The Content Marketing Bucket List

Content marketing is a hot topic of discussion in almost every marketing organization.

As business buyers and consumers continue to tune out the increasing noise of product promotion from brands, content marketing is being called out as the answer to the declining response rates and increasing costs of outbound marketing.

But hey, change is hard. And many organizations are struggling to keep up with the new rules of the digital age.

Remember that life is short and you may only have one shot at helping your organization implement the kind of transition it needs.

So here is the content marketing bucket list to help you prioritize where you should start. What would be first on your list?

  1. Identify how much traffic your website gets from “early stage” keywords
  2. Calculate how many of your leads come from inbound sources
  3. Calculate the cost of content that never gets used
  4. Empower a formal Content Strategist to lead your content marketing efforts
  5. Prioritize your key buyer personas and their content needs
  6. Audit your content relative to your buyers’ needs and identify any gaps
  7. Assign content gaps to your subject matter experts
  8. Establish a content curation strategy
  9. Create a non-promotional and dynamic content destination for your business
  10. Create an editorial calendar for your content publishing
  11. Create content by buyer stage
  12. Identify your top social influencers by topic
  13. Start a formal thought leadership program
  14. Integrate your paid, owned and earned media activities
  15. Establish a social listening platform (keywords, measures, baselines, a listening tool and templates)
  16. Conduct buyer research to identify the top challenges and channels for each persona, by stage
  17. Train your employees on the art of storytelling
  18. Identify your content conversion paths
  19. Define a strategy to test and create visual content (photos, slideshare decks, videos, infographs, etc.)
  20. Finally, stop the waste and just create great content!

Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments below and follow the conversation on Twitter, LinkedInFacebook or Subscribe to the B2B Marketing Insider Blog.

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michael brenner and liz bedor

Michael Brenner is a globally-recognized keynote speaker, author of The Content Formula and the CEO of Marketing Insider Group. He has worked in leadership positions in sales and marketing for global brands like SAP and Nielsen, as well as for thriving startups. Today, Michael shares his passion on leadership and marketing strategies that deliver customer value and business impact. He is recognized by the Huffington Post as a Top Business Keynote Speaker and a top CMO influencer by Forbes. Please follow him on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook and Subscribe here for regular updates.

14 thoughts on “The Content Marketing Bucket List

  1. Hi Michael

    Great post. I would move “establish a listening platform” from #15 to #1. By listening first you can achieve the following:

    1. Identify the core themes that your target audience cares about which will help guide your editorial calendar

    2. Identify your share of voice in comparison to your top competitors against your core topic areas which will help you determine the areas that require more effort/support

    3. Identify the communities in which your target audience participates which will help you determine potential opportunities for participating/syndicating to draw them back to you or the type of content your audience prefers to consume

    4. Identify the your brand advocates as well as industry influencers which will help you extend the reach of your content (assuming you have a solid engagement strategy)

    I would also add creating content syndication strategy to the list (i.e. how will the content be distributed via social channels and/or reposted in other communities).

  2. In addition to the the keyword research part of SEO, I would also add building an internal linking strategy. So many people create good content but then fail to tie the content together via internal links. It is not only great for SEO but helps improve the user experience. Your post is a great example of the proper way to do this using the right keyword/phrases that are linked to relevant content.

  3. I would suggest establishing a tone,voice or theme that sets a brand apart from the competition. While the content has to provide value to even register as a blip on the radar of prospects, a unique voice and a human touch helps brands connect with content consumers emotionally (as an aside, I am not comfortable using the term content consumer. Is it me or am I just weird?).

    And while Michael did write about testing in the context of visual content IMO testing has to be integrated into the entire content creation process, across all stages and all types of collateral.

  4. Great post and comments. I’d also add that establishing a messaging roadmap is a critical first step to ensuring that the content created has consistent messaging across each deliverable. Some must haves: specify target audience, stage in the buy process, customer challenges mapped to solutions and what it means to your customers to solve these challenges.

    1. Thanks Brenda, great point on having a messaging road map. It is very important to start with a unified set of messaging themes and customer topics, hopefully based on some research.

  5. I’d say creating an editorial calendar is the first place to start. It’s important to keep your content organized. If you don’t have tasks outlined it’s easy to procrastinate and then it never gets done!

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