Second Half Content Marketing Checklist – 50 Points
You spend hours and hours on your content marketing.
By contrast, A-listers make content marketing look effortless.
The reality is that, like you, A-listers work hard to produce quality content.
What’s the difference between A-listers and you?
A-listers have experience, an established audience and processes to ensure each piece of content yields the maximum results, regardless of whether their goal is thought leadership, branding, lead generation or sales.
One shortcut to maximize your content marketing results is to apply some of the processes A-listers use.
Now’s the time to ensure your content marketing is on track to succeed!!!
Second half content marketing checklist
Here is a 50 point, second half, content marketing checklist to help you create content marketing like an A-lister. The 50 points are posed as questions to help you check your content marketing plans and formulate your changes in a tangible way.
1. Check your content progress to-date (aka content metrics)
It’s hard to determine your content needs for the remainder of the year if you haven’t a clue as to how your current content marketing plan is performing to-date. If you don’t have content tracking in place, now is a good time to start.
- How often are you publishing fresh content?
- How much does your on-going content cost?
- How many major pieces of content have you created? How did they perform?
- How many new email addresses have you added to your housefile?
- What is the open rate for your emailings?
- What is the churn rate of your housefile?
- How many qualified leads is your content marketing generating?
- How long does it take to convert leads to sales?
Content quality assessment
- What topics resonate with your audience?
- What forms of content does your audience prefer?
- Which titles perform best?
- Can you track where your content leads are coming from? If not, are you including a contextually relevant call-to-action? If so, which publishing/distribution platforms yield the best results for your content?
- What type of content input do you get from sales, customer service and other customer facing employees?
2. Be attuned to changes in your target audience
- Has your target market changed? Have your prospects and customers’ content habits or needs evolved?
- Are you considering end-users, influencers, and fans?
3. Monitor the competition and their content
Examine information in the marketplace to ensure your content is breaking through.
- What types of content are the major players producing? How frequently are they creating it?
- What types of content are your direct competitors creating? Based on external factors how’s it performing?
4. Look out for new players in your market
Constantly monitor the marketplace for new companies, products and opportunities.
- Have new firms appeared that fill your target market’s needs?
- Are there new solutions to meet your customers’ needs? Bear in mind that they don’t need to provide the same products or services you do.
- Are there gaps in the market you can fill for your customers? Always be ready to extend your relationship with your customers.
5. Watch for technology changes
As technology evolves, your audience’s content needs also change in terms of the information they seek as well as how, when and where they want it.
- Have the devices your core audience uses changed? Consider smartphones, tablets, ereaders, televisions, cars and wearables.
- What content formats does your audience prefer to consume? Are you meeting their expectations?
6. Keep your on-going content flowing
Regularly produced information is the meat and potatoes of your content offering. It supports your brand, products and company.
- Are you supplying the 5 basic content types? Specifically are you providing detailed product information, answering customer questions, showing customers how to use your products, offering styling suggestions, and presenting ratings and reviews.
- Are you using a mix of content formats? Enhance your content by using more than just text. Consider images, videos, audio (aka podcasts), infographics, and presentations.
- Are you producing content on a regular basis? You must continually provide fresh information and keep your audience engaged.
- Are your employees across your organization supporting your content efforts? If not, have you asked them? More critical—are you providing editorial support and copyediting?
- Have you asked your customers to contribute content? Realize that only a small percentage of customers will create content (roughly 1%). Make it easy for them to take photographs in your store and ask them to answer specific questions.
If you’re having trouble with your on-going content, determine the cause.
- Do you have a lack of resources or budget? Bear in mind a lack of time is a form of lack of resources. Here are 40 content marketing tips to stretch your content marketing budget.
- Do you get the support you need from senior management?
- Do you have access to internal resources such as technology, human resources and legal?
7. Create major content efforts
In addition to your regular content offering, you need large pieces of content that break through and attract new prospects.
- Do you have at least one big content effort integrated into your marketing plans? If you’ve modified your promotional calendar, have you made changes in your content marketing plans?
- Have you planned for the reuse of these content efforts in advance? To minimize your resource use, create multiple pieces of content from each effort.
8. Augment original content with content curation
Research shows that content curation should account for 25% of your content.
- Are you extending your content offering with content curation? Content curation success depends on discovering, selecting and packaging high value, sharable information your prospects seek.
- Does your content mix include Top 10 lists and roundup posts? These content curation formats are highly effective for driving results.
9. Make content attractive for your audience
Is your content formatted to reach and get read by the largest possible audience? Put yourself in your time-strapped prospects’ shoes. You have less than 15 seconds to convince them to read your content according to Chartbeat data!!!
- Are your headlines attracting attention? Headlines do the heavy lifting where content is concerned. They need to pull readers in and entice them to keep reading.
- Are you including eye candy? Images, especially photographs of people, attract more attention, faster.
- Can visitors quickly skim your content? Write short paragraphs (3-5 sentences) and add bolding to highlight important points.
- Does your content contain misspellings and poor grammar? Research by Disruptive Communications found that over 40% of respondents thought that poor spelling and grammar reduced their impression of a brand.
- Is your 360° brand integrated into your content? The objective is to ensure that each piece of content supports your brand.
- Do your fonts enhance readability? If your audience is over 40, chances are they wear reading glasses. Skip the tiny type and ornate fonts that are difficult to read.
- Are the colors of your content scaring readers away? Select colors that enhance readability. Skip the neon for most audiences. Check your content for contrast.
Are you maximizing each content marketing effort with proper distribution?
- Is each piece of content optimized for search and findability? Remember search doesn’t happen by itself.
- Are you promoting your content across your owned media platforms? Include your website, blog, emailings, newsletters, customer communications, employee communications, offline communications, and in-store flyers.
- Is your content shared across relevant social media platforms? At a minimum, consider Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Pinterest. Don’t overlook the need to format your content appropriately for each platform!
- Have you incorporated social sharing into your content? Do you make it easy for readers to share? This means social sharing icons (including email), ClickToTweet, and Pinnable images.
- Are you posting your content on third party platforms where appropriate? Consider email exchanges and guest blogging.
- Have you reached out to appropriate influencers? Research how to approach each influencer so that you don’t insult them by accident.
- Do you have a content related hook to use PR to extend your reach? Where appropriate leverage the power of PR and press releases.
- Do you have budget to promote your content where appropriate? This includes Facebook advertising and search.
- Have you gotten your employees into the act? At a minimum, include a link to your content in employee signature files. Where appropriate, encourage your employees to share your content. Make sure that you have a set of social media guidelines in place first!
You can improve your content marketing by taking the time to answer this 50 point, second half, content marketing checklist and to incorporate your responses into your content marketing plans.
By using this outline, you’ll gain some of the insights A-list content marketers have acquired over time to create content, build your audience and maximize content distribution.
What else would you add to this 50 point second half content marketing checklist and why would you add it?
Even though Content Marketing World is finished until next September, you can still get all the content from 2014's exciting conference. The CMWorld On Demand package includes: Audio and video from the 2014 keynote sessions, audio and PowerPoint presentations of all the breakout sessions, over 40 audio sessions from the leading B2B and B2C brands, as well as keynote video performances.
An annual gathering of the best and brightest content professionals on the planet. People who know the secrets (and are willing to share them). People who value content as a business asset. People who have made it their life’s work to develop repeatable, systematic approaches to producing amazingly effective content.
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Joe Pulizzi, Author and Founder of Content Marketing Institute and Werner Mansfeld, President of NetLine Corp, discuss realistic and actionable methods for your company to get awareness, consideration and sales leads using marketing content – without the budget or resources of an enterprise-level organization.
Here are just some of the questions you'll get answered:
- What is content marketing and why is it important?
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- How can my small business (or budget) compete with my larger competitors using content marketing?
- What can I start doing today to start seeing results?
Joe Pulizzi and Werner Mansfeld are experts in Content Marketing and Content Syndication. Learn from their combined experience how to take advantage of content marketing for your business, no matter the size.
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