The Content Marketing Cycle
So you’ve created a shiny new piece of content as a marketing strategy.
Hopefully, it is something that will attract the attention of, and provide value to, your potential customers.
Your shiny new piece of content might be:
- A magazine that provides inspiration (like the annual Ikea catalogue, or the RACQ magazine);
- a cook book (like the Dairy Australia one in my kitchen);
- a calendar (like the one your local mechanic gives you each Christmas); or
- a Youtube video or blog post on 3 ways to get the most out of your product.
As you can see from the list above, content marketing is certainly not limited to the digital world.
Celebrate Your Achievement
Producing a shiny new thing takes time and effort, so it’s important to celebrate that achievement. You might enjoy a glass of bubbly, or treat yourself to a mani-pedi, to reward yourself.
However, it would be a mistake to relax, thinking it’s all done and dusted – because the truth is, you are still in the early stages of the content marketing cycle.
The Content Marketing Cycle
Ideally, the content marketing cycle should follow the steps below:
- LISTEN – What is your audience saying? What questions are they asking? What information do they need? You can do this by asking them directly, through surveys, or you could hang out in online forums, to see what their pain points are.
- PLAN – Once you know the problems your customers have, it’s time to plan your “shiny new thing”. What format will it take? How will it look? What will it cost?
- CREATE – Production time! Are you going to create the shiny new content, is there somebody in your team with the right skills and experience, or should you outsource? You want your shiny new thing to give the right impression to your customers, so make sure it is professional.
- PUBLICISE & PROMOTE – This is where many business owners become complacent. They’ve created their shiny new thing and now they just have to wait for it to be discovered. Um, no. Don’t make the mistake of producing a great piece of content, and then moving on. You have to get out there to publicise and promote it! So how can you spread the word?
- ANALYSE – Time has passed, so it’s time to review and see how well your Shiny New Thing did. Was there much audience takeup? How did people find out about it? What sort of feedback did customers give? How could it be improved?
- REPEAT – As you LISTEN to what your audience is saying, you’re back at Step 1 of the Content Marketing Cycle. Perhaps it will lead you to produce a whole new version of your Shiny New Thing, or give you ideas for the next!
Building a Fire with Content Marketing
Think of content marketing as the kindling in the fireplace. Promotion is the spark that lights the fire and creates the results you want – attracting attention, creating warmth, and giving light to your customers.