In this book, the duo has developed a content marketing framework that works for businesses of all sizes in all industries -- and you can rest assured these content rules will, well, make your content rule.
To truly succeed with content marketing, every business owner and marketer needs to have a firm understanding of what makes quality content and the process of publishing – whether that be blogs, videos, social media, videos, eBooks, or any other format.
No matter how much (or how little) experience you have to start with, after reading Content Rules, you’ll be able to plan, create, and publish content like a professional media company -- but on a fraction of the budget.
As marketers, we aren’t publishing content because it’s the latest trend; We’re doing it for the same reasons we do anything – to generate more business.
Handley and Chapman are in the same boat and rather than simply sharing a set of instructions, they help you understand why publishing content matters and how to do it most effectively.
A Simple Game Plan for Creating Great Content
Before you start creating new content, you need to research who you’re going to be targeting with your content. After all, you can’t provide value to your buyer personas if you don’t know what kind of content they find valuable.
Once you understand who you’ll be targeting, you can decide what the overall theme of your content will be – the message you want to send, the problems you want to solve, etc.
Use these easy-to-follow editorial tips to get started.
1. Organize Existing Content in a Spreadsheet
To begin, the authors suggest starting with a full inventory of your existing content if you have any. (It’s easier when you aren’t starting from scratch, but it’s no big deal if you haven’t created any content yet.)
Create a simple spreadsheet with the titles, URLs, and topics discussed. It’s also useful to make note of which content is driving traffic for your already.
Once you’ve got a clear picture of your existing content, you can keep the quality stuff and delete the content that doesn’t serve any value – you won’t be needing it anymore.
2. Create Your Publishing Schedule
Now that you’re a professional content publisher, you need to have an editorial calendar.
Here are IMPACT, we use HubSpot’s built-in Content Calendar, but yours doesn’t need to be anything complicated.
Handley and Chapman suggest thinking of your content frequency as 1-7-30-4.
1 = Daily – Social media updates, comment responses, email replies, etc.
7 = Weekly – Blog posts, email newsletters, website updates, videos, etc.
30 = Monthly – Interview, podcasts, e-mail newsletter, guest posts, case studies, etc.
You don’t need a full-scale campaign from the start, especially if you’re doing everything yourself. Handley and Chapman suggest starting with small chunks, gauging the reaction from your audiences, and then moving forward when you feel ready.
4. Maintain Variety
Variety is the spice of life, so try to switch up the type of content you publish by length, format, and subject matter. For example, in one week you might publish two blogs related to trending topics, an infographic, and one long evergreen post that serves as an “ultimate guide.”