#CNX15 delivered once again with a great panel on producing killer content. Dave Thomas, Sr. Director, Content & Engagement for Salesforce, Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer + Author for MarketingProfs, Chris Penn, Vice President of Marketing Technology for Shift Communications and CC Chapman, Consultant, Speaker, and Author came together to deliver an excellent panel on content marketing.

The panellists broke down content marketing into 3 stages.

Stage 1: Building the strategy. 

Where to start? By understanding your business. From this is where you can develop the objectives behind your strategy. Understanding the competitive landscape will also help you to build your strategy. What are your competitors up to? What are they not doing? And finally, what better way of building a content strategy is there then simply asking your customer or your customer-facing staff what content they need.

Stage 2: Doing the work

Now you have the strategy, it’s time to assess the content you currently produce. 9 times out 10, content marketers don’t need to produce more content they need to produce better content. Ann Handley recommends the So what/ because exercise. Breaking down the needs of the customer will help you identify what content will drive your business forward.

We are all guilty of fearing writing. What if I am a terrible writer? The panel’s advice – don’t over think it. Write bad. Edit well.

Publishing tools such as Pocket or Evernote are your friends. Use these tools to help plan your content and build an editorial calendar.

Stage 3: Analysis of content

We have a content strategy. What we haven’t been able to do is prove the ROI. It’s the ROI I need to get buy-in from my superiors to build on this strategy. It was the tips the panel provided to improve this content strategy that really inspired me today.

The panel ended with a slide entitled – What can you do tomorrow?

So what am I going to do tomorrow?

Firstly, I need something to analyse! So I am going to use Chris Penn’s first-30-days of content plan. Over the next 30 days, I will post different types of content at different times of the day. As a international business, this plan will help me to cover all time zones. This will enable me to analyse reach and engagement.

9AM- Welcome message

12PM- Own media (unique content)

3PM- Shared media 

6PM- Shared media

9PM- Promotional or shared

12PM- Promotional or shared

On top of this, tomorrow I am also going to start identifying Influencers and building a network. This will help me to increase my reach, levels of engagement, help measure if I am aligned with my customers needs and also build data around customer behaviour.

How do I plan on measuring the success of this content plan? I am hoping to see an increase in twitter followers by 100. I would also like to see levels of engagement increase. This will be measured in number of retweets, favourites and mentions.

So check back in 3 days and let’s see what happens!

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