- Analyze Current Content Platforms:
It is a good practice to analyze all owned/rented platforms to see what people are interested in. Is there a specific piece of content people like more than any other content? What content is getting more organic traction? What’s been the performance of promoted content? When looking at engagement, prioritize between engagement elements (likes, share, comments) to arrive at a clear picture. How are people accessing content: Is it desktop led or mobile led? Is there any difference in access behavior between desktop and mobile? Does content consumption differ demographically?
- Understand Category Consumers:
One of the most important part of your strategy is to understand how people are conversing within a particular category. Online platforms have given people opportunity to voice their opinion freely. This could open up sea of opportunities for brands to interact with people.
- Social: Depending on the size of the organization, you may have access to simpler to more sophisticated tools. Tools like Radian6, Synthesio etc. allow you to show results based on your query, and then optimize the same with inclusion/exclusion of certain keywords. When you scan the social platforms, please keep timeline as wide as possible for better results. Also, do keep in mind that if you have done any influencer activity in social space, the same may get captured in the scan. This may result in skewing the conversation trends. Use wordclouds, decision trees etc to pictorially analyze relationship between key conversations.
- Search: Search engines like Google show intent of user through queries they type in. This becomes an important consideration factor when looking into consumer interest areas. Find out if search trend is same across the region or does it differ from region to region. You can look at what people search on your website through ‘internal site search’ option in Google Analytics(if you use one).
- Research: Brands usually talk to their consumers through research activities. Going through these documents can help understand how consumers research/purchase/use products. Research time will also enable you to give you more information into competitive products. Make sure you have one session with ‘Research’ guys.
Once you are through with this exercise, it will enable to see very clearly how consumers behave with respect to a specific category and brands.
- Map content along the purchase cycle:
Post understanding your consumers; try to see what is consumer talking at each stage of purchase cycle. As a brand you would have issues at a certain level/s of purchase cycle. Focusing on those levels will enable you to understand consumer challenges to your brand, and will enable you to devise content which help consumers to move closer to the brand.
- Choosing content formats:
Once you have identified the content, next task is to choose a format to jacket the content. Various factors, which could influence the selection, are: Cost of producing the content, Time involved in producing the content, Usability of the content format, Historical content format performance, Bandwidth/Speed issues, if any. You can change content formats as consumers move from one purchase stage to other stage.
- Evaluating Content Performance:
This is the most difficult part of content marketing, especially in B2C space. Though content marketing can take time to bear fruits, you may want to set micro goals to see if you are moving in right direction. You can create Goals in whatever Analytics platform you are using. You can have Time Spent as one of your goal. Banners ads can have ‘Pages Viewed’ as a goal. If you are able to assign a monetary value to webpages, you can easily see which pages are more valuable for your business. You can use surveys on the site to check if content is useful enough for the users.