Do you need to pivot your content marketing strategy? It’s a safe bet that – in thinking about your business in the COVID era we’ve so quickly found ourselves in – you’ve probably encountered at least one of these three thoughts:

  1. I’ve found entirely new opportunities in my market or new markets.
  2. My market(s) have dried up and my business must pivot.
  3. Now is a good time to take some initiatives off the drawing board and launch them.

The good news is that you have a goal to adapt; but do you and your team know how to get there? 

If Not Now, When?

Now, more than ever, digital interaction with your customers is critical in taking on new campaigns. I believe that content marketing will be a critical enabling tool to implement your new marketing strategy and create engaging “through the glass” experiences for your customers, but before you do that, you must define your strategy, evaluate the ROI and get everyone in your organization on board.

My team has worked with several organizations over the last 8 weeks to reimagine their offerings with new content approaches. Two in the non-profit space we can share:

    1. Stamford Innovation Week, a week-long festival in September serving almost 5,000 people, that has no certainty about when we will get our speakers together in a room. We quickly pulled together a series of digital video talk shows featuring innovators and are working on additional “products” for our attendees.
    2. We also have helped amplify the efforts to make the Stamford Symphony Channel a viable alternative to classical music lovers.

A Systematic Approach

My Publisher’s M.O.7-by-7 approach outlined in The New Content Culture is a great place to start. The method boils initiatives like these down to a handful of resources, processes, and tasks that will get you started right now. We offer worksheets to set a creative direction, gather your critical information, and organize your plan. You may have already done some of these steps, so pick and choose what you need. Moreover, you don’t necessarily have to do them in any particular order. 

What is important is that your strategic planning work is creative, thorough, and considers your efforts in the context of your competitive and environmental factors. 

Nine Action Items to Pivot Your Marketing Strategy, Create Your Content and Media Strategy and Generate Awesome Customer Experiences

1) Strategy Session

Develop your strategy and align your team, because nothing good ever happens unless you know what you’re doing, AND everyone works toward the same goal. You need worksheets that assign action items, assign tasks, and track progress.

2) Research the new target market and customers

Use market and customer insights to develop a fictionalized description of your ideal buyers. These buyer personas help you target your messages to your market’s specific needs, and help decision-makers discover you.

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3) Define your content strategy and ROI

Your first questions: Why? And So What? Next: What will you say? To whom? How will you say it? What are the team roles?? Now it’s time to build a return on investment (ROI) that demonstrates how your budget is an investment — not an expense. Your ROI model will provide you the framework for understanding which content types are working, which are not, and allow you to adjust your tactics. Post-launch, your ROI model will tell you how well your strategy is working, and where you need to adjust. (Download your free ROI calculator.)

4) Establish measurable objectives for each tactic

Keep your team aligned and your marketing personas front and center. Define action items and track the results. Each message must push people to a call to action (CTA), and each response to your CTAs must be captured in your marketing automation and content management systems. 

5) Validate SEO

If the search engines cannot find your content, then you will miss inquiries, leads, and potentially, a significant revenue stream. An SEO assessment allows you to optimize your content to your market’s opportunities and pain points.

6) Develop new content and refresh existing content

Your content hub’s articles, videos and images will generate awareness and demand in your market, influence decisions, generate leads, and keep your brand top-of-mind with customers.

7) Develop new marketing collateral

Take a look at your fact sheets, FAQs, catalogs, brochures, and any other printed or digital material that you use regularly. What is outdated? Reformat or digitize shorter printed pieces. Refresh digital pieces with new images or current data that informs and influences.

8) Establish an editorial team and meet regularly 

If your content is your “marketing rocket,” then your editorial team is mission control. Your team must meet regularly, review results, and identify new pieces of content. Your worksheets from Step 1 will be your editorial team’s touchstone.

9) Identify external expertise

Your team is brilliant and hard-working. But they may not have all of the skills you need. Consider outside experts who can help you implement your strategy. These include freelancers, writers, designers, social media influencers, bloggers, videographers. Upgrading your marketing automation is another key area. For smaller companies, a fractional chief marketing officer can pull any and all of these nine steps together.

The Devil is in the Details

You know what your organization has to do next, but the devil is in the details. Publio has the resources and people you need to sort out the details, fill in your blanks, and capture the opportunities that you’ve identified to get your content initiatives off the ground.

We’re here to help you pivot your content marketing strategy. Let’s hop on Zoom to discuss your goals and objectives. Good luck, stay safe, stay put.

(Photo Credit: Jukan Tateisi; Collaborating Editor: Gregory Pings)