The dust from the dot-bomb explosion is settling, and I start a small (and I mean small) content-marketing company, the BusinessWatch Network. I vividly recall the first company server in my basement, connected to a 750MB DSL circuit - adjacent the plywood shelving where my 12-year old son’s baseball and hockey equipment waited patiently for the next game.
It was the infancy of Digital Content Marketing. The idea for creating a network of syndicated content for professional’s - novel.
16 years later; the more content marketing has changed, the more it stayed the same. The secret to success - begin at the end.
Step 1) Put all of the social media platforms, technologies, methodology decision trees on the back burner and visualize your audience. Yes, that’s correct, start with what makes up your audience, people. Source the content that will elicit the most interest across the widest segment of your target market. This is not trivial. Get this right and you can get everything else wrong and still be successful. Get it wrong and you can do everything else right and fail. Best advice, don’t overthink it, keep it simple. Unless you can honestly say the content intrigues you – move on to the next piece of content.
Step 2) Now choose the content delivery method. For purposes of this discussion we’ll use email. Did I hear an audible sigh? Perhaps something to the effect of “Why discuss the dinosaur of digital distribution”? Email is far from extinct, and still has the highest measurable ROI of any media. Here’s a hint, the best Marketers use technology to their advantage. Don’t go searching tirelessly, spending outrageous dollars on Marketing optimization tools that don’t provide ROI.
Step 3) Time to agonize over the surrounding copy and accompanying graphics to your piece. Make sure that 7 of 10 people who read the From: line read the Subject line. Play “what-if” with the Subject line until 7 of 10 people who read the Subject line read the body copy underneath. You already know that 7 of 10 recipients will be intrigued by the content (see step one above), a percentage of which will convert to your call to action.
Step 4) Remember, everyone in America makes a price quality relationship immediately, and now they do the same with time (spent) vs. benefit derived. Your digital audience is just like you: if they don’t see “what’s in it for me” in 5 seconds they’re out.
If the content test works, tune it and roll-it-out. If it doesn’t work, go back to step-one, rinse and repeat.