June 11, 2013
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The best content is built for a specific persona, has a specific business goal in mind, and lives inside a platform that allows you to measure its effectiveness. If you put out a piece of content and can’t confidently name both the target and goal, you’ve failed.
In a previous post I outlined the four basic tenets of a content strategy; objectives, targeting, measuring, and prioritizing. Let’s take a closer look at targeting and measuring.
Developing a clear set of user and buyer personas is the first step towards delivering on a comprehensive content strategy, but because the process can be tedious and requires regular upkeep, many marketers drop the ball.
If you’re just getting started, or your current personas are broken, Stormpath VP of Marketing Claire Hunsaker can help. In her DevGuild: Demand Generation talk, she explained that your personas are people first. “Every single one of your core personas should be someone you can identify as having purchased, or as very likely to purchase, your product.”
Take your current personas and go find an existing customer that matches each one. Can’t find anyone? Claire makes it clear that “if you can’t tie your persona back to a real human, it’s probably incorrect.” If that’s the case, watch her full talk and come back when you’ve rebuilt your personas.
Every piece of content should have an explicit goal attached, and now that you have strong personas, each piece should also be targeted at one of them. With the proper tools in place, measuring conversions is easy: a successful piece of content ushers your target persona along the buyer’s journey in the intended way. This could be email capture, account creation, or a user moving up to a more expensive product tier.
Attaching user actions to content is only half of the battle though. You should also be closely tracking the costs of producing each piece of content, as well as the costs of distributing that content across different channels.
By combining these two sets of information you can generate a customer acquisition cost (CAC) for each piece in each channel, and judge performance objectively. That white paper may perform better in emails than in ads, so you’d better be prepared to reallocate your budget.
If you’d like to learn more about developer content strategy, check out the videos from DevGuild: Content Strategy.