Content is the heartthrob of all the marketing efforts today. This is why the information in every business is prioritized above all, and product comes the second. Today, marketers use content to create, connect, and interact with customers throughout the touchpoints in the buyer’s journey.
Content marketers, strategists and consultants use events, courses, and newsletters as potential sources of information in their strategy building and day-to-day execution. However, being able to reach, engage and convert each customer to your business—the primary aim of content marketing, is an accomplishment that can be effectively achieved through a content marketing workshop.
A content marketing workshop
A content marketing workshop will pen down your marketing strategy, simplify your business’s objectives, provide a consistent brand voice, and refine the overall customer experience.
It doesn’t matter if you run a next-door retail store, an established mobile app development company in US, or even own a simple blog, content is the essential survival kit if you want to survive the digital storm today.
This is where we learn the steps to prepare a comprehensive content workshop that should help your business in developing and staying with a lasting, ROI-based content marketing strategy while incorporating the flexibility for future modifications in times of need.
When you get the approval for the content workshop, mostly it’s through by a small group of managers, also it doesn’t mean the entire company has affirmed its acceptance.
While it is our job to ask our superior that those who are entitled to the job of creation and promotion of content do attend the workshop. Here are the roles of the workshop attendees:
• The actual content producers and visual creatives such as designers, illustrators, etc.
• A content mentor or evangelist who ensures the consistency in content remains intact.
• The stakeholders responsible for the promotion and distribution of content, besides the social and outreach people.
Planning well ahead also involves understanding and acknowledging the existing state of the business. If possible, try to dig out the previous content marketing campaigns (if any) and examine how well they have fared through a comprehensive content audit.
The idea is to thoroughly inquire who is going to attend your workshop alongside other business minutiae being stored in your knowledge arsenal.
Understand the business goals
At the start of the workshop, make the employees understand how their contribution helps the company in its business objectives, revenues, profits, and the overall mission and vision.
Taking goals in terms of web traffic, leads, or conversions might be easiest language for content marketers. However, as a facilitator of the content workshop, it is your duty to explain the differences between these metrics and business KPIs.
Explain the understanding about key considerations like target audience, customer learning, thought leadership, and customer retention.
Remember, clarifying the business objectives doesn’t mean creating a case for content marketing. But you, or your point of contact, should have already acquainted the top-level management with the business case prior to arranging the workshop.
The purpose here is to move beyond the conventional understanding of content marketing as a marketing and communication job and merge it more into the core business strategy.
Craft the best practices
With more and more content piling up on the internet each second, it won’t be unsurprising to come across a company or team who knows how to create and stay true to a content strategy.
Undoubtedly, a content marketer has an idea on how promote a recent article to a particular audience, but each member in a team has his/her own perception and preferences.
Similarly, our customers have their own mindset too.
This is where we learn about some powerful strategies that you need the management to execute in order to enjoy a considerable ROI in their content marketing endeavors.
• Explain and create a content marketing strategy document alongside a mission statement supporting the strategy. Every content chunk produced should align with the mission and strategy.
• Conduct a thorough keyword research and acquire detailed audience insights to uncover the flagship topics for content production. Further, state their frequency of publishing on the blog.
• Create an editorial process that will tell how and when particular content pieces will cater specific audience groups.
• Separate the distribution channels for both paid and organic platforms. Do note that a balanced, right blend of both will work best.
Map content on the buyer’s journey
We’re all aware of the typical, often-tedious process of sales funnel that educates customers on the different types of content format—articles for awareness, webinars for consideration, case studies for decision, etc.
Apparently, your workshop attendees will already have a sufficient idea taking the content formats.
However, it’s nothing but a complete waste if you’re unable to comprehend the customer’s needs, intent, and their intent in their buyer journey. Ask your company to:
• Teach the audience about the different aspects in your content, inquire them if they are facing a problem, and clarify it in the awareness stage.
• Offer a number of solutions and way-outs for their problem in the consideration phase.
• Indulge into each vendor’s shortlist and smartly tempt them to consider your brand or service in the decision stage.
The idea is to understand and cater the customers’ intent in the time of need.
Basically, mapping content through the buyer’s journey is a three-step process: context to intent to relevance, or understanding the situation, explaining the purpose, and forming a connection.
Being a content marketing professional or the prime facilitator of the workshop, it is your job to help the company conduct a content audit, develop a simple content journey visual, and aid the team in making it more detailed, understandable, and on-point.
Moreover, keep reminding them whatever the goal they tend to achieve—education, acquisition, activation, retention, or referral, and what they desire the customer to do after viewing the content.
Show how and why a community is built
After you’re done coaching the team regarding the customer’s journey and how to map the content aligning their intent, you need to assist them in building a genuine audience base that readily consumes their brand content.
The attendees should know that content acquires a better reception when a particular audience group is eager to pay attention and interact with your brand.
In doing so, there is a high probability that that audience segment will act as an aide to spread a positive word-of-mouth regarding your brand, stretch your audience, and refine the brand sentiment in the process.
This is why many marketing gurus and industry experts emphasize on the importance of building a solid community during the planning process, even prior to the actual development and promotion of routine content pieces.
Initiate the activity by helping them make two important decisions taking the community building job for the brand:
• At what platform (website or social media like Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.) the community forum be hosted?
• Who will be responsible for its management and facilitation?
Provide them a blueprint for content production
The workshop attendees, and content producers in general, should remember that creating content, only for the sake of “creating content”, is a doomed approach right from the beginning.
In other words, a content piece is as good as nothing if it fails to provide a unique perspective or information to its readers.
Regardless, you need to educate the attendees on how to create unique, creative content.
• Dig in the needs, wants, and interests of your audience, and ask the SEO team to conduct a detailed keyword research in this regard.
• Determine the problems and topics on which it will be published alongside the chosen format and word count.
• Brainstorm content ideas and devise an editorial calendar for scheduling and publishing of content at selected time intervals.
• Distinguish the content for selected, time-sensitive campaigns or regular content marketing.
Outline a distribution plan
Content marketing can be taken as marketing and branding exercises blended in the same mixture. One of the biggest benefits in store is that it offers, almost unlimited, types of channels for publication and promotion purposes.
From another perspective, this occurs as a problem for the company. It’s a mighty job of convincing the management about which platform will register the best ROI on the content and keeping a healthy chunk of existing customer base engaged with the brand.
You can illustrate a distribution plan by:
• Creating a content distribution network enlisting their community platform, social channels, partners’ networks, and other owned and earned media.
• Establishing a sound presence on industry-specific platforms and websites.
• Doing some quality guest blogging work to create a brand credibility and authority in the industry.
• Going through podcasts, webinars, etc. and related audio-visual content distribution formats.
• Forming partnerships with popular influencers to promote the brand in their channels and social circle.
• Marketing their content through PPC campaigns on Facebook, Google search, and top discussion forums such as Quora, Reddit, etc.
• Putting an employee activation program into action in order to escalate the content spread and engagement better than other platforms.
Gauge the effectiveness of content marketing
An effective content marketing workshop is never through without providing a hands-on experience regarding different models, methods, tools, and templates to the audience. This makes it easy to understand how these metrics work and learn about measuring the performance of their content marketing efforts.
Here you’ll set up a tried and tested tracking system that informs how well the content marketing activities are faring.
• Train them about the content metrics including reach, impressions, engagement, half-life, conversions, and brand sentiment.
• Show how the content metrics can be merged with the marketing counterparts like email subscribers, web traffic, social media followers, etc. and also the business metrics such as leads, sales, and CLTV.
• Teach the use of digital marketing, specifically tracking tools, and assist them in choosing the best ones according to their custom needs. A simple monitoring dashboard for top-tier management will be enough.
Educate them on how to capitalize the opportunity
Just how the proof of a person’s capability arrives in the form of his job performance, similarly, the evidence of the effectiveness of a content marketing strategy is its execution. Apparently, the result of majority of content workshops is almost nothing as the management’s or attendees’ interest fades away with time.
Hence, ending strong is the key. Your team should:
• Know the impact of their content marketing activities on a bigger stage—how it benefits the company.
• Establish clear, realistic expectations and foretell precise outcomes for each content marketing campaign.
• Perfectly know how their content influences the on-site and off-site SEO and visibility in Google’s search results.
• Be able to use various content-based tools for planning, creating, distributing, and tracking content purposes.
• Know how to work with different departments and spread their brand’s content.
• Acknowledge how the ROI of each content marketing task will be determined.
…and we’re not done yet. Provide a plethora of resources and assure the attendees that you or your team is ready to aid them in their content marketing tasks whenever needed.
Naturally, the real quest begins after you call it a day with your content marketing workshop.