Once you get your foundational layer, your CMS and website design, you need to begin to develop content that will be appealing to your audience. Usually this means “thought leadership” and “how to’s.”
The first step is to look at your website sections that are specific to a particular service line or product line and get a group of people with the energy to develop content that will be interesting to your audience. In a large organization a signular department in marketing can’t take on the task of developing all thought leadership, expecially in a service industry. You need your subject matter experts to join the writers on a regular basis to develop that thought leadership.
It’s a group activity. There should be a group of subject matter experts and one or two marketing people that meet monthly to review the calendar and analytics of how many downloads thought leadership gets each month. We recommend a group be involved so the burden of creation isn’t always on the same people. It’s wise to bring in outside experts as well.
I recommend starting with a Content Calendar, and plan for 6 months of content creation. Determine what content ideas should be developed each month, who is responsible as the subject matter expert and who the writer will be to help write the content. It could be an articles, white papers, case studies, webinars, and podcasts.
If finding a writer is a problem, look to freelancers and journalism students looking to fill a portfolio. The subject matter expert provides the technical information and the journalist helps make it readable so it isn’t just a technical piece unless it’s meant to be a technical paper.
As you develop the content, you should be thinking about headlines, keywords and make sure any use of PDFs leverages the “properties” fields to make it easy for search engines find the piece. But we put the individual articles in a singular HTML page with RSS feeds as well. Helps with concentration around keywords.
Understanding if your content is getting dowloaded is important – it’s how you will make decisions around what to continue to write about. Let the audience tell you what they want. Once you get on a roll and begin developing content on a regular basis, providing analytics for decision making, you will find that others want to join in and help.
Why do they want to help, because it’s the authors (the subject matter experts) that you promote through a short bio in the thought leadership. These experts become your “media darlings” for promoting to the press.
That’s what I will write about next, syndicating content and promoting your thought leadership.