Step 1  Commit

Make your commitment to content marketing.  The journey you are about to embark upon will use up time, resources and money, and you’ve got to be prepared for the fact that you may not see immediate results.  Set your budget.  You need to prepare yourself and start to think like a publisher.  You need to deliver fresh, useful editorial products to your audience; you are no longer merely selling products or services.  Get it right, and the results can be phenomenal, but you already know that or else you wouldn’t be reading this.

Step 2  Profile

Step 2 is perhaps the most crucial; it may require a lot of effort but unless you determine the needs of your audience, you can’t provide what they want.  This is often more difficult and more involved than it first seems.  Create a customer profile, determine who your customers are, what they want, what motivates them and what type of content they’d find useful.

In other words, determine what their informational needs are.

Step 3  Goals

Define your content goals.  What do you want your audience to do?  Where do you want them to go?  What are the desired outcomes?  How will this be measured?  If you don’t clearly define what the desired outcomes are, you’ll find it difficult to measure performance and effectiveness.

Step 4  Create

In step 4 you start to turn your earlier efforts into a working project.  First, decide on the products and content mix.  Once you know what you want you’re in a position to approach outside companies such as a freelance content writer, video marketer or graphic designer.  Alternatively, you can set up a team in-house.  If you are unsure about what types of content would work best or what’s available, now’s a great time to get some advice.

You will need to consider your budget limitations too.  As well as knowing what and who, you need to determine how much and how often.  Ensure you have a method in place to measure the success of your of your campaign at this stage.

Step 5  Deliver

You’ve formed your content based on your customer needs and have defined your desired outcomes.  Now it’s time to start publishing.  Once again, you may opt to do it in-house or outsource the publishing of your carefully crafted content.  The nature of your web content will determine where it can be published.  Make sure you’re getting the most from your content.

Step 6  Measure

In steps 3 and 4 you defined specific goals for your content with a view to measuring its successfulness and put that into practice.  Measure everything you can but also evaluate the campaigns success as a whole.  You may want to revisit steps 2 onwards, if you find certain elements within your mix didn’t work so well.