What are the first steps in planning a content marketing campaign? Originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.
Key Assumption for this Answer: Your business sells an actual product or service and you want to use content marketing to help build your business and attract customers.
Step One: Put Yourself in The Mind of Your Potential Customer
Far too much of the marketing advice out there indicates the first step in content marketing (or any other marketing effort) should be fleshing out the demographic profile and target market for your product. That is just not the case. Understanding the target market should be something you understand before you even think about marketing. This should be figured out way back in the business/product viability stage. So, the first step in a content marketing plan should be to put yourself in the mind of the potential customer. Try and forget all of the product expertise you have built up within your sector and really attempt to think like a potential customer that doesn’t understand your industry’s terminology or its solutions. This will put you in a better position to avoid using jargon and to provide more valuable information to the reader.
Step Two: Remember The Difference Between a Customer Need and A Product That Addresses That Need
Your product should be meeting a defined need within the marketplace. So, you should start your content marketing planning by thinking about how a potential customer expresses that need. Remember, potential customers typically search for information and advice about their need long before they ever enter anything into a search engine that actually spells out a product category or brand.
For example, someone searches for the symptoms of medical condition long before they search for the condition by name. Even later, they may search for products that help with that condition. Your product and the need it meets probably has a similar cycle of discovery. The best time to build trust and provide value to your potential customers is early on in this cycle.
Step Three: Talk to Your Frontline Sales Staff About Some of the Most Common Questions and Points of Confusion That Potential Customers Have
After you have yourself in the right mindset you should talk to your frontline staff about the common questions that potential customers have when they first contact your company. Ideally, you want to get some insight into the questions that customers ask related to their needs rather than specific questions about your product. This will provide you with some possible topics you can write about that might be helpful to your potential customers. It is important that any content marketing you produce should be helpful to the potential customer even if they don’t end up choosing your company.
These are just some initial steps that will get you thinking in the right way to produce some valuable content marketing. Remember, don’t get too focused on delivery channels, demographics, and keywords stats. An effective content marketing program is about connecting with the potential customer while building your company’s authority on a subject. This will payoff throughout the rest of your marketing and sales efforts.