“Begin at the beginning,” the King said, very gravely, and go on till you come to the end: then stop.”
– Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
The King had some great advice for Alice, and his first clause is relevant for every marketer as well.* It’s a common mistake to jump into content marketing in medias res, rather than at the beginning. Those businesses that do so inevitably find themselves back at the drawing board as they try to figure out what they want to get out of their content marketing efforts. It’s called setting goals, and it’s the first step to achieving a viable content marketing strategy.
The 5-Step Content Marketing Strategy Starter Kit
There are a lot of terrific articles out there that touch on the major steps organizations must take as they develop their unique content marketing strategy. We’ve selected what we consider to be the best and most current thought leadership on the topic to create a 5-step content marketing strategy starter kit.
Step 1: Set Goals
What business results do you want your content creation efforts to achieve?
by Sonia Simone
Step 2: Define Success
Figure out what success will look like for your organization. Your ability to adapt to meet your goals will depend on it.
by Chloe Della Costa
Step 3: Make a Plan
It helps if it’s unconventional and addresses your goals in a novel way.
Content Marketing Institute
by Robert Rose
Step 4: Execute the Plan
Your plan likely has a lot of moving parts. This comprehensive post likely touches on all of them.
by Adria Saracino
Step 5: Measure Results
You can only know if your content strategy is working if you track relevant metrics.
by Janine Popick
Understanding the importance of these five steps is crucial to your organization’s success as it creates content, and you will see results much quicker when you begin at the beginning. Consider this finding from the Content Marketing institute’s latest B2B Content Marketing: 2014 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends–North America report: “B2B marketers who have a documented content strategy are far more likely to consider themselves effective (66% vs. 11%),” and read the full report here.
*Keep in mind that even as you adjust your content strategy, you will never reach any end to content marketing as long as you have a business. There is no end to content marketing–only ends that are (temporarily) served by content marketing.