If you’re just joining us on part 3, you should have already read part 1 and  part 2 of Building a Better Spa Content Strategy.

Picking up where we left off, you’ve selected your topics and assigned dates. Now it’s time to move into the meat of the strategy.

  1. What is the goal of this piece?*
  2. What will be the medium for this content?**
  3. Is this a stand-alone piece that will be re-purposed or is it part of a funnel?***
  4. Define funnel or re-purpose strategy.****
  5. To which persona are you marketing?*****

*Your goal may be to generate likes/shares and RTs or get opt-ins on your mailing list, or generate sign-ups for a report or service bookings. It could also be to educate and inform to boost credibility or it may be to earn quality links.  There are so many goals; you just need to clearly define yours.

**There are many mediums from which to choose: video, article or Blog post, infographic, podcast, interview, story, sales content, email marketing message, slideshare presentation, webinar, etc.

***Stand-alone content may be a Blog post initially and then the content can be repurposed into a slideshare presentation, a webinar, a podcast and also provide snippets to be used on social media.  A funnel could look something like this:  

Your meat is a whitepaper revealing some coveted information – like secrets to vitality and well-being.

 You start with a teaser video and take people to a landing page — which, once they opt-in, takes them to…

a sales page AND they get an email,

ultimately end up on an offer page AND get the whitepaper they opted-in for.

****Oops, jumped the gun and covered this one above. What can I say?  I was excited!

*****It’s time you pull out your persona details – and if you haven’t yet created them, do it now!  Persona-based content requires a strong definition of your customer persona to ensure you hit the key points and use the right tone and style for your audience.

What’s a Persona?

For those who are uncertain what persona-based marketing it or have never used it, here is the Wikipedia definition:

In user-centered design and marketing, personas are fictional characters created to represent the different user types that might use a site, brand, or product in a similar way.

Marketers may use personas together with market segmentation, where the qualitative personas are constructed to be representative of specific segments. The term persona is used widely in online and technology applications as well as in advertising, where other terms such as “pen portraits” may also be used.

Personas are useful in considering the goals, desires, and limitations of brand buyers and users in order to help to guide decisions about a service, product or interaction space such as features, interactions, and visual design of a website. Personas may also be used as part of a user-centered design process for designing software and are also considered a part of interaction design (IxD), having been used in industrial design and more recently for online marketing purposes.

Actual persona we developed for one of our clients.

A user persona is a representation of the goals and behavior of a hypothesized group of users. In most cases, personas are synthesized from data collected from interviews with users. They are captured in 1–2-page descriptions that include behavior patterns, goals, skills, attitudes, and the environment, with a few fictional personal details to make the persona a realistic character. For each product, more than one persona is usually created, but one persona should always be the primary focus for the design.

Once you have answered the five questions above for each of the topics on your 45-day plan, you can assign tasks and timelines to ensure on-time production of that content.  If it’s not date-specific due to an event or holiday, you may have to juggle things to accommodate the time-frame any given piece will require.

The complexity of your funnel plan or repurposing plan will dictate what tasks need to be assigned.  To help get you started thinking about all the little details, here are a couple of sample task lists:

Funnel task list:

  • Figure out funnel hook
  • Write hook content
  • Gather graphics
  • Edit hook content
  • Publish hook content
  • Create landing page
  • Load landing page
  • Test landing page
  • Write email series
  • Record video
  • Load video
  • Create call to action/offer page
  • Schedule post production marketing with supporting collateral (social, blog, slideshare etc)
  • Create shortened URLs for social media with tracking
  • Notify influencers so they can support and promote (tip: work in a mention of an influencer and they are more likely to promote it)
  • Place any tracking pixels and test

Re-purpose task list:

  • Create core content
  • Create slideshare
  • Load slideshare
  • Create social media graphics
  • Create call to action/offer page
  • Schedule post-production marketing with supporting collateral (social, blog, slideshare etc)
  • Create shortened URLs for social media with tracking
  • Notify influencers so they can support and promote (tip: work in a mention of an influencer and they are more likely to promote it)
  • Place any tracking pixels and test

Your list will likely vary from this but you get the idea.

If you are working with a team, you can divvy up the tasks and assign due dates to each team member. If you are on your own, be realistic but aggressive with time-frames for each step of the process.

I want to leave you with a few tips:

  1. Don’t forget to review stats and determine what worked and what failed so you can use those insights for future marketing.
  2. Remember that before anyone will commit to reading your content, they will skim it first. Make sure your content is visually appealing and skim-friendly. Have strong headlines and subheads to draw the eye in.  Use a “pre-s” (as opposed to a PS) to get your most important point out first. Leave enough white space to break things up and avoid visual overload.  Use interesting graphics (because they can be pinned and part of your promotional strategy and they draw the user in).

Wow – I covered a lot today. The truth is content marketing is more complex than it seems and it’s success lies in details and planning.

Feeling inspired?  Get to work on your editorial calendar and start pumping out your content.

Feeling overwhelmed? That’s why we’re here. Every single day we talk to spa owners and marketers that need some help. The concept of marketing is quite simple but in reality it’s not easy and it’s time consuming. The key to success? Find a system that will work for you based on your goals and available resources. Talk to us today and we’ll help you figure out the best way to tackle your 2017 content marketing strategy.

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