2 Essential Elements for Getting Started With Content Marketing

2 Essential Elements for Getting Started With Content Marketing

There is an enormous amount of information available on the web about content marketing. This semi- “Back-to-Basics” post will outline the fundamental skills and information you need to begin achieving success with content. And while perhaps best suited to beginners - more seasoned content marketers may benefit from using these principles as checklists for covering the necessary bases.

Where To Begin

Here’s a question I get asked all the time: “What do I need to do to get started in content marketing?”

Simply put, there are two essential elements to every successful content marketing plan:

  1. An understanding of your goal(s)

  2. A mission statement

These two elements are key, not only because they help you decide what content you should be creating, but also because they are great lenses through which you can examine content projects from an enterprise perspective and figure out if there’s something in particular that you should not be doing.

Let’s explore each of these in more detail:

Understanding Your Goals

Content should never be created for its own sake. Rather, it needs to support at least one core marketing or business goal. Consider the ways you would like a proposed piece of content to help your business.

For instance:

  • Do you need to raise awareness for your brand?

  • Do you need to build your email list?

  • Do you need to nurture prospects along their buyer’s journey?

  • Do you need to convert your audience to paying customers?

Remember to constantly ask yourself, “How will this project support my business goals?” If you find that the content you have planned will not support those goals, chances are that it should not be a priority.

Creating (and Following) A Mission Statement

A mission statement is a statement of the purpose of a company, organization or person, its reason for existing. The mission statement should guide the actions of the organization, spell out its overall goal, provide a path, and guide decision-making.

As such, it should speak to three components of any successful marketing endeavor:

  1. The core audience target The type of person you can help most with your content

  2. What will be delivered to the audience The types of information you will provide through your content

  3. The desired outcome for the audience Things your audience will be able to do once they have consumed your content

Hint: Your audience should never be “everyone” - even if you can find a use case for everyone. Be as specific as possible, and then get to know this person as well as you can. You may have a few different audiences you plan to target with your content, and that’s perfectly fine. If you’re wondering where to “draw the line,” consider whether their informational needs are different. If they are, you will likely need to consider them separately.

Using Your Mission Statement

Let’s use the PHANTOM POWER Mission Statement as an example:

We create opportunity and inspire passion in the lives of our clients and community while adding a distinct measurable value through results-driven marketing strategies.

RELATED: HOW TO WRITE YOUR MISSION STATEMENT

Thus, whenever we evaluate the viability of a new content idea, we ask ourselves:

  • Will this help to advance the practice of content marketing (i.e., does it speak to our reason for existing)?

  • Will it be useful to business owners at small-sized mid- or large brands (i.e., our target audience)?

  • Will it help us grow and maintain our email list or nurture those on the list to other activities (i.e., does it help us meet our key goal)?

While there are certain things we do that may not be a “yes” for all of these categories, the majority of our projects support our goals — and they always support our mission, above all else. It’s key that we make sure everyone on our team understands what our goals and mission are, so we’re all working toward the same outcomes and can measure the results we achieve.

Soon we’ll look at how to create your content marketing strategy. Don’t miss this information, sign up for our email newsletter.

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