Content Marketing Strategy is one of the top initiatives for companies today as they strive to differentiate for market advantage. I recently presented a quick 3 point actionable plan to get started to small businesses at a Chamber of Commerce event and wanted to share this as well with a broader audience.

What’s your story?
People LOVE stories. We all did as kids and we all still love a good story today. Every company has a story. Not a history, but a real life, interesting story. Tell it! How?

First, write your story – it becomes the basis for all other communications. Make it detailed, include facts PLUS emotions, plus lessons learned. If you can’t write well, pay someone to ghost write your story. It should be at least one full page. Make sure your story represents your brand in way that others will believe. Your brand is who other people think you are. If they don’t match, there is other work to be done.

Use story excerpts in your communications. Sprinkle them in where they are appropriate. For instance, brands with great stories that sell product make their story a part of their packaging – either on the box or on a hangtag. Put a piece of your story on your business cards and tell the full story on your web site. This is the most powerful way to make an impact.

Make sure that your employees can tell your story well. They greatly influence your brand building and the success of your content marketing strategy. Think about great brands stories – Ben & Jerry’s, Burts Bees, etc. Learn from them.

Develop consistency across all touchpoints.

Make a touchpoint drawing. List every place that your customer may hear about your company AND what they hear there. For a really detailed dive into this exercise, map out the whole journey. What order would a customer typically be exposed to these touchpoint messages? Does it make sequential sense? If not, reconsider your messaging.

This sounds easier than it is, so you will need intense concentration on this and multiple people’s input to make sure that you have covered them all. Close your eyes, and BE your customer as you do this.

Measure the results. You can only manage what you measure.
Make sure that you have a very clear defined goal for your content strategy. Is it to generate sales, inquiries, leads, quotes, brand awareness? This goal will influence your messaging in a big way and is the only true way to measure the success of your work.

Google analytics is free, so take advantage of it for your digital marketing efforts.

Use customer feedback questions liberally. These do not need to be long surveys, just quick “how are we doing” feedback points will give you valuable insight into the impressions you are creating.

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