Content marketing is the golden egg of nearly any marketing strategy. But just how can you make sure you’re using your content to get ahead, stay relevant and generate sales?

Knowing the essentials is a good place to start.

Many small to medium businesses don’t have the luxury of a huge marketing budget and an endless resource of marketers to advise. Therefore, knowing how to cover the basics can go a long way in making sure your content marketing strategy is in good shape.

As always, we’re here to help, especially when it comes to adding a bit of creativity to your brand or business. So, here are our 7 crucial elements that we think should make up any content marketing toolkit.

1. What’s your brand?

If you’re promoting your business, you should have a brand overview. What’s this? Well, simply put it’s your brand positioning, your brand values, and your mission statement. Who you are, what you are and who your target audience is. When it comes to content creation, this should be the hymn sheet that everyone is reading from and referring to. It reminds you why you’re creating the content and what needs to be communicated. So, if you don’t have your brand guidelines in place, and you want your business to grow, we strongly suggest you change that.

2. What does your brand look like?

Much like the above, if you’re aiming to have a successful content marketing strategy, you need a coherent set of brand style guidelines to work from. This guide serves as the authoritative source on any visuals associated with your brand, ensuring consistency, and maintaining your brand integrity. A typical style guide will generally include official usage of logos, colour palette, typography, and imagery.

3. Create a content catalogue

You’ll likely already have some sort of archive of your company communications, for example, newsletters, reports, or sales materials. Collate them together and identify the purpose of each piece. This way, when your content creators are looking for something to write about or produce, they have a ready-made list of supporting information.

4. Be picture perfect

Imagery is so important when it comes to marketing your brand, especially online. Be sure to get an image library set up where creators can access pre-approved, high-quality (and licenced) images that can be used as and when they’re needed. This helps to make sure that your business is accurately and positively represented every time a piece of content is created.

5. Be opportunistic

Writer’s block can strike at any time, which isn’t good news for a consistent and effective content strategy. Therefore, having an ‘opportunities calendar’ on standby is a great tool to keep ideas coming and content fresh. Upcoming company and industry events provide great inspiration for content and help to draw in a wider community too.

6. Check and check again

Get a fail-safe proofreading strategy in place for all your content. Any factual misstep or spelling error can undermine your brand’s credibility and make you a target for ridicule. Before anything gets published, make sure it’s checked and double-checked for accuracy. This can often take a village of people as it’s nigh on impossible to proofread your own work. Therefore, make sure people know the importance of prioritising a spell-check.

7. Get organised

An editorial calendar ensures that topics are organised, publish dates are met and all the correct information and imagery is in place well ahead of time. This way any gaps or potential mistakes can be identified and rectified before anyone has a caffeine-fuelled meltdown.

All in all, content is king, so ensuring you have these solid foundations in place will make sure your brand is getting the best exposure that it can online. If you need help creating or implementing any of the elements discussed above, simply get in touch with us today, we’d love to help.