What's your story?
Updated: Apr 8
4 of 6.
How to structure your content marketing plan around unique and valuable topics.
This is the next article in a series of blogs, which weaves the way through a 5-staged framework for creating a content marketing strategy. Previously, I have given you a broad introduction to content marketing, as well as practical advice and examples of:
How to set actionable marketing goals and objectives to improve your content strategy.
How to create content for your key customers that converts.
This blog looks at the 3rd stage of the framework; Story – what specific, unique, and valuable topics will you build your content around? Many marketers refer to this as pots or buckets of ideas, essentially content resources that you can dip into and adapt into a variety of formats.
Why should anyone listen?
Keep your finger on the pulse.
Choosing topics that help you cut through the noise of sales and marketing promotions out there is key. So, your content should be relevant to your customers and your organisation. It might be an obvious statement to make, but try to keep your content up to date with the changing needs, values, and opinions of your customers. You may have to reassess what is going on in the external environment to discover the key issues and consider the likely impact that PESTLE - political, economic, social, technological, environmental, and legal factors will have on your customers and your organisation.
Let’s say you are a cosmetic company. A relevant topic of content is likely to be animal cruelty. So, you might produce a blog about product development - cruelty-free ingredients and testing.
Differentiate yourself from the competition.
Put your best foot forward and consider exactly what your USP is. What do you most want to be known and recognised for? You should ensure that this is unmatched by your competitors. Taking our example of a cosmetics company, the USP may be that the company donates a percentage of profits to programmes that support endangered animals. Think of the wonderful content that you could create from this! For example, perhaps the organisation has sponsored a programme to recue baby turtles or protect elephants from poachers in the wild.
I’m specifically thinking about https://chantecaille.com/ - “Beauty that gives back” a makeup collection which includes the pictures of endangered wildlife embossed on the products themselves.
Taking inspiration from the marketing mix
The extended marketing mix 7P’s or even the 4 P’s will provide you with content that will help your customers get to know you and keep them up to date. See the table below for some inspiration:
New product launches, product upgrades, product augmentation.
Offers, sales, subscriptions, payment plans.
Campaigns, competitions, seasonal promotions, exhibitions, events.
New store openings, the manufacturing process, museums, training facilities, new corporate headquarters.
New & existing members of the team, subject matter experts, influencers, and advocates.
Improvements to the buying journey, online purchasing upgrades, apps, automated processes, delivery services, quality assurance, behind the scenes.
Merchandise, website launches or updates, new videos, marketing literature, customer reviews and case studies, rebrands.
Like any story, your content needs to be original, entertaining, educational, and full of good characters. Great content, like the best stories out there, should be brave, bold and way ahead of it’s time. It may even be ground-breaking and slightly controversial, while challenging accepted norms and values.