Today’s post is a guest contribution by Craig Rosenberg, Leader of the Focus Expert Network on Focus.com
If you spend time in the marketing blogosphere, then you know one thing for sure: The content marketing revolution is upon us. Content, content, content and oh, by the way, the “inbound marketing” revolution that Hubspot is evangelizing is driven by content marketing; lead generation is driven by content marketing; you name it. You get the picture — it’s time to crank content…
At Focus.com, we create content every minute of every day. It’s an evolving and exciting process. When we create content, we have a number of processes to ensure that the content is indeed remarkable. Below is the list of variables we consider when creating content; during the planning cycles, we go down the list to make sure we are considering everything. You might think of more (which I’d love to hear about), but this list serves as a good guide for organizations looking to jump into the content game.
- Target Audience: Whom are we trying to get to read this? Many people call this “buyer personas” today (see Tony Zambito). For this you want to understand both demographic variables (title, role, company size, industry) and psychographic variables (what keeps them awake at night?).
- Funnel Segment: Where will the buyer we are trying to reach be in their buying cycle? (researching, comparing vendors, etc)
- Topic and Outline: What will the structure of the content be? Will it be a list, a tear-sheet, or some other format? I always rant here, but the list continues to be the most downloaded content at Focus. I have read my friends in the copywriting blogosphere lamenting that we should steer our clients away from lists — but it’s not about us, it’s about them (the buyer). They consume lists. Ultimately, you will know what your buyers want and you will want to give it to them.
- Key Messages: Honestly, I hope you do this without me having to mention it. I considered leaving this point out, because it was so obvious. However I realized someone would call me out for the omission. You must identify the goals of your content and the messages that support those goals.
- Tweetable Moment: I used to call this the “aha! moment” but started to call it the “tweetable moment.” A tweetable moment is a sound bite that is so memorable that your readers or listeners feel compelled to re-quote you in 140 characters or less. Where and what are the “tweetable moments” you will have in your content? – you WANT to give your audience the opportunity to tweet you.
- Media Format: What format will we present the content in? PDF, webinar, blog post? One thing to consider when deciding on format is Ardath Albee’s Rule of 5, in which she recommends that for every idea you create, you will create five pieces of content, i.e. five different media formats.
- Distribution Tactics: How are we going to get this content into our buyer’s hands? Examples of distribution channels: syndication, paid search, blogs, email and so forth.
- Registration Strategy: Will registration be required? If so, how many fields and so forth?
- Remarkable Traits: How will this piece of content rise above the noise? Remember, the content marketing revolution is on, and that means you aren’t the only one creating content. Quite simply, your content will go unread unless it is remarkable and can stand out from the rest.
Remember, content is a key component of your brand today. Make sure you leave no stone unturned.
Craig Rosenberg, Leader, Focus Expert Network, Focus.com
Craig is the leader of the Focus Expert Network for Focus.com, where his team recruits, engages and manages the world-class industry and technology experts who make up the Focus Expert Network. Focus.com is fostering the democratization of industry data, information and advice by reinventing how expertise is created and consumed by business professionals. At the heart of Focus.com is the Focus Expert Network, in which experts power the real-time Q&A, research and personalized support that so many businesses now depend on. Craig is also the author of the popular sales and marketing blog, The Funnelholic, where he writes about b2b marketing issues including demand generation and lead management. Prior to Focus, Craig worked for Sales Ramp where he designed, built and managed lead generation and inside sales strategies and processes for high-tech startups. During that time, Craig built lead generation machines at over 25 different companies in a variety of high-tech verticals ranging from business applications to IT infrastructure. Follow Craig on Twitter @funnelholic.