The 7 Fundamentals of a Great Content Marketing Program

The 7 Fundamentals of a Great Content Marketing Program

To keep competitors at bay, or to surpass the competition, organizations sometimes forgo the fundamentals of a great content marketing program, and instead focus on new best practices and growth hacks. Here are just a few signs that a content marketing program is in trouble: Content marketers struggle to prove the business value of their efforts No one understands how new visitors move down the marketing funnel to a conversion The executive team is considering reallocating content marketing budgets User engagement on content is very poor All of these signs lead back to a common cause: the fundamentals of the content marketing program are not in place. Here are the seven fundamentals that are essential to any successful content marketing program. The first fundamental of a great content marketing program is to define the business objectives you want your program to accomplish. Don’t lead with creatives when talking to executives. Understand Your Audience’s Pain Points The point of your content should be to solve your audience’s problems, not to serve as an ad for your products and services. To understand your audience’s pain points, you need to put yourself in your audience’s shoes. It takes time and effort to create a great content marketing strategy. The metrics you use should be identified within your content marketing strategy, as well as each content marketing campaign. A lot of the time we see organizations jump into new channels just because they are new.

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fundamentals great content marketing program

A great content marketing program can no longer be maintained with good writing alone.

Content shock has created a glut of content that is outpacing demand. Content marketers have to work harder than ever to keep an edge over the competition, or risk starving while a more savvy competitor eats their lunch.

To keep competitors at bay, or to surpass the competition, organizations sometimes forgo the fundamentals of a great content marketing program, and instead focus on new best practices and growth hacks. After all, they don’t want to wait for results. They want them now!

While the latest growth hack may sound like the future of content marketing, more often than not it’s a short-term fix to a long-term problem. Organizations latch onto a hack or a shortcut, only to find their content marketing program in disarray a few months later. It’s something we’ve seen over and over.

Here are just a few signs that a content marketing program is in trouble:

  • Content marketers struggle to prove the business value of their efforts
  • No one understands how new visitors move down the marketing funnel to a conversion
  • The executive team is considering reallocating content marketing budgets
  • User engagement on content is very poor

All of these signs lead back to a common cause: the fundamentals of the content marketing program are not in place.

Like any activity or profession, understanding the fundamentals is essential to success. If the underlying fundamentals of your content marketing program are not in place, there’s little chance of growth-hacking your way to success.

Here are the seven fundamentals that are essential to any successful content marketing program.

1. Understand Your Business Objectives

You’re not creating a content marketing program for fun. You’re creating it to accomplish a business objective.

The first fundamental of a great content marketing program is to define the business objectives you want your program to accomplish.

These objectives can include:

  • Brand Health
  • Marketing Optimization
  • Revenue Generation
  • Operational Efficiency
  • Customer Experience
  • Innovation

Once you’ve identified the business objectives of your content marketing efforts, you need to get buy-in from the c-suite to make it a reality.

2. Get Executive Buy-In

Your executives hold the keys to the resources your content marketing program needs. If you can’t get your executive’s buy-in and keep it over the years, your program is toast.

To get executive buy-in, focus on these six points:

  1. Why your organization needs content marketing—what is more appealing about it than other means of advertising/communication?
  2. Don’t lead with creatives when talking to executives. Your executives may like to see pretty mock-ups, but those don’t sell a program.
  3. Instead of creatives, lead with dollars and cents. This is the language of the c-suite.
  4. Tie the program to business objectives. How will the program be better than other programs at achieving specific objectives?
  5. Show how you will measure the strategy (this will be discussed in the fifth fundamental.)
  6. Lay out the budget and the expected return the c-suite should see as a result of the program. If you can’t demonstrate this, your content marketing budget will quickly get reallocated to projects that can.

3. Understand Your Audience’s Pain Points

The point of your content should be to solve your audience’s problems, not to serve as an ad for your products and services.

To understand your audience’s pain points, you need to put yourself in your audience’s shoes. What things keep them up at night? What are they worried about? What content can you provide that would make their lives easier?

solve pain points

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