How to create a well-organized content development & marketing process in 2021
June 21, 2021
June 21, 2021
Every single day, over 2.8 million blog posts are written and published. That’s a lot of content, and the numbers are steadily increasing. One could definitely say that we are in the middle of a 'content marketing era'. All businesses need to constantly and consistently find innovative ways to stay ahead of their competitors. They also need to focus on a strategy to drive traffic and sales. Blogging is a vital part of any ecommerce marketing strategy.
Thursday, September 9, 2021
Content marketing software offers tools to help marketers with content creation, curation, publishing, distribution, tracking, and sourcing. These platforms are designed to enable a content marketing strategy. The goal of content marketing is to attract and nurture a target audience by providing useful content, rather than directly pitching a product. Content marketing software generally supports a variety of media types including text, images, videos, infographics, and interactive content. Marketers use these tools to build a repository of marketing assets to be distributed or available for prospects to self-explore. Click on our article and read more on how content marketing platforms can improve the health of your business.
Wednesday, August 25, 2021
Are you looking for the best social media platforms for business so you can work on your social strategy and see a larger Return On Investment (ROI)? Social media can be one of your company’s most profitable marketing channels. It’s an excellent way to build brand awareness, connect with existing customers, and generate new leads to fill your sales/services funnel. But with over 65 social media platforms in existence, which one will give you the most bang for your buck? Click on our comprehensive article on the Top 6 Social Sites to use for your business to find out how you can finally start building a brand community for your business!
Wednesday, August 18, 2021
There are certain things a business can’t get enough of: loyal customers, recurring revenue, extensive funding, and glowing press reviews are just some examples. While often ignored, another element behind any successful business is leads. Before a company can grow, they need leads because leads are the foundation on which they build their revenue. Leads are essential, so a company needs to work hard to acquire them. As a digital marketing agency, we’ve found that content marketing is one of the most effective ways to attract leads. Click on this article to find out more.
Monday, August 16, 2021
Have you ever gotten a Google Ads disapproval for violating an ad policy? You’re not alone. We all get them, and most of the time we’ve done nothing wrong! Though designed to protect us, Google’s ad policy enforcement system can be rough, and it just recently announced that a new 3-strike system will be implemented in September 2021 for certain policies. So this week, we’re sharing with you everything you need to know about Google’s upcoming 3-strikes policy pilot. It’s important to understand how much this pilot will impact your account, as well as what you need to do to avoid strikes and suspensions—so be sure to give this a read!
Wednesday, August 11, 2021
Your website content can be anything from universally appealing blog posts to infographics and success stories. But all of these things should be created in keeping with a consolidated plan: your content development strategy.
A quality content development strategy comprises all the steps of content creation, from planning and research to promotion, optimization, and performance tracking. It ensures that every interaction your potential customer has with your brand becomes a positive experience and lays the foundation for trust.
SEMrush's Content Marketing Lead, Margarita Loktionova has published her comprehensive guide on Successful Content Development which we at Honey Whale Lab are excited to show you!
1. Breaking Down the Silos
2. Setting Measurable Goals
3. Bringing in Discipline
4. Researching Your Audience
5. Embracing Your Expertise and Identity
6. Maintaining Consistency
7. Focusing on Maximizing Impact
Content development is a full-cycle process of creating, distributing, and auditing content in order to reach a business goal. That goal can be anything from building trust with your customers and boosting user engagement to generating sales. It is an integral part of any content marketing strategy in 2021.
Content development comprises:
All these processes are closely connected and work together to help you build a connection with your target audience and facilitate growth.
The main reason you need a content development strategy is that it can save you:
To put it simply, a content development strategy is about having an organized process in place. Next, let’s talk about how you can keep it up and running.
2021 will be a challenging year for content marketing. Priorities have already shifted for many companies, forcing them to change their preferred formats and reconsider their success metrics. At the same time, it has reshaped the core of effective content development — more so than ever before. So, let’s take a closer look at each element.
Apart from boosting organizational effectiveness, content development is about teamwork. When you start collaborating with other relevant teams, you’ll be surprised by how many useful ideas, insights and contributions you’ll be able to get. After all, who knows your target audience’s pain points better than customer support or account managers? Who understands purchase blocks better than sales? Draw them into ideation, optimization, or promotion to give your strategy a free boost.
You will never get any results from your content without clearly defining what you want to achieve. Knowing your goals (e.g., traffic, backlinks, conversions, or mentions) will set the KPIs for every content piece and help you choose the right style and format for each one.
Now let’s get back to the organizational element. When you overlook editorial calendars, content audits, topic clusters, and customer journey mapping, you are essentially just creating content for the sake of it. Stop chaotically publishing content, and design a system that makes your whole team aware of your plans and expectations, their roles and responsibilities, and the time allotted to accomplish your mutual goals.
All content development stages — from keyword and topic research to external content placement decisions — center around an abstract depiction of your potential client and their journey. From first engagement with the brand to conversion into a paying customer. As a result, the more you learn about their demographics, psychographics, interests, and needs, the more high-quality, relevant content you’ll be able to create.
Whatever the initial goal is of the content you create, consider that there’s always a second one by default: proving that your business is an authority in its field. People only listen to brands that they trust. If you make false promises or twist statistics, you’ll lose these prospects — and your reputation — forever. The easiest way to demonstrate your knowledge is by sticking to the areas and topics you know inside out, and supporting your arguments with factual data.
A clearly defined value proposition is the foundation for both your tone of voice and your positioning across all content marketing channels. Therefore, each piece of content you plan should be aligned with these long before it’s created. In addition, from your audience’s point of view, interaction with content is a form of communication. And it’s much more pleasant to talk with someone who is confident and coherent than someone who jumps from one topic to another.
2020 has further enhanced the crucial role companies play in creating a positive impact on society and the planet. A Kantar study found that 68% of consumers expect brands to be clear about their values. This means that it’s getting more and more important for companies to strive to do good, even beyond helping their customers and selling their products. Think about your brand’s overall mission and how you can support and inspire your customers while making our world a little better. Be careful, though; being inauthentic in this area will alienate your prospects forever.
Now that we are done with the basics, we can move to transforming each of the above elements into part of an action plan. With these in mind, we’ll go through all the content development steps, focusing on the questions to ask and steps to take.
To move away from empty phrases, you need to match each of your content ideas to measurable values.
Start by asking yourself some simple questions. For example, ‘what value does this content add?’ If the answer is ‘educates’ or ‘solves a problem’, you may be looking at a potential content piece that introduces your product as a possible solution, or encourages readers to start interacting with it.
Other helpful questions to ask yourself include:
The easiest way to bring the information about your prospects together is to create a buyer persona profile. To avoid wasting resources, it’s advisable to draw up a template of this profile before you start collecting the data. This will let you focus on the most meaningful characteristics.
Here are some of them:
Audience research tips:
Go back to your brand story (and message) and try to figure out what makes you unique. Integrating this in your content will help you to stand out from the clutter. The story is what makes a prospect want to find out what’s next, and become motivated to build a lasting relationship.
Each piece of content is created not just with a goal, but also for a specific funnel stage. Why so? Because people behave very differently depending on how familiar they are with your brand and how ready they are to buy.
As a result, a product Call To Action (CTA) placed on an educational Top of the Funnel (TOFU) blog post won’t work the same as a CTA on a Bottom of the Funnel (BOFU) product landing page.
Formats that work for each stage also differ. For example, detailed ‘how-to’ guides can drive a lot of traffic, while videos can generate a lot of engagement.
Funnel analysis tips:
Smart content planning lets you keep all the parties involved in content development on the same page. To streamline your planning process, you can use a visualization tool. It will show the time period you’ve already covered, how many pieces of each format you have pending, and how much effort will be needed to produce them.
Content planning tips:
According to our recent Twitter poll, finding content ideas remains one of the key content development challenges.
Finding topics and keywords is a common content creation routine. There are dozens of ways to do this, including, but not limited to:
The main point here is to validate and prioritize your research results. This ensures that you truly understand the user search intent or have a solution to the problem. It’s also about evaluating your ability to create content that’s better than what your competition has to offer.
Content ideation tips:
Briefing your internal writers seems easier than briefing the external ones, as they can reach out to you for information at any time. However, writers can’t read minds. The more detailed the brief you create, the better the outcome you can expect.
Content briefing tips:
Writing is another routine process that should be approached with respect. There are many well-known best practices, such as checking grammar, analyzing keyword density, and working on improving your content performance.
The latter can be done by using descriptive headlines, adding lists, and leveraging visuals. However, the main point you need to remember about writing is that it is a multistep process.
Start with building the text structure, planning the word count, and defining the tone of voice — and stick to this framework while you write.
Tools like SEO Writing Assistant can help streamline this process, as well as assess your content’s readability and SEO-friendliness.
Writing also includes initial editing (performed after the text is finished), as well as one or more rounds of revisions based on the comments of the stakeholders or professional editors.
Content writing tips:
Optimization is not only done for SEO purposes. The main goal of Google is to provide users with the most relevant, high-quality results based on their search queries. This should be your goal, too.
Content optimization tips:
Content promotion should correlate with the goals you set at the beginning. In many cases, promotion is also a paid activity. To distribute your budget wisely, you should align your content piece with a selected promotion channel, and the step of the conversion path it covers.
Content promotion tips:
Tracking your content’s performance requires more effort than just reaping the benefits of the goals you’ve achieved, and reconsidering the ones you haven’t.
Tracking should consist of these two intersecting cycles:
Our recent LinkedIn poll demonstrated somewhat different results from the Twitter one, indicating that getting leads and generating ROI with content can be even a bigger challenge for some content marketers.
Content tracking tips:
As you can see, the perfect content development process has many variables. The question is how to bring your existing process into line with it.
If you have no process at all, then you can build one from scratch following the instructions above. If you already have a well-developed process that needs some improvement, start from the top by looking for the weakest points in your strategy. Usually, these lie in the interconnections. For example, you could be creating content without a clear goal, or promoting every single piece through the same channels.
To illustrate all of these points, here’s some advice based on the key elements of the content development strategy we considered at the beginning:
To ensure the core of the content development process — content creation — runs smoothly, you need a team where each member has a clear role and a transparent scope of responsibilities. Your team may be big or small, but ideally, it should include the following:
Of course, this is not a definitive list of the people involved in content development. You’ll also need content promoters (who usually belong to marketing teams) and analysts to supply you with content performance metrics.
There are many tools streamlining different aspects of content development and the Semrush Content Marketing Platform covers most of them. Below, you’ll find a list of the key instruments available on the platform.
If your content marketing is failing, there is a good chance that your existing content development is the reason. It requires consistency and a holistic approach to be successful, and a tiny gap can ruin the whole system. However, if you spare the time and effort required to structure the process, find the weak points, fix the issues, and focus on your audience's needs before your monetary goals, you can expect positive business results in the long term.
CONTENT MARKETING LEAD AT SEMRUSH
Margarita is a passionate Content Marketer with over 6 years of experience in various tech industries and 3 countries. She also holds two MBA degrees in Marketing.
To design is much more than simply to assemble, to order, or even to edit: it is to add value and meaning, to illuminate, to simplify.
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