According to the Content Marketing Institute, having a documented content strategy can be one of the biggest differences between a content marketer who is effective and one who flails. But where do you start? Well, they've published a guide containing 36 key questions you need to answer to build your content strategy, which you can download here.
And we've heeded this excellent advice. Below you'll find the first part of our own documented content strategy. We hope you find it an interesting read!
Business Plan for Innovation
What challenges are we trying to solve?
We know that there are companies that need a strategy to get started, insights to help them succeed or simply a spare pair of hands to enable them to get things done. We want to help those companies and their marketing teams.
What is our dream outcome with this process?
We’d love to be the ‘go to’ partner for B2B content marketing in the Thames Valley (and beyond).
What are the risks if we fail?
Houses, mortgages and our ability to eat! Or worse, we have to go back to working for other people…
Whose unique perspectives do we want to involve? If internal, what permissions do we need from their managers to participate?
Our own perspectives and, most importantly, those of our clients. We need to be respectful of their time and ability to contribute.
What is our budget?
We invest about 10% of our income into a ‘jam pot’ for marketing and business development.
How often do we want to produce deliverables?
Social updates: daily. Blogs: weekly (in an ideal world). Premium content: quarterly. That’s the plan.
If life or business issues get in the way, how can we push a “big red button” without disbanding the idea of the business plan?
We will operate a flexible business model that allows us to adjust our resource level up and down based on demand. This means we can trim our overheads back to the bare minimum, if required.
How will we execute each experimental idea, and how long will we give it to work?
We’ll test ideas with close partners and key customers. We’ll give ourselves a sensible period — say 3 months — to see if new ideas work.
The Business Case for Content Marketing
What is the need? What do we hope to accomplish with our content marketing?
There’s no shortage of information being generated about content marketing. Lots of it is great, but not everyone has time to read and digest it all. It’s our business to do so and to offer pragmatic and commercially-aware advice to our customers and followers. And it’s our goal to do so in a way that’s easy to absorb, digest and act upon.
How big a need is it? Do we have a big enough audience to justify a plan?
B2B marketers and business leaders need to keep ahead of the curve. They are (often) time poor. If we can help distill leading practice and make it easy for people to digest, we’re on to a winner.
What is the business model? How does it work? What do we have to do?
Keep engaging with our followers, customers and partners. Stay focused on delivering value. Respond to questions, requests for information and help. Be nice to people. The rest will follow.
What is our differentiating value? Why is this more important than other things we are spending time on?
See above answer!
What are the risks? What’s in our way of success — or what happens if we fail?
If we fail, it’s very simple. Our customers won’t succeed. They won’t work with us any more. Our business will flounder. There’s only so long you can survive in what is still a small industry. Reputation and word of mouth will follow you.