Content marketing provides limitless possibilities for a brand's acquisition and retention efforts. It can be one of the most basic and most cost-efficient means of marketing. On the other hand, it assumes success as it involves nearly every department (from marketing to design to social media to website management, etc.).
With the growing popularity of content marketing, it is easy for one to decide to join the fast-rising trend. One may envision the same kind of success numerous have already experienced in this industry. However, it is never as easy as it seems. Marketers need to stop assuming and start goal-setting.
Here are 10 ways to effectively set up your content marketing goal to ensure success in no time.
1. See it to Believe It
Everything begins with a vision and your content marketing project will definitely need one too. Ironic as it may sound, you need to begin your project by envisioning how you want it to end. Envision that ultimate goal and envision the success you want to achieve. More than giving you a clear perspective of what you need and want to achieve, the idea of your success will help fuel the completion of your project. You may feel a little silly at first, but consider creating a "vision" or "dream" board and hanging it up in your office or shared workspace. Intuit provides six steps for creating one. If you want to keep your vision board a bit more personal, you can use Pinterest.
2. Reduce it to Manageable Steps
Once you get a picture of your ultimate goal, you need to reduce its achievement into small, manageable steps. You don't want to overwhelm yourself and your team. Devise a step-by-step guide that allows you to break down your goal into smaller ones and schedule how you wish to achieve each one of them. Make sure that the cumulative achievement of all these small goals will add up to that ultimate goal you've envisioned in the first place.
3. Thrive in the Positive
In making up your goals and envisioning the future of your content marketing project, you are thriving in the positive. This means envisioning and planning using the positive tone. So, when you envision the future of your project, envision "what it would be" and not "what it should not be." For example, envision that for the next year you must accomplish two of your set goals. Do not set goals that determine what your project shouldn't be. Maintain this positive atmosphere and thrive in it because positivity (and unfortunately the alternative) is contagious.
4. Make a List of Priorities
When you develop the set of small goals you need to achieve, arrange them in a list using urgency as a factor. Arrange them according to how time sensitive these small goals are. Prioritize the ones that need accomplishment immediately. This list will guide you and your team in scheduling the tasks you need to accomplish and when to accomplish them.
5. Note your Progress
It is important to track how far you've gone into the success of your project so develop means by which you can account for how much you've achieved. Make it a consistent part of your goal-setting to develop a mechanism that allows you to both track your achievements and reward yourself for them. (Check out a list of share-worthy content marketing tools, including some for project management.)
6. Don't be Afraid to Fail
Though a pretty abstract piece of advice, this can really prove helpful in the long run. A huge deal of anxiety and distress among the team and the content marketing manager result from a fear of failure. Acknowledge that failing is a possibility and instead of fearing failing, plan for it instead. This is not to say that you envision failure, it merely means that you prepare for it. (Brands should also be thinking about how to optimize their content. See a master list of content optimimzation tools.)
7. Involve Others
You need a team, that goes without saying. Content marketing agencies can provide a lot of assistance but can also be expensive. For companies with limited resources, they may want to ask around the office to see who has writing experience or who is interested in creating content, a lot of times you'll surprised. Interns are also a valuable resource when it comes to content development but do require quite a bit of management. At the end of the day, you will need it from people you trust and believe in. Get members for your team who are excited and able. (Check out some content marketing tips for 2014.)
8. Stick to the Plan
Half of success is making the plan and the other half is sticking to that plan. Whatever goals you have set are useless if you do not follow them. It will be very easy to go astray and say that you will come back to your plan soon, but this repeated attitude can very easily turn into your character. Ensure that you and your team make it an imperative to stick to the plans you've set.
9. Be Flexible
Content marketing trends change. For your plans and goals to stay relevant, be flexible. Know how to move around these trends to avoid the ones that can harm you and use the ones that can help you.
10. Keep your Goal in Sight
It is important that you never lose sight of what you want to achieve. There will be times when things will be very hard for you and the team. Content marketing, like so many things, will not be a smooth sail throughout. In these tough times, keep that vision of success in sight and use it to steer toward the path to success, and in no time, you will surely get there.
About the Author: Aby League is a qualitative researcher and a passionate writer. You can see more of her articles on Elite Daily or follow her on Twitter.