of this requires continuous monitoring and feedback from audience.

Your strategy must be flexible enough to make changes too. This does not mean changing your purpose and objectives that we mentioned earlier, but the ways to achieve them can change.

For example, you make see that influencer marketing is not working as well with your audience and decided to concentrate on email marketing only.

Of you may decide to concentrate on lead conversion rather than on lead collection.

All of this is only possible if you are listening keenly to your audience. Data on visitors, email subscribers and conversions will also give you insights into what you need to improve upon.
  

6. Do I have the Resources?

 One of the major factors impacting your success in content marketing is the long-term commitment you have for it. Content takes time to show returns and cannot be done with a short-sighted vision.

If you do not have the right resources for it, you will run out of fuel and patience to succeed at it.

You must ask yourself what resources you need to implement your content marketing strategy. Usually this includes staff time, skill training, budget, effort and management support.

For medium and large sized companies, management support becomes very important. This is because great content requires inputs from all departments and a decent budget.

If the seriousness is not driven from top-bottom then nobody in the company is going to support you with information, time and feedback.

The Bottom Line

Content marketing strategy is the glue that holds all the content making activities and gives your plan a direction. You must set your purpose clear before you set out to make any content.

Researching your audience is essential as it answers questions on what content to create, how to create and where to promote it.

Visual format, mobile optimization and feedback loop as some of the other things to complete the checklist on content marketing strategy.