You’re making a list and checking it twice, you want to find a way to make your brand look nice. A great content marketing team makes your strategy more round. They find you leads through storytelling, introducing readers to your brand, by exposing the human elements that make your company grand.
Feel free to merrily singing along while I show you how to start on that holiday wish list for carrying your company branding and marketing strategy successfully through the new year by incorporating content. No really, it’s not too later! No matter how you celebrate the holiday season, take a look at this list of must-haves and to-dos when looking for a great content marketing team:
Ready, set… goals
Now hold your horses. I said it was not too late to get that content marketing wishlist together but you cannot just go around signing teams on to get your voice heard without knowing what you want to say.
Start by determining your goals. Get with a team of trusted peers and leaders to develop an outline of what services you want before you start scouting for a content marketing team. Be prepared to answer these questions
- What do you want and what do you actually need?
- Do you want to reach more readers on bustling business outlets?
- Do you need to gain more followers on social media?
- Do you want your website to skyrocket to the top of Google searches?
- Would you like to start a home blog on your website or accumulate newsletter subscribers?
- Are you just looking to improve your employer branding and recruiting efforts to grow your business in the coming year?
Once you have a tentative plan for where you want to go, you’ll be able to rein in a team that has the specialties you need to get there. You may not know if you need help with search engine optimization (SEO), what an infographic (IG) is, or you might think tweeting is a way to call a partridge from a pear tree but if you, at least, know what you want to achieve, a great content marketing/PR team will know what specialists you need.
Lead with a strong team
Whether it’s the prancing of reindeer or just a wintry sleigh ride through Central Park, one thing remains true: if you don’t have a unified and specialized team leading the way, it’s going to be a bumpy ride and your strategy will run amiss.
Your organization may already have a marketing and media communications team that simply needs to extend their reach. On the contrary, you may need to outsource your content and media marketing entirely. Either way, the team you hire to help boost your brand recognition needs to function with your company mission and values in mind.
Create a checklist of business characteristics you feel fit best with your organization’s culture. Remember, this content marketing team will be in constant communication with your team — the two must align. It’s not likely you’ll find a content marketing team that meets all of your demands, so prioritize your list and determine what your cut-off is for minimum consideration.
Do you value people and relationships first? Do you want to be involved in every process or prefer to take a more relaxed approach? Do you work best with a team that takes orders or offers ideas? Think of a content marketing team not as an outside source you tolerate to get the job done, but rather as an extension of your existing team, making it stronger and more cohesive.
Breathe passion into your story
Pushing products and services down the public’s throat is not a great way to give consumers a taste for your brand. In fact, they are more likely to develop an aversion to your company. The best way to demonstrate the value of what you have to offer is to connect with people in a real and genuine way.
Craft a story that shows your mission and values in action. This gives readers the opportunity to develop trust in your brand. It’s essential that your content marketing team relates to and gets behind your vision for how this story unfolds.
A great way to determine how well a content marketing team will tell your company’s story is to see what you take away from theirs. Look to see how well you connect with their brand. Compare their journey and end goals to your team’s to assess whether you share the same degree of passion.
Where do they come from? Who makes up their team, and why are they committed to their company’s mission? What drew you to them? Chances are if it’s their story, you’ve found a team that can effectively tell yours.
Become the source of information and inspiration
Sure, having a powerful and relatable story will catch your audience’s attention. But if you really want to make waves in your industry through your content, you need to become the source of groundbreaking data and information. The best way to do this is to perform your own research.
There are plenty of paid, do-it-yourself survey services you can use to perform relevant research, like Survey Monkey, Typeform, and Pollfish. Or you can even use free services like good ol’ Google Forms. Your company may already be using exit surveys and gathering employee and consumer data.
Take that one step farther by polling your peers and your audience to build out a content marketing strategy on the topics that resonate best. Not only that but also you can perform research that validates your position as a thought leader. You have the ability to fill gaps and offer data-backed solutions. It’s as simple as A, B or all of the above.
You might not have the time or talent on your team to perform, analyze, and promote original research, but a skilled content marketing team will. You want to look for a team that specializes in developing a research strategy that will make you a forerunner in your industry. And they should be able to see it through to design and successful media coverage of your results.
Now, pour yourself a hot cup of cocoa and make that wish list. The holidays are fast approaching and if branding tops your New Year resolutions, you’ll want to unwrap the tools and team you need to start the year out right.