26/04/2013 09:18 BST | Updated 26/06/2013 06:12 BST

Creating Content? Think Before You Publish

Tobes Kelly, Raconteur Media's Head of Custom Publishing division, in the first of a three-series post on content:


My job title used to be Head of Publishing. These days, everywhere I turn, it seems that marketing managers, business unit leaders, and even CEOs should be adding this to their job title with the immense growth in 'brand publishing'. More content (as long as it's better) is good for business. But coming from a publishing background, I do see brands making mistakes. Those mistakes will cost - because content is, ultimately, the best opportunity to create thought leadership in your space. So I wanted to focus a post on sharing with you my experiences of late in the ever-changing content marketing landscape.

There are three easy-win ideas to help you pull together a strategy that is going to yield some tangible results. From my experience as a publisher, training for this marathon activity starts with asking some deep questions.

1. What are our core values?

2. What differentiates us from our competitors?

3. Who is our audience?

4. What can we do better?

Let's start with blogs. Creating content in this format and sharing it across social media channels will help you increase brand awareness, build customer loyalty through increased engagement and increase incoming enquiries by getting more people to actively engage and respond to you. But a content campaign is going to take solid planning and steady work. So, what does a 'good campaign' entail?

1. Gain the support of your management: building strong relationships with your company's experts and leaders will give you a smorgasbord of opinions, voices, and storytellers to choose from - and will ensure the blog supports your company's business goals.

2. Develop a robust and diverse content calendar, and then promote your blogs and bloggers everywhere. Put links in your company signature line, share them socially, make sure they are accessible from the company home page.

3. Create clear guidelines and communicate regularly with your bloggers: Share page views and open rate metrics with them. After they've written a blog, identify ongoing opportunities for them to contribute within the forums.

4. Don't use your content to sell: Leave the "marketing message" for your company websites. Use this medium to educate customers on industry trends and foster peer-to-peer relationships and problem solving.

5. Be authentic: Engage real people to write real blogs.

6. Set up analytics: Nothing convinces management of value-add like numbers do. You want to be able to point to the number of visitors, clicks, comments, etc. Add tracking to show that visitors turn into leads, conversions, and sales.

Remember that blogging is just one instance in which you can create great content to achieve business goals. Whatever your platform or format, make sure content is authoritative, written by the best people and original.

Stay tuned for more about the advantages of making and sharing an editorial calendar for your content and an in-depth look at creative ways to leverage your content.