As everyone knows, there’s a lot of content out there, and more is being created and shared every minute of every day.
So, you should be blasting out loads of content too, right? To paraphrase your mom, just because you can doesn’t mean you should.
You can’t create effective content without knowing the business purpose behind it. Unfortunately, too many brands are asking themselves “why not” instead of “why.” The first step in answering “why” is to identify your business objectives. From there, you can develop marketing strategies that drive toward those goals. With your marketing strategy defined, you can get down to the specific content initiatives that will support it.
Without a stated business goal, the marketing team or creative agency can only think at the tactical level with limited results.
Examples of business objectives might include:
- Growing your customer base
- Increasing user satisfaction and retention
- Lowering sales and support costs
- Entering a new market
You’ll notice none of those examples is specific to a piece of content, such as “explaining the benefits of Widget X.” Communicating product benefits is just one tactic used to achieve broader business and marketing goals by, say, increasing sales through engagement with a wider audience and serving up more relevant information. That gives marketers context for their work and, even better, helps your audience connect the dots too.
What makes for a solid business objective
While the marketing team is rarely tasked with setting high-level business goals, they should certainly have a voice at the table, as the output will affect everything they do. If marketers in your organization don’t have a firm grasp on where the company wants to go, they’ll essentially be throwing darts while blindfolded.
One approach to crafting effective business objectives is to make them SMART:
Regardless of the formula your company follows, its business objective(s) should be clearly defined in a creative brief or whatever triggers your marketing team into action. Refer back to it throughout your process to ensure your content stays true to its business purpose.
Without a clear business objective, your individual marketing initiatives will be haphazard — content pieces won’t build upon each other to tell the bigger brand story. Without a purpose, a web page is just a web page. But with a clearly defined business goal, the web page can work harder and be more effective in motivating your users to take the desired action.
A business objective will also help your content creators do their jobs better and more efficiently. Instead of staring at a blank document with no clue where to start, they’ll have a north star to guide them.
So, before you charge ahead and start writing, ask why the world needs this new piece of content. If you can’t come up with a compelling business case for it, move on to something that will be truly valuable to your audience and your company and a good use of your time.