Everyone keeps talking about all the new things business owners must do in order to utilize marketing tools effectively. At the top of that list: create a plan for content.
Now, whether you know content marketing as a buzzword, something you’re doing on a regular basis, or as a term you wouldn’t even know where to begin to define (here’s some help with that) the point is this:
Planning for content can be a daunting (but necessary!) task no matter what business you’re in; and sometimes we just need a hint as to where we should start.
Enter: The content questionnaire
When I work with clients on their content marketing strategies, the first thing I do is walk them through a content questionnaire. This tool is not only a great way for me and my team to get acclimated to our clients, but a content questionnaire is also a great tool for other business owners when it comes to understanding how their business goals can be supported through online content.
Key questions to include in your content questionnaire:
- What are your top two business goals for the year? For the next five years?
- What do you define as your core strengths?
- What services do your clients/prospects want or need the most?
- How do people feel after they use your services? (Do you have the stats to back this up?)
- What problems do your customers frequently tell you about? What have you heard that they need solved?
- What are your customers trying to accomplish by using your products/services?
- What is your unique selling point? What sets you apart from your competition?
- Who is your competition (everyone has a competitor–do not skip this question!)
- Describe your typical customer. Are your current customers the same as your target market? (In other words, are you reaching the types of customers you are trying to reach?)
- What is your niche/target market? (Again, this is an important question not to skip–do not answer “everyone,” be specific)
- What does your sales or lead generation process look like? How do customers find you?
- Do you have a set brand voice? Tagline? What feelings are you trying to evoke?
- If you were searching for your products/services online, what keywords would you use? What would your customers use?
- How effective are your current marketing efforts? How far is your reach?
- Do you have the capabilities to provide consistent, ongoing content? What resources do you have currently (and what might you need to add?)
Content questionnaire: The benefits
One of the biggest benefits of using a content questionnaire is that it helps identify your business goals and objectives and, ultimately, who (or what) your content is for.
You need a foundation for your content strategy and going through the process of answering the above questions will work wonders in helping to plan that strategy.
Building the answers to your content questionnaire also opens the doors for new ideas and initiatives. Your online content efforts should rely on relevance, creativity and consistency. Think of your content questionnaire as a must-have tool to for your marketing and business planning arsenal. Answer the above questions with robust information and utilize your answers to move forward with your new content efforts.
And then, it may not seem so daunting anymore!
Melissa Harrison – Marketing and Small Business Executive from Allee Creative, Twin Cities, MN
Melissa Harrison , CEO and founder of Allee Creative, LLC , has more than 13 years of experience in content management, marketing strategy and branding, working with small to mid-sized businesses to build strategic online content and traditional marketing strategies.
Listed as one of the “Top 36 Content Marketers Who Rock” by TopRank and Content Marketing Institute, Melissa believes that businesses must adapt to what customers want, which includes using social media and creative online content to provide relevant, consistent information, in order to survive. It is no longer business as usual and only the companies that strive to embrace change will remain relevant.
Melissa is also a four-time recipient of the Hermes Creative Award and a national speaker on the topics of branding, content marketing, marketing strategy and social media. Melissa is also certified by Google Analytics Academy in Digital Analytics Fundamentals.
In addition to her professional life, Melissa is a mother of four, a certified fitness instructor an avid reader. If you look up “insane multi-tasker” in the dictionary you’ll most definitely find her picture. Melissa is forever pushing the envelope, starting her company when she was pregnant with her second child at the young age of 27 years old. Named a “Mover & Shaker” by the Star Tribune, she’s fought with the “big boys” for her spot at the table and continues to challenge herself each day.