The Do’s and Don’ts of Content Development

Now that you’ve established a content marketing strategy it is time to develop content

The concept of content creation and distribution is not a matter of putting pen to paper (or fingers to keys) but a matter of implementing your strategy efficiently. Remember your buyer personas and keywords strategies? This is where we start using them.

Developing content requires you to scope out who you are writing for and outlining a framework and schedule for content development. The trick to good content is to pretend you’re writing for one person and organize your content specifically for that specific individual. If they happen to see your post, or catch the headline of your email, what is it that you want them to know, feel and think?

According to the 2017 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends report by Content Marketing Institute, 70% of B2B marketers say they plan to produce more quality content than in 2016. However, developing quality content can be tricky so follow these key do’s and don’ts throughout your process.

Content Development Do’s

1. Do use a keyword strategy

We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again, you need to use a keyword strategy to properly guide your content. Without a keyword strategy, you are limiting the ability for audiences to search you and you are likely showing up in the wrong places. If you are writing for that one specific person and they are most often searching ‘custom flower arrangements’ but you are writing about ‘purple orchids’ then you won’t even be on their radar. A keyword strategy will help you develop content that your best customer actually cares about, and will drive the most qualified traffic to your website

2. Do use a template to organize your thoughts

From the average B2B marketer, 62% say they use an editorial calendar for their content marketing. This is great. Editorial calendars are awesome tools for organizing the distribution of your content, but what about actually developing your content? A blog template is the most effective content development tool. A template will help organize your thoughts and will overall make your writing stronger and more impactful for your audience.

3. Do figure out where you are going to distribute content and how your audience is going to interact with it

Of course, the most popular channel of distributing content is email. 93% of B2B marketer’s use email to distribute content and 91% consider it the most important channel. However, many people believe that because someone is on your list then they care about you and will automatically read your content but the truth is this channel is difficult to win. You only have one subject line to catch someone’s attention, so make sure you spend time here.

Other popular channels among the average B2B marketer is social media. LinkedIn rated second most important while, YouTube and Twitter are fourth and fifth and Facebook and Instagram came in at seventh and eight. Your best customer should be the deciding factor for which and how many of these social media channels you should be distributing content on. For example, if you are a lawyer, it is most likely that your customers are not searching for you on Instagram or Facebook so do not waste your time here. You always have to think about where your audience is in their buying journey to determine where your content is.

Content Development Don’ts

1. Don’t write for yourself

Sorry folks, your audience doesn’t care about your company picnic. Now that you’ve done all the work on your buyer persona worksheets, make sure you actually use them. Only 69% of B2B marketer’s say they focus on creating content versus their brand and only 50% prioritize providing the right content to the right person at the right time. To develop content that will actually produce results make sure you are considering these concepts while you’re writing. One of your most important content development tools are your buyer personas and only 47% of B2B marketer’s say they use them. Be a better content marketer and organize your content around themes your prospects actually care about.

2. Don’t randomly start writing

As we discussed back in week one of this blog series, you can’t just start randomly churning out blog posts. You not only need to be committed but most importantly you need to have a strategy. Refer to last week’s post, A good content strategy does not fly by the seat of it’s pants to start drafting your strategy if you haven’t already done so.

3. Don’t forget about tracking and reporting

This step is often forgotten. You need to track and measure your content in order to develop future content properly. You should always be checking back on your posts. If a post from 12 months ago generated leads, consider recycling it or writing a new post on a similar topic. If you are not tracking your content success then how will you know how effective your content marketing strategy is?

Content development can be difficult, but by following these tips you will be in top percentile for successful marketers. 52% of B2B marketer’s say blogs will be the most critical for their overall content marketing program to be successful and 76% prioritize delivering quality content over quantity. And they’re right. So, make sure you hop on the band wagon and start developing content for the right audience in the right places.

The statistics of this article can be found in the 2017 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends- North America report conducted by Content Marketing Institute and based on 1,102 respondents who recognize themselves as B2B marketers in North America.