Sustain momentum in content marketing

Top 100 Content Marketing Question: Content marketing is ongoing – how do you sustain momentum?

To sustain momentum in content marketing:

  • Understand what buyers need and want.
  • Build an audience-centric content calendar.
  • Add other people’s voices.

1. Understand what buyers need and want

Content marketing is driven by the needs of your audience, not by the needs of your brand. That sounds simple but putting it into practice bedevils marketers.

Two out of three marketers always or frequently put customers’ content needs first, a recent Content Marketing Institute (CMI) study shows. That’s a smart approach!

CMI 2019 B2C content marketing concepts taken into account for creation
Sustain momentum in content marketing by putting audience needs first.

To find out what your audience needs and wants from content, successful marketers use insights from buyer persona research. Why?

Because buyer persona research works like X-ray glasses to let you see what’s happening beneath the surface.

CMI 2019 B2C content marketing persona usage
Only half of marketers use buyer persona research. Others miss the key insights needed to sustain momentum with content marketing.

To find content topics that resonate best with buyers, perform buyer persona research. Ten 30-minute interviews will give you deep insight into certain questions:

  • What started buyers looking for a new solution to their problem?
  • What were buyers’ pain points, worries, needs and questions?
  • Which information did buyers seek, and where did they find it?
  • Which obstacles did buyers encounter, and how did they overcome them?

As you do persona research, keep asking: What drives buyers to content in your industry?

Do buyers care most about content tied closely to your product, to related topics, or to themselves?

In some categories, such as musical instruments and travel, customers hold a very tight bond with the product — even deriving identity from it. In others, buyers care more about a business topic or career success.

5 insights into buyer personas
Buyer persona research offers you deep insights into buyers’ information habits, so you can sustain momentum with content marketing.

To help buyers tune into your content, find a content hook. It might be content about buyers’ aspirations, their business needs or their purpose, passion or cause.

To sustain momentum in content marketing:

  • Help buyers build a relationship with your brand.
  • Make it easy to subscribe to your content.
  • Invite buyers on a step by step buyers’ journey.

2. Build an audience-centric content calendar

Now that you know which content makes your buyers tick, build an editorial content calendar around their needs.

To sustain momentum in content marketing, create irresistible high-value content. Fill in your editorial calendar in this order:

  • Your content base: Create the single piece of content that delivers what your audience needs in a bigger or more unique way than competitors’ content. For example, Andy Crestodina’s book Content Chemistry is updated annually, and it’s now in its 5thedition.
  • Mega-content: Heidi Cohen encourages marketers to create an e-book, guide or other mega-content quarterly. As you build your 2019 content calendar, start with mega-content. For example, I offer an e-bookFast-Forward Your Content Marketing.
Fast-Forward Your Content Marketing
Learn 7 ways to fast-forward your content marketing with this free E-book.
  • Calendar-driven content: Next, map out big events that affect buyers in your industry and peg content to these events. Events include holidays, trade shows, speeches, meetings, buying seasons, and reminders of upcoming events. For example, See’s Candies drives its content calendar with reminders of when to buy chocolates as a gift.
See's National Lollypop Day
What holiday can you celebrate or invent to sustain momentum for content marketing?
  • Evergreen content: Create timeless content that buyers can refer to again and again. Even better, tie evergreen content specifically to each of the 4 steps in the buyers’ journey. For example, I’m answering marketers’ Top 100 Questions about content marketing in this series of blogs.
Evergreen Content
To sustain momentum in content marketing, freshen evergreen content with a news hook.
  • Consistent content: Your daily, weekly, bi-weekly or monthly blog delivers subject-matter expertise with regularity. Over time, consistent blogging builds a library of content to help you build a base of subscribers. For example, Seth Godin blogs every day.
  • Newsy content: Monitor news about your buyers, company and industry so you can tie your evergreen content to today’s news. Hijack other companies’ news, ride trend stories, and work with your public relations colleagues to generate news. For example, Symantec rapidly generates blogs when a major security breach affects its customers.

3. Add other people’s voices

When you add other voices into your content marketing, you give people more reasons to tune in to your content stream.

“Who’s really looking forward to your next blog?” asks Andy Crestodina.

To sustain momentum in content marketing, cite other people in your content. Invite quotes and contributions from influencers, subject-matter experts, customers, analysts and journalists.

Stay on message
Who will you share the microphone with? Add other voices to your content to sustain momentum in content marketing.

Over time, shift content from a monologue – your company talking to buyers – to a multifaceted dialogue, including:

  • Buyers and customers quoted in your content.
  • Buyers giving direct feedback to your company.
  • Buyers talking to other buyers, as they do in the Spiceworks community.
  • Buyers co-presenting in webinars.
  • Active Q&A with buyers during workshops, speeches and live or virtual events.
  • User-generated content.

To sustain momentum in content marketing:

  • Understand what buyers need and want.
  • Build an audience-centric content calendar.
  • Add other people’s voices.
Top 100 content marketing questions
Here are answers to marketers’ top 100 questions about content marketing.

“Content marketing is ongoing – how do you sustain momentum?” is one of marketers’ Top 100 Questions about content marketing. Here are the answers.