The Importance of A Content Marketing Framework

Throughout history, imagery has been at the core of how humans communicate. The human brain deciphers image elements up to 60,000 times faster than it does with language or text; meaning images are processed and understood much quicker.

This makes visual content a no-brainer when it comes to social channels. Today, the marriage of technology and our desire to consume as much information as quickly as possible has awakened this urge to communicate visually.

It is no wonder digital marketers are turning to the image to meet this consumer demand. Yet while sharable visual content is high on the digital marketer’s wish list today, all too often, the actual method of creating or sourcing visual content becomes the focus, and the underlying content marketing framework is forgotten.

This is the most important part of any content marketing strategy – a solid foundation on which a high-volume approach can be built.  

Before embarking on a frenzied quest for more content, take a look at your existing visual content in these three ways to build a foundation for an expanded program in 2015.

1. Assess existing content performance on social channels

Before creating and publishing more visual content, look at what you already have and how it is, or is not, performing across all channels. Run a performance audit over a set period of time, ideally six to 12 months. This audit will bring insights into what works and what does not, and which visual content audiences are engaging with, when. Don’t leave out a deep dive into the data to discover why this is the case. These essential learnings should be part of the foundation of an expanded or new program. 

2. Kick the tires on an existing content marketing framework

It is important to take a critical look at any existing content marketing frameworks or plans already in place by asking questions such as:

  • What are the goals/KPIs? Figure out why this program is in place and define associated goals. What is the business goal that content should ladder up to? Is this lead gen or sales focused, or designed to raise awareness? Will content focus on driving loyalty via social channels? These are all very different states, each of them requiring content to work differently.
  • What is the mission statement? A good mission statement should speak to three components of any successful marketing endeavor: audience, product, and outcome. It should also be as specific as possible. Visual content shared on social channels must also align to a mission statement. Does it?
  • Do content pillars align to overall brand positioning and goal? What are the primary content topics (or pillars) to be covered via this content marketing program? Do these align with what a target audience cares about? All too often this is overlooked.
  • What type of format works? An audience of 19-24 year olds will require different types of visual content than an audience of 35-44 year olds. Being specific about the different types of content that will resonate with your audience will make sourcing and production much easier when that moment arrives.
  • What is the channel plan? Really, creating content is only the first step. Additional thought needs to go into having a planned approach across digital and social channels.
  • Is optimized SEO and paid support in place? All the best content in the world is no use if no one can either find it or see it. SEO and paid support is key to ensuring that visual content is reaching the right person in the right place at the right time.

3. Put the consumer in the middle

This is so important in a digitally distracted age. The consumers on the receiving end of the experiences that marketers are creating are increasingly choosy how they spend their time when engaging with media companies, brands and individuals.

Don’t fall into the trap of assuming to know a demographic and how they engage with content or use social channels.

Usage of social channels shifts and changes very quickly today; these two human pieces of insightful overview on teen use of social channels show how important it is to keep a tab on what an audience is really doing.

Use the digital tools and the marketing smarts amongst a partner network to build out an evolved customer persona and place this at the core of a content marketing framework.

Because all the freshly sourced content in the world is no good if the person at the other end is not interested in it.

What are your tips for success in a content-driven world? 

Gemma Craven's picture

Gemma Craven

Gemma is the Executive Director of Strategic Markets at Spredfast where she leads Spredfast's North American team of Market Directors - social business practitioners and key partners to Spredfast's clients and prospects. She is also a WOMMA board member, runner, and owner of a Boston Terrier named Stella.