It doesn’t matter how you implement your content marketing strategy. The main thing is to move in the right direction. And how to understand that you are moving in the right direction? The answer to this question is simple - define goals for yourself and measure your movement on the way to them. But in addition to the adopted strategy, you need a team to implement this strategy.
We will tell you how to arrive at your destination by the most optimal route using the example of organizing work in our agency. It is clear that the client business (in which we work) can be very different from other types of businesses. Most likely, you will not need, for example, an account manager, although for us he is a very important link.
- A stranger among his and his among strangers
- Preparation of a relevancy map
- Creating a content plan
- What should be the content?
- Creating materials. Scalable and non-scalable work patterns
- Placement of materials on sites
- Project Weekly Guides
- Measuring the effectiveness of content marketing strategy
- Difficulties at work
Distribution of team roles
Speaking about roles in a team, you need to keep in mind that these are exactly roles. The role is not a living person, it is a function. That is, do not be afraid that there are many roles, which means that content marketing is not available to you in your business. This is not true! As often happens (and we also started with this), at the start, employees have to perform many different roles. But you still have to strive for specialization. When you have the first significant success, it will be easier to expand the team.
So, we open the curtain in front of you and tell all about how we work.
In our team, each specialist is responsible for a specific area of work:
- Account manager - communicates with the client and is responsible to the client for the result of all work carried out as part of the client project. The account manager with us is actually an “internal” customer of works. He stands on the side of the agency before the customer and acts on the client’s side inside our agency.
- Content Strategist - Chief Specialist in the implementation of content marketing strategy, a person with deep immersion in the client’s business processes and in his subject matter. Based on a study of the market, themes and customer wishes, he creates the concept of content, is responsible for the work of editors and the final quality of materials.
- Copywriter - based on the technical specifications, writes texts for landing pages, materials for blogs and groups in social networks, creates prototypes of landing pages, video scripts, guides, etc. for client projects.
- Editor - is responsible for the content, stylistic and grammatical perfection of the texts written by copywriters; prepares detailed terms of reference for copywriters.
- Content manager - is responsible for the placement and competent visual design of materials on client sites.
- Web analyst - monitors indicators of client sites using statistics services, analyzes the picture and gives recommendations to the account manager, content strategist and editors.
- SEO analyst - is responsible for the work aimed at improving the indicators that are important for ranking in search engines.
A stranger among his and his among strangers
In the client business, the role of account manager is difficult to overestimate. For us, they are the basis of business, because accounts:
- generate revenue;
- responsible for the final result of the project to the client;
- are representatives of the client’s interests in the agency.
Account managers strictly monitor the observance of deadlines and the quality of work performed, can force any specialist to redo one job ten times if they do not have a clear confidence that this work will give birth to a satisfied client and bring results to the site.
The account is ready to listen to the client at any time and, having received feedback, make the necessary changes to the implementation of the strategy that was approved together with the client.
The main task of the account manager is to launch the project into operation as soon as possible and start getting concrete results.
We are well aware that the account manager is an important link, but only in the client business. If you are working on the implementation of content marketing strategy on the side of the company, in fact, you will not need an account manager. But some of the functions of the account manager, someone will have to perform. What are these features? This project budgeting and internal reporting on the results of the work. I suppose that these functions will most likely be performed by the project manager - if the KM strategy is allocated to a separate project - or the marketing director, if the marketing department is involved in implementing the KM strategy.
Relevance map preparation
The first stage of work on any project is the creation of a site relevance map. SEO-specialist prepares a semantic core, which includes all the requests in the niche. Thus, the promotion is carried out on a wide semantic core, which in modern conditions is the only effective way to significantly increase traffic, to expand the contacts of the target audience with the brand.
On the basis of the semantic core, a relevance map is being prepared - a document in Excel that reflects the structure of the site by section and the landing keys for which specific pages are being promoted. A relevance map is needed to properly organize linking to the site (that is, the copywriter, when writing articles for the blog, uses the landing keys reflected in the relevance map to link to relevant sections of the site to transfer the weight from the donor page to the promoted page. ).
Creating a content plan
A content plan is a document that reflects the working topics of articles for the next quarter (editorial portfolio of topics) and the calendar of publication of materials (if 8 articles are written to the blog each month, then the dates for posting these materials on the site should be smoothly distributed in the time interval - ideally, readers of the blog should get used to, say, the fact that every Monday and Thursday, exactly at 12.00 an article is published on the site).
A content plan is created based on:
- Market research
- Analysis of content distributed by competitors
- Close interaction with the customer (interview)
- SEO tasks reflected in the relevance map
The content strategist is responsible for creating the concept of distributed content and preparing the editorial portfolio.
Content strategist, based on customer requirements for content, studying topics and SEO-tasks, prepares a plan of materials for the next quarter. He formulates the working headers for those who write an annotation for each (what should be in the material, what are its tasks) and gives it to editors and copywriters.
It must be understood that the editorial portfolio is not a static thing. The editorial portfolio can and should be changed weekly or even daily - be updated with new topics, updated. Work on the editorial portfolio should be carried out continuously. The market does not stand still, and the task of the content strategist is to monitor the relevance of the published materials. It is very important to do newsjacking. The publication of high-quality materials in the wake of the general is interesting to a specific topic, the use of news trends to increase your sales gives you a real opportunity to get an explosive growth in traffic.
What should be the content?
The work on content generation begins with the definition of the concept of distributed materials (for whom it is designed, about what, what type of content will be used). The most effective concept is a complex scheme, including the creation of diverse materials (for different subtypes of the audience) and distribution through various communication channels. But it is clear that this is the most labor and financially costly way. This concept involves the creation of selling, entertainment and educational content. It is clear that all content is for your target audience, and entertainment content is not “cats”, but something that will be useful to your audience.
For a concrete example, let's take our own website. In the Services section we use selling texts (yes, we, like you, have a conversion important!), And in the Blog - educational and entertainment materials. Educational materials for us are those related to the field of Internet marketing, those that should help internet marketers solve their current problems. Examples of educational materials published by us recently:
Entertainment materials are articles not directly related to Internet marketing, but useful (in our opinion) to our Central Asia. And who is our target audience? These are owners of small and medium business, heads of marketing departments in medium and large companies. It is clear that we can “entertain” this audience within our site only thanks to useful materials on business, sales, personal effectiveness. Examples of "entertainment" materials lately:
Why entertainment content is also important when implementing a KM strategy? This type of content has two very significant benefits. First: this type of content allows you to significantly increase your audience. If the materials are of high quality and, indeed, interesting, they receive a significant response in social networks. Second: these materials tend to collect more natural references than other materials. As a result, this affects the ranking in the search engines as specifically these materials, and the entire site as a whole (synergy with SEO).
At the same time, you need to understand that your content can be not only textual. Distribution of video reviews, company clips, video instructions, infographics, etc. - all this is included in the concept of effective implementation of content marketing strategy. On our website, for example, we often publish infographics, and, as a rule, these publications have a large number of views and collect more backlinks than other materials.
A bet on the promotion of content of all forms increases the trust of the audience to the brand, creates an aura of a leader around the company with unique expertise in its niche and ultimately raises the level of your sales.
Creating materials. Scalable and non-scalable work patterns
Copywriter - one of the main specialists in the production chain. When a content marketing strategy is implemented by a company independently, then the best option would be to keep several copywriters in the state, rather than using, say, the services of freelance writers. Because in a situation where you are engaged in the production and distribution of branded content in one or even two or three projects of your company, it is beneficial for you to use copywriters who are already immersed in the topic, understand the company's kitchen, are loyal, know all the specialists who can advise on writing this or that material. For the development of the project by the company itself, full-time copywriters are a completely scalable scheme. However, here too much depends on the ratio of the budget allocated to the draft and the tasks set. If you cannot afford to maintain a staff of copywriters as part of the allocated funds (to achieve the goals it is more expedient, for example, to transfer more funds to contextual advertising), then cooperation with freelance copywriters may be a more acceptable and profitable scheme for you.
But when it comes to mass production of content across many diverse projects (namely, we, as an agency, we deal), the only scalable work scheme is the presence of professional editors in the staff and collaboration with a pool of freelance writers. In this scheme, the editor on the basis of interviewing the customer prepares a detailed terms of reference for the freelancer, is responsible for the final quality of the texts, working closely with the authors, sending materials for revision, if necessary.
The only condition for effective work with such a scheme is the careful selection of copywriters and collaboration with trusted authors.
It is not profitable for the Agency to keep a whole staff of copywriters (several authors, of course, must be on staff for solving important and urgent tasks - and we have them) for two main reasons: firstly, the cost of maintaining the number of full-time copywriters that an agency needs to maintain efficient work on projects too high; secondly, with a large amount of work (and it is always huge) any copywriter is exhausted, not a single person can issue 10-12 thousand characters per day of super-quality content, self-repetition and attitude towards work as a mechanical activity begin; quality suffers.
The advantages of this scheme for the agency are obvious:
- Minimizing financial costs.
- The opportunity at any time to refuse to cooperate with the author, the quality of which the agency does not like, and find the best performers.
What way to work with authors to bet you? If you intend to scale up very strongly over a short period of time and go to serious amounts of content, then you should rely on finding good editors in the staff and pool of excellent freelance copywriters (according to such a scheme, large Russian business structures producing content on an industrial scale - for example, Svyaznoy and M-Video). But in case the amount of materials is expected to be small within the next year, then it is better to rely on regular copywriters. Moreover, choose really good, experienced and expensive authors. Believe me, they will recapture their bread very quickly and start increasing the profits of your company.
Placement of materials on sites
Content managers who are responsible for posting materials on customer sites should have serious competencies. Their task is not limited to using the capabilities of the engine. The visual design of the materials should work to improve the user characteristics of the web resource; from this point of view, the site should contain convenient and interesting solutions: the use of graphic inserts, illustrations and signatures, highlighting, original design, etc.
Project Weekly Guides
We are initiated by them, as a rule, by an account manager to coordinate actions on a project for which he is responsible. But we are confident that the weekly weekly meetings, which are summed up and a work plan for the near future is drawn up, are useful to absolutely everyone who is involved in the implementation of content marketing strategy. In our agency, anyone involved in the project can become an initiator of the project. These flyers are useful because:
- each team member may feel responsible for the result
- anyone can make constructive suggestions for improving the work on the project
- this provides flexibility in decision making
- This is how a quick response to a problem occurs.
Measuring the effectiveness of content marketing strategy
Monitoring of indicators that demonstrate the effectiveness of agency actions is conducted by a web analyst based on statistics services data. In our agency, these data are necessary for an account manager to compile a full picture of a particular project, as well as to compile monthly reports. You should always have on your hands all the intermediate results of the project activity in figures: the growth of search traffic, the number of leads - only they create a general picture and understanding of the dynamics, give rise to timely decisions to correct this or that situation.
In our agency, the monthly account manager sends a detailed report to the customer (which uses data and recommendations of web analysts and SEO analysts) describing all the agency's work carried out during the reporting period, data illustrating the development of the project, a detailed and clear picture of the situation. Thus, the effectiveness of content marketing strategy is not something illusory and abstract. It can always be measured in specific numbers. All of them are visible in our client reports.
What metrics need to be monitored? Naturally, all metrics need to be developed taking into account the specifics of your business. But there are basic things without which no one can do. We recommend to take indicators for the following metrics:
- cost of visitor attracted
- attracted lead cost
- speed of the results
- potential traffic in the niche and the bottom of your business
Difficulties at work
Congestion inevitably occurs on the way. Business is a continuous attempt (both successful and not) to cope with another difficulty. We will talk about our difficulties associated with the peculiarities of the client business.
- The customer’s desire to narrow down the semantic core at the stage of preparing a relevance card (“This request is not ours.” Example: you are a representative of a foreign online broker in Russia. Your sales offer does not include shares of Russian companies, but you give your customers the opportunity to conduct transactions with депозитарными расписками на них. Стоит ли исключать при продвижении запрос, например, "акции газпрома"? Казалось бы, стоит. Но на самом деле вы можете собрать трафик по этому запросу, создав материал, посвященный преимуществам торговли де позитарными расписками на акции этой компании. И таких примеров множество).
- Lack of time for interviews with the editor (the client’s speaker cannot provide the information necessary for writing an expert-level article in time, hence the inevitable drop in the quality of the material).
- Long coordination of materials with customers (and this, you understand, is not in the interests of them and our business, since it is here that the traffic is not received well; materials that were agreed in time and published on the website could be of benefit).
These and other difficulties inevitably arise. The main thing is to respond to them in time and solve problems. We try to promptly eliminate the causes of dissatisfaction and conduct permanent consulting work with clients on explaining what results with a specific budget and when we are ready to subscribe and why, explain situations and propose solutions quickly, without fear of trying several solutions a week. Business is a hypothesis test. And you need to check each as quickly as possible. Then the result will not take long.