3 Key Questions to Ask Before Investing in Content Marketing

content marketing, content strategy

December 30, 2013 by

The good ol’ days of developing a single message and broadcasting it over the airways are long gone. Now marketers are faced with a seemingly endless proliferation of digital distribution channels: websites, YouTube, Facebook, tablets, mobile and the next big thing being dreamed up in someone’s dorm room as we speak. It all adds up to one thing: C-L-U-T-T-E-R.

How do you cut through the clutter and decide when to allocate time and resources to content marketing? Where do you start? Begin by asking yourself the following—and be truthful and honest with your answers.

RELATED CLASS: Developing a Content Marketing Strategy

1. What are your marketing objectives?

What do you want to share? Be specific. For example, there’s a difference between answering “We need to tell our company’s story” and answering “We need to tell our company’s story so prospective customers can immediately get a feel for what we offer and why we do what we do.” A focused and measurable objective is the cornerstone of your content development strategy. If you know what you want to accomplish, you can tailor your content to do just that.

One of my favorite examples can be found in this video for Revolution Dance:

If you’re selling dance costumes, what better way to showcase your product than by seeing them in action? And who doesn’t love cute kids?

2. Who is your target audience?

Don’t fall into the this-video-will-appeal-to-everyone trap. It won’t. New employees need information that is different from that provided to customers, just as investors need information that is different from that developed for potential employees. It’s all about them not you. If you offer content that is crafted to be interesting/helpful/informative to them as opposed to being focused on what you want to say, you’ll have a much better chance of grabbing their attention and keeping it.

3. What do you want to share and why?

(OK, that’s technically 2 questions)

You’ve probably already identified what you think you want to share, after all the ideas are the fun part, right? And this one is a “killer” that’s guaranteed to “go viral”. Pause one more time and ask yourself “Why?”.

  • Why will sharing it help accomplish your objectives? (see Question #1)
  • Why will your audience want to watch it? Will it create a connection? (see Question #2)

If you can answer all 3 questions with honesty and no hesitation, you have the green light to begin creating your content. If however, you find yourself hesitating, stop right here. It’s a sign you need to rethink your strategy or you’ll never cut through that clutter.

Learn how to incorporate real-time content into your marketing strategy.

Watch Real Time or Die: Feeding the Content Beast and see how top brands, bloggers and media outlets are producing high-impact content at higher velocity. You’ll also get expert tips to plan for and produce real-time content—and feed your own content beast. Access it now with a FREE trial to the Online Marketing Institute. Get instant access now.

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