How To Plan + Build A Successful Content Marketing Strategy - Insights

How To Plan + Build A Successful Content Marketing Strategy

by Michael Brenner

3 minute read

Did you know that every day on the internet:

  • There are 4.75 billion pieces of content shared
  • There are 1.8 billion photos uploaded
  • There are 700 million Snapchats
  • There are 500 million tweets

Marketing, as we know it, is being transformed right in front of our eyes. More and more messages are being promoted every day, on more channels, and as a result, consumers are learning to simply tune out the noise.

Because of this, brands must leverage content marketing to deliver the useful information necessary to educate and build trust with their audiences. But they often fail to document what they are trying to achieve, how they will get it done, and what measures will prove success.

Yesterday I presented “How To Plan And Build A Successful Content Marketing Strategy” to more than 600 attendees of the NewsCred #ThinkContent Webinar. We discussed:

  • The key factors for content marketing success
  • The core components of a content marketing strategy
  • I answered the main questions of how to build a solid content marketing strategy

I shared my secret that effective content marketing was relatively simple:

“The buyer journey is nothing more than a series of questions that must be answered.” – analyst firm IDC

I shared the Content Marketing Institute’s more formal definition of content marketing:

“Content marketing is the marketing and business process for creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action. – Content Marketing Institute

And I shared the rallying cry for why we need to change:

“We have to stop interrupting what people are interested in, and be what people are interested in.” – Craig Davis (former Chief Creative Officer, J. Walter Thompson)

Backed by research and our own customer engagements, I revealed the 6 factors to content marketing success:

  1. Document your content strategy
  2. Have someone in charge of content
  3. Consistently publish quality content
  4. Map content to buyer journey
  5. Balance Paid, Owned, Earned Media
  6. Track Content Marketing ROI

I also showed our “money slide:”

The Content Marketing Roadmap

content marketing audit

I provided an example and a template for anyone to develop your Content Marketing Mission Statement:

Become a destination for [target audience] interested in [topics]. To help them [customer value].

This will help us [your content marketing goals]

  • Earn your audience’s attention vs. just buying it
  • Reach, engage and convert NEW buyers

AmEx Open Forum Example: Help Small Businesses Do More Business. To become the largest source of inbound leads.

I provided spreadsheets to help anyone conduct a content audit and measure their content marketing results:

Content Audit Template

content marketing audit


Download the content audit template.

Content Marketing Dashboard and Reporting Template

Content Marketing Reporting Template

The Content Marketing “Rule of Thirds”

I also talked about the budgeting process for your overall budget and for your content budget. At NewsCred, we suggest starting with the “rule of thirds.”
For Overall Budgets:
  • One-third of your budget on technology / infrastructure
  • One-third of your budget on content
  • One-third of your budget on paid distribution
For The Content Budget:
  • One-third of your budget on licensed content
  • One-third of your budget on original content
  • One-third of your budget on User Generated Content (UGC) or co-created content with employees, influencers, customers

This also works when you consider the Hollywood model of budgeting for movies where 50% of the budget goes to production of the content and 50% of the budget goes to distribution.

One comment about the “rule of thirds.” The mix ends up being different for every brand. The point is to start with this as a budget assumption. Once you start publishing and measuring results, you can optimize the budget for superior content marketing results.

Get The Slides

Those are the high-level discussion points. Slides are included below. There was also a ton of questions, which I think we’ll answer in a follow-up post. In the meantime, I hope this helps you Plan And Build A Successful Content Marketing Strategy.

Please follow along on TwitterLinkedInFacebook  and Google+ for regular updates.