Content marketing works extremely well to build your brand and business, but creating great content takes a lot of time (or money if you pay someone to create it for you). Therefore, you have to be strategic about the content you create, or you’ll waste precious time and money developing content that doesn’t help you reach your goals.
To help you evaluate your content ideas, I put together eight clues that you can analyze each time you consider creating a new piece of content. Each of these clues is described below. You can also download my free Content Evaluation Worksheet, so you can evaluate your content ideas against all eight clues — all in one place.
1. Content Description
The first thing you need to do when you consider creating a new piece of content is to describe it. Is it an image, video, text, or something else? Be specific and include details about the expected length, the time it will take you to create it, and the cost.
Next, you need to define the target audience for the piece of content. Which buyer persona is the content meant to communicate to, and where are those audience members in the marketing funnel and buying cycle? Is this the audience you should be communicating with now in order to reach your goals?
Every piece of content has a purpose (beyond directly or indirectly making a sale). Does the content you want to create inspire your audience? Does it entertain or educate them? Or does it give people a sneak peek into your company by revealing something behind the scenes or reinforcing your brand personality? You need to know the purpose before you start creating.
If a piece of content won’t add value to the target audience, don’t bother creating it. All content should be useful and meaningful or your audience will view it negatively. Guess what happens next? Those negative feelings are transferred to your brand. This could be a conscious or subconscious transfer, but either way, it’s a problem for your business.
Speaking of branding, you also need to think about how the piece of content you want to create represents your brand. Does it consistently represent your brand or could it confuse consumers who have specific expectations for your brand based on prior interactions with it? Remember, confusion is the number one brand killer, so stay true to your brand promise in every piece of content you create.
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What is the goal for the piece of content you want to create? Think about the answer to this question as part of your overall marketing strategy. Does the content help to move you forward to achieve your business goals? If it doesn’t move you in the right direction, don’t create it.
When you create a piece of content, you should always think about other ways that you can use it in the future. Can you tweak it and re-use it (i.e., repurpose it) in other places? For example, parts of an ebook could be repurposed as a webinar, blog post, infographic, and more. Your goal should be to get as much traction out of every piece of content as possible, so you’re not always starting from scratch.
How will the content be promoted? If you’re going to put time and effort into creating a piece of content, you should also put time and effort into promoting it. Promotion can include social media, email, advertising, and more. Create a promotion plan before you create your content.
Your Next Steps
Download the Content Evaluation Worksheet and use it as you consider creating new pieces of content. Not only will it help you decide if you should create the content, but it will also help you develop a plan for repurposing and promoting the content.
In other words, you won’t just be writing a piece of content, you’ll be creating an important, strategic tool that can be used again and again to help you reach your goals. Once you decide you’re going to create a piece of content, add it to your content calendar and start creating! A few minutes of evaluation and planning can go a very long way!