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Earlier this week, we discussed the beginning steps of creating an effective content marketing plan for your brand. We focused on the differences between inbound vs. outbound marketing. We talked about the differences between earned, owned, and paid media. Finally, we touched on determining your audience, and defining buyer personas for your brand.Goooooooooooooooooooal!Today, let’s start digging a little deeper by examining how to set goals and identify objectives central to your content marketing plan. Obviously, your goals for different types of content should be different. If your only goal is to generate sales, then you will probably consider most of your efforts worthless because sales only occur at the very bottom of the sales funnel. It is important to remember that things like blogs, social media posts, and paid advertising are actually great for raising brand awareness early in the sales cycle. Just because not every impression generates revenue doesn’t it make it worthless!Sometimes it is just important to keep your past guests on top of what is happening at your hotel just to create conversation. Other times, you might use your content strategy to let people know about a great promotion that you’re running. To put it in textbook terms, a goal is the object of a person's ambition or effort; an aim or desired result. Some examples of goals in content marketing could include:
Objectification Doesn't Have to Be a Dirty WordOnce you have set your broader goals, it is now time to think about creating objectives for your content marketing plan. Let’s go ahead and define objectives as something more specific and measurable that contribute to your broader goals. Objectives are where numbers and percentages start coming into play and may include:
Channeling Your Company's Inner Cerberus When involved in the process of setting goals and objectives, we highly recommend sitting down with someone besides yourself. Heck, if you can, get a whole group together! The more brains you can put together to see as many sides of the plan, the better. Every person working at different levels on your property have very different perspectives about the hotel and the guests who come there. You might just get a really insightful idea from someone like the bartender who actually gets a lot of face time with your guests.Strategery...Not Just a Bush-ism AnymoreNow that you have defined your goals and objectives for your content marketing strategy, it is time to work on your plan of attack. A strategy, by definition, is any action that you take to carry out a goal or objective. For content marketing these could include:
Taming the Data BeastThe next step is to make sure that you are tracking the results of your efforts. If you are putting out all of this great content, but not measuring the results, then what is the point!? On the other hand, if the content you are distributing is having a negative or minimal effect on your brand, this is also important to monitor. That way you can rework your messaging or strategy to something that is better targeting your audience or engaging them in a different way.Worried that all of that data is going to be confusing or hard to collect? The internet has your back. The web is awash in various tools to measure almost any metric you might need to gauge success or failure. We recommend Google Webmaster Tools, Hootsuite, and other analytical tools used by social media channels. Usually, you should pick beginning and end dates of campaigns (usually the end of the month) and review your progress, adjusting your strategy accordingly.Well so far we have covered creating personas, learning about the basics of marketing and media, and now we are well on our way to implementing one kick butt content marketing strategy. In our next segment, we are going to approach the topics of managing your content, creating a content calendar, and figuring out with distribution channels work best for your brand.Hope to see you there!