Content Marketing #1: Step-by-Step How to Audit Your Brand
Content, content, content!
As a marketer, this word has become wearing. It's one of the pillars of marketing.
In this series, I'm showing you how to get your content marketing off the ground with a step-by-step guide to full-service content marketing.
It can be a daunting feeling. There's which topics to choose; what tone do you take? Who do you market to? How to market.
But with a bit of motivation and a lot of dedication, you can create a strategy that not only boosts your business's content; but also improves your writing skills. In the first portion of this series, we’ll be exploring the steps that go into creating a remarkable and consistent content marketing strategy.
But first, what actually is content marketing?
“Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
Audit Your Content
The first step in planning your content's strategy is getting to know everything about your brand.
Who’s your brand? What do you stand for?
Understand what you’re offering; what your core values are; USPs and what the differentiation is between you and your competitors.
This brand information will form the foundations of your content marketing. If you don’t already have one in place, create a style guide to be shared across your whole team.
Style guidelines include:
Tone & Voice
Design Elements (white space, logos, banners, etc.)
Messaging: What are the key messages; how do you use these; and what’s the value proposition (VP)?
Make sure your whole team knows how you operate, your VP, and how your audiences interact with you. Your VP is one of the essential foundations of a marketing plan. It guides how you position your brand and acts as a benchmark for any future activities.
Value Proposition includes:
What you do
How you do it
What makes you different from competitors
Deep understanding of customer needs and wants
How does your business address this?
Who are you speaking to?
Create a buyer’s persona which outlines who your ideal audience is. What's their job role; their main concerns and frustrations; interests and needs; where are they on your buying stage.
For each audience type you need to know:
What their typical day is like
Pain points, Issues and Triggers
And objections they may have to your business
By targeting your content, so it answers your audience’s needs, the more likely they are to visit your brand. This way you can strengthen your position as a thought leader in your industry.Have each of these buyer personas in mind when you’re creating content. Each time you utilise a marketing tactic or tool, you should always consider how it will aid your audience’s needs.
Audit your previous content
Sadly, there is no such thing as a quick audit, just the same as there’s no shortcut for brilliant content marketing. It takes time to understand and the more you get to know your brand, the better you’ll be able to make valid recommendations towards an exceptional content marketing strategy.
The best way to get to know your brand is to audit any content you have already created. There are so many ways you can segment your audit, but by building a detailed list of information, you can better understand how each piece of content performs.
Here’s a list detailing every metric you can benchmark your content against:
User experience considerations
Then you’ll need to define a grading system which supports this; one that’s personal for your business and then use it for each page you’re about to audit. One of the best ways is to use a traditional letter grade method such as A, B and C.
A would represent a page which is perfect and doesn’t need any revisions or new content. B graded pages need just the slightest amount of editing and then C pages require a fair bit more attention.
Make sure to then benchmark against your competitors content. Finding out how they’re operating and what types of content they’re producing is extremely beneficial to your strategy. It can provide you with innovative ideas, the realisation that you need to improve, or you may realise your content is actually doing really well and so you need to keep a close eye on those competitors.
Use Google Analytics for a greater insight into how your website pages are performing. It can give you an unbelievable insight into your content and how your audiences have reacted, providing you with strong data to backup your strategy.
As you can see, we’ve only really touched upon the introduction of content marketing. There’s so much more to learn, such as how to plan your content, distribute and pitch it and developing your writing skills.
By the end of the series, you’ll have a strong content marketing strategy in place and already be delivering fantastic content to your audiences.