Cadence9® subscribes to the notion that delivering valuable, non-interruptive content on a consistent basis can lead to consumer action, establishing your brand as a thought leader, lead generation, increased direct sales, and improved customer retention. We’ve defined and documented the processes required for efficient coordination of the many moving parts your organization will need to manage as you bring a content marketing strategy to life – we call this process the content marketing lifecycle.
Cadence9’s® business practices and technology are rooted in the concept that our primary purpose is to create technical and tactical efficiencies to facilitate these lifecycle activities by “Orchestrating Content Marketing”. Our content marketing software, c9 prime™, provides the ability to plan, publish, engage and measure from a single platform. Development of the features in c9 prime™ is also focused around the methodology of the Content Marketing Lifecycle as described below.
7 Steps of the Content Marketing Lifecycle:
Goals, Plan, Calendar, Produce, Publish, Engage and Measure.
Step 1 – Goals: Goals are statements of what your business wants to accomplish. Goals should be specific and measurable so you can see progress toward your goals and know when the goals have been met or when change may be required. Content marketing ultimately feeds both search and social behavior so the types of goals possible can generally be grouped into three key outcomes:
- Visibility and Brand Awareness – being known and recognized
- Engagement – two-way communication, relationship building
- Inbound Opportunities – generating leads, conversion to sales
Step 2 – Plan: Once you have goals in place, you now need to plan your content creation. First, define your target audience/s so you know who you are talking to and when, where and what they would like to read, see and hear. What media channels do your customers use, what are their pain points and questions, how do they search, i.e., what keywords do they use? Can you build out a customer persona for who your best customer is?
This information translates into topics and content categories that will provide relevant information for your readers–exactly what you will talk about to engage your audience and develop relationship. Content topics should be built around what interests your audience and what they need to know about you to finally determine that you are the best source for what they need.
Step 3 – Calendar: Your editorial calendar is the tactical framework that will guide successful execution of content creation and publication. It allows you to map out your content ideas in advance, 3-6-9-12 months, to help visualize editorial topics and ideas. You can chart topics, audiences, media distribution channels, keywords and content format, as well as assign roles and responsibilities for content creation, approval, submission and publication.
With the calendar in place, you can tell, at a glance, when production is on schedule, where adjustments need to be made to accommodate additional topics or types of content, or which media channels are being under-utilized to reach your target audience and prospects.
Step 4 – Produce: Always produce the very best product that you can; stress quality content over quantity. You need relevant, informational, interesting content that will fully engage and entertain your audience for all channels you use.
Considerations that impact content creation include: channels you publish to requiring different formats, the amount of information to be dispersed, types of content to create, who are our writers/creators of content, meeting the publish dates, and use of a prescribed style manual to control presentation and branding.
Step 5 – Publish: Pushing your content out to your social media channels should have some thought behind it. Just because you can put your content on every social media site out there, doesn’t mean you should. Your goal is to build an audience to engage with. Spreading content across unnecessary and unmaintained channels could even produce a negative effect on your content. Make sure that all published content has links and action points that direct users back to your website. You want to ensure maximum visibility from everything you post online; Timing is also a big consideration in effective publishing. Know the optimum time to post to the different media channels where you publish content to achieve
Step 6 – Engage: You publish your content with the expectation that your audience and network will respond and connect with you. Every post and publication should have a touch point built in to connect back to you. Ways to engage include:
- Continuously expand your connections by following and connecting to others and groups (both online and offline) where your content will be relevant
- Promote a recent post via personal emails and email blasts
- Ask your contacts to comment and/or share the post
- Ask “friends and family” to curate your post to their networks
These engagements can take such forms as praise, questions, complaints, product or service suggestions, testimony, sharing a story, or seeking employment. Every communication presents an opportunity for your company, and how you handle each interaction is important to relationship building. Respond in a timely manner, directly addressing whatever the issue may be. Your goal is a satisfied customer or turning a prospect into a customer.
Step 7 – Measure: Measurement is the process of assessing the results of your content marketing strategy—did you reach your stated goals or are you at least making progress in the right direction?
With all the programs available today, such as Google Analytics, Scribd, Alexa, Mention.net, bitly, etc., there is no end to what you can measure. With an abundance of statistics at your hands its important is to define and measure those data metrics that are critical to the success factors of your own organization. You want to focus on metrics that add the most value to your business and not spend much time on the rest.
When your content marketing goals were determined, you should have put Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in place to track those things directly related to measuring your goals. That could mean tracking any of the following:
- website visits, page views, length of stay
- video views
- document, eBook downloads
- lead generation, conversion rate
- sales, order volume, order frequency
- length of sales cycle
- inbound links
- social shares, social chatter
- user signups for email newsletters, webinars, podcasts
- participation in contests or polls
By evaluating data on a regular basis, you can see what goals are being met and where you may be missing the mark. This process provides the ongoing opportunity to adjust or restructure what you’re doing that isn’t working, as well as providing confirmation on what is moving you along in the right direction.
c9 prime™ has been developed as a content marketing platform to orchestrate your content marketing activities by managing all 7 steps of lifecycle in in a single solution. If you have questions about how we can help you with your efforts or how other businesses are using our technology to increase efficiencies and accelerate their content marketing success, we invite you to schedule a discovery call at your earliest convenience. Schedule a call