Content Boot Camp Day Two: Making a Plan
You’re energized, you’re ready to get your team involved with content, you can’t wait to see what better content is going to do for your products and brand. So…..now what? Momentum and excitement has pushed many a marketing team into positive territory, but it eventually fades out – and often takes action down with it. You need a plan for content to work – it can be a simple handful of goals or an intricate system with key performance indicators factored in, but the most important thing is to have one in the first place. It’s time to head to day two of Content Boot Camp. (Don’t miss day one!).
You may or may not have heard of “SMART” goals before – it’s an acronym that stands for five attributes successful goals share: namely that they are all Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely. How does this translate to your content and copy creation strategies?
- Specific: In professional negotiation tactics, individuals are cautioned to avoid absolutes, because they can be demoralizing and are often misleading. Saying that you will improve “all” your content may sound great at the onset, but it’s extremely vague when it comes to taking action. For example, what counts as content? Product descriptions? Meta page text? Corporate about us pages? Determine exactly what you want to improve, down to the optimal word count, and put your expectations in a place where your entire team can reference, preferably in the cloud so that even remote team members can refer to it.
- Measurable: Now that you know what you want to change in your content, how fast do you want to change it? Setting a reasonable pace is important to keep the proverbial train on the tracks and moving forward. While it may be tempting to set a big goal at the end of a long time period – e.g. a month, or even a year – it’s much better for productivity to state your goals in a weekly format, instead. It will help your team stay focused on details instead of feeling overwhelmed by the big picture.
- Attainable: This concept will sneak up on you if you aren’t careful. When competition gets to a fever pitch and your team has their “heads in the game,” you’d do wise to heed the words of the incomparable Han Solo: don’t get cocky, kid. While it’s good to celebrate your content goal achievements and successes, remember to keep a watchful eye on your team for overwork and burnout. A little challenge is good, but coming to work shouldn’t feel like scaling Everest every day to your content team: observe the volume level that triggers their best “brisk but comfortable” pace and feed them tasks accordingly.
- Relevant: One of the biggest misconceptions when it comes to creating or overhauling content is that more is always better. Yes, it’s true that a healthy padding of on-page content and blogs can help recognition, but diverting your content team’s energy into doing a little bit of everything will earn you exactly that: a little bit of recognition, a little bit of sales, and so on. Concentrate efforts and do your best not to divert effort and energy mid-project: it can be jarring for a content creator hitting their groove and frustrating if it’s done too often.
- Timely: Remember those weekly goals? This is why they’re important. Writing and writing and writing without timely implementation will leave you with buckets of content that will likely be outdated by the time it goes live. Instead, capture your audience’s attention with steady content roll-outs: they’ll come to look for these frequent updates and you’ll cement brand loyalty just by being consistent with your implementation – really!
Content Creation Tip Takeaways
Here’s the second important rule you’ll learn in content boot camp:
Rule # 2: Not All Content Is Good Content
Think of content creativity like gas in a car – you can go in any direction you want to, but you can only go so far before it runs out. Put your time and effort into content that your audience actually wants and responds to: that means figuring out the most popular platform (blogs, social media, webpages, etc), and aiming your content towards your largest and most enthusiastic demographic. To paraphrase an old bit of wisdom from research and development, it’s not about what you want to write, it’s about what your audience wants to – or needs to – read.
It’s Time to Get Out On the Battlefield
Now that you’ve figured out your content plan, it’s time to put it to work. This stage is where things start to get a little nerve-wracking, so make sure you continue to read up in our third installment of Content Boot Camp: Charging Into Battle – it has the information you’ll need to stay the course, read the road ahead, and stick to your guns when things get a little rocky.
Delany M is a well-rounded freelancer with an emphasis in product descriptions, landing pages and articles. With over a decade of experience to her credit, she has enjoyed writing for national chain retailers, small e-commerce boutiques and a wide range of service providers. She prides herself in going “beyond the word” to capture the essence of a brand or company, ensuring copy that is as noteworthy as the goods and services her clients provide.