There’s nothing worse than being tripped up by capital letters. This means having to wade through a long piece of text crippled by incorrectly used capital letters, and not knowing the rules for how to use capital letters. It came to the fore again this week, when clients insisted that every job title was written with a capital letter. That is just not right so please note.
Having said good-bye to the last of the Easter holiday makers in Durban, a coastal town in South Africa, we started to make our way home on Monday. On the way back we stopped at Van Reenen just off the N3 that runs between Johannesburg and the province, KwaZulu Natal.
Where cash was once king, no-one wants to transact with hard currency, banks charge a fortune for handling the dirty lucre and it’s certainly not safe to be walking around with a stash in your back pocket.
Have no fear – CONTENT is the new king. Content is the king of the ‘interverse’. Everybody wants it, everybody has it and everybody dumps it anywhere and anyhow.
In my job, as sub-editor at a community newspaper, I had to reprimand a reporter for shoddy work.
His report was submitted for subbing with several repeated paragraphs. When I pointed this out to him, he swore it was a systems error.
This was highly unlikely and even if it was, he should have made the necessary corrections to the piece before sending it on for subbing.
With the year, two and a bit months underway, there’s been enough time to reflect on trends that will shape the decade ahead. I’ve put my thoughts together and come up with these six.
A search for Moocs returns almost 35 billion responses in under seven seconds on Google. That many. There are possibly as many Moocs as there are searches for them. We are talking about Massive Open Online Course. There are no barriers to entry (free) for these courses and there are thousands.
Every now and then, a word comes a long that makes me prick up my ears and say, ‘that’s a good one’.
Stonking is such a word.
There’s so much to say about stonking. For starters dictionaries across the web from Cambridge to Oxford and Encarta broadly agree on its adjectival usage to mean “large, impressive, used to emphasise how good or enjoyable something is.”
It’s all about the traffic
Content marketing helps businesses prepare and plan for reliable and cost-effective sources of website traffic and new leads. If you can create just one blog post that gets a steady amount of organic traffic, an embedded link to an e-book or free tool, it will continue generating leads for you as time goes. This makes your content sustainable.
Good content has great leverage. Not only does it attract leads — it will also help educate your target prospects and generate awareness for your brand.
How to Create a Content Marketing Strategy
Like skinning a cat, there is more than one way to develop a content marketing strategy. Here is a plan to use as a guide.
- 1. Define your goal.
Get specific about your intention. Why do you want to produce content and create a content marketing plan? Know your goals before you begin planning, and it will be easier to come up with a workable strategy.
- Research is a must.
While research seems to be the heavy lifting part of the job, there’s no way around it; it’s just got to be done.
And you want to stay relevant. The more relevant your posts are, the better your engagement.
Understand your audience. You can do this by aggregating basic demographic profiles and then fine tuning with more specific information, such as shopping habits, or entertainment profiles.
By knowing your target audience, you can produce more relevant and valuable content that they’ll want to read and engage with.
If you’re an experienced marketer, your target may have changed. Do you want to target a new group of people or expand your current target market? Do you want to keep the same target audience?
Revisiting your audience parameters by conducting market research is crucial to growing your audience.
- Conduct a content audit
Most people start out with blog posts, but if you want to venture out and try producing other content pieces, consider which ones you want to make.
For instance, if you’ve been doing weekly blog posts for the past year, creating an e-book that contains all your blog posts in one handy guide would be one way to offer information in a different format.
If you have been in business for a while, you may want to review yout content marketing efforts and the results from it in the last year by running a content audit. Figure out what you can do differently in 2021 and set new goals. Now is a great time to align marketing goals with those of other departments.
- 4. Choose a content management system.
Have a system in place where you can create, manage, and track your content, using a content management system (CMS) for greater effeciency. A few vital parts of content management include content creation, content publication, and content analytics.
You can use Google to find the best CMS – many are free and certainly adequate if you are just starting out.
- Brainstorm content ideas.
As the year winds down, there couldn’t be a better time to start coming up with ideas for your next content project.
You can brainstorm in-house or take it to your client. No one knows your clients’ business better than they do, so schedule time for a brainstorming session.
- Decide which types of content you want to create.
There are a variety of options for content creation in the digital age. These include blog posts, eBooks, infographics, white papers, videos, podcasts and case studies. This may need to coincide with the resources available to the organisation.
Consumers want to see, literally, what brands are up to. Videos of activations as social media posts and images, texts to explain product benefits – these are all ways to engage and interact with a customer base.
They particularly want to see real-time and experience-oriented content instead of fabricated make-believe stories – this has been the route of advertising for the past five years.
- Publish and manage your content.
Your marketing plan should go beyond the types of content you’ll create — it should also cover how you’ll organise your content. With the help of an editorial calendar you’ll be on the right track for publishing a well-balanced and diverse content library on your website. This is gold for future access.
Look for spin-off opportunities such as news items, events created by media and calendar favourites, like Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day etc.