the blueprints to success

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Building a solid content marketing strategy is not unlike building a house.  Both require basic construction knowledge, and each needs to be raised upon a solid foundation to guarantee success.  If you were building a physical building, you wouldn’t just start haphazardly driving nails into any available 2×4 you come across, nor would you start pouring concrete without any idea of what shape the final edifice might assume.

This is why you generally find sets of blueprints at construction sites.  Similarly, building a solid and successful content marketing strategy requires foresight, planning, and successful implementation to ensure that the structure that eventually emerges is the one that was envisioned prior to any construction activities commencing.

Blueprints Begin with Brainstorming…

For business owners struggling to erect an online marketing persona, those blueprints are contained within a viable strategic plan designed to guide your progress forward.  Again, just as the blueprints for an A-frame house will vary considerable than those designed to guide construction of a Ranch-style dwelling, so too should your strategic marketing plan take the form designed to achieve your business goals.

Step One…

As such, step one involves defining your goals.  Is the purpose of your strategy to drive direct sales or is lead generation your primary motivator?  Conversely, is your goal to reach out to, heretofore, loyal customers to ensure consumer retention?  A clearly articulated goal, established at the outset of the process, is critical to a smooth building process and efficient building site.

Step Two…

In the same way that a contractor understands the characteristics of the materials they are working with, so too should the entrepreneur understand the characteristics of their customers.  Therefore, step two involves a realistic assessment of the motivation that drives your customer’s decision making process.  Towards that end, any brainstorming activity needs to put customer behavior at the front and center of any strategic marketing planning session.

Based on past interactions with customers, identify what factors acted as a spur to buying decisions, and which served as a barrier for your customer.  This must be an honest appraisal of your business model that examines both the good and the bad about customer interactions.  Being in the trenches, you and your employees understand the importance of customer dynamics and step two demands a fuller understanding of the motivating forces at work.

Step Three…

Following the detailed analysis you’ve arrived at in step two, testing those theories becomes the next step in ensuring that your strategic marketing plan, which you are developing is indeed set on a firm foundation.  Anecdotal evidence aside, to truly feel confident in the path you wish to proceed requires backing up your suppositions with hard facts.  As they say, “If fishes were wishes, we would all die of mercury poisoning.”  That said, arriving at concrete metrics to gauge the validity of your marketing approach is critical.

This validation will come from a variety of sources, but will arrive on the back of your solid research skills.  There’s no shortage of resources when it comes to trying to fathom and define consumer actions.  From white papers to conferences to blog posts to articles, there is a mountain of data to parse through to arrive at an understanding of customer motivation, but doing so will ensure that the structure you eventually erect will be solidly built.

randy bowden – t | f | g+

(image:123RF)

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