It’s true that almost everything we interact with on a daily basis uses some form of fuel. Our cars need gasoline, our phones need battery life, and our bodies need nutrients, in order to perform well.
So, when it comes to our companies’ marketing efforts, why would it be any different? Truth be told, it’s not.
But before we dive into the why and how, let’s first examine the what of the issue.
What is Marketing Fuel?
The best answer to this question is simple: Content.
In an age where media has become more and more personalized, the old ways of pushing marketing messages out to your target audience are all but over. We now have more ways than ever to avoid advertisements on traditional media.
For an explanation, let’s turn to TV and Radio. Users no longer flip to a channel/station and enjoy whatever happens to be playing. They now have personalized DVR viewing and satellite radio stations.
Because of this, our biggest challenge as marketers is to create content for our intended audience without sounding pushy or showing up where we aren’t welcome.
The most effective way to achieve this goal is to plan ahead.
Four Advantages to Planning Content
1) Be proactive, not reactive
Not only is this a great way to control the direction of your marketing efforts, but it also gives you the ability to manage expectations and stay a step ahead of your competitors.
2) Come up with better, more creative ideas
Our first ideas are rarely the best. Planning ahead allows time for new, groundbreaking ones to rise to the surface.
3) Allow time for updates and improvements
Just like with idea generation, it takes time to make updates and improvements to even the best content. It is, however, crucial to utilize this time to enable your content to reach its full potential.
4) See improved performance
According to Content Marketing Institute, “While content marketing costs 62% less than outbound marketing, it generates more than 3x as many leads.” Why would you want to pay more for less?
How to Plan Content Successfully
Now that we’ve discussed content marketing and the advantages to planning ahead, let’s take a look at some best practices for how to plan content effectively.
A vital piece of the puzzle that’s easily overlooked is evaluating how your business or organization is perceived in the marketplace. Developing and implementing your brand principles into your marketing efforts will help produce consistent, targeted results.
Once you know your brand inside and out, you can begin brainstorming content topics to support your marketing goals. Consider some questions your clients are asking. This may help identify subjects of emphasis.
Creating a Content Calendar
A content/editorial calendar is a tool used to organize your list of topics, curated articles, and original content over a set period of time.
This is the single, most beneficial tool for content planning and development. By creating a content calendar, you’ll be able to strategically match your strongest content to the time of year it will be most relevant to your clients and most effective for your goals.
How frequently you create and post content depends on several factors including your budget, sales cycle, and industry need. It can be tricky, but the results will be well worth the effort.
Once your content calendar is put together, the next step is to implement it. In order to make content worth your investment, it should be used throughout a variety of marketing pieces within your campaigns.
The use of consistent messaging and imaging across multiple media types is called content integration.
Maintaining consistency throughout your marketing efforts will fuel brand recognition and reinforce messaging. In turn, this will increase your conversion rate and boost sales performance.
Fuel Your Marketing with a Guide
No matter your industry, planning your marketing messages ahead of time with a content calendar will improve your overall marketing efficiency.
At Signalfire, we’d like to help guide your business/organization to achieve your goals.
Our proven methods of content development, planning, and implementation can help your marketing campaigns become more profitable.
If you’d like to speak with us in more detail, please feel free to give us a call: 262-725-4500 or reach out via email.