The foundation for a successful content marketing operation begins with these elements.
Companies don’t need to break the bank to develop a meaningful brand publishing platform. However, there are a few people and resources that must be in place to ensure your strategy is deployed efficiently, effectively, and consistently.
Let’s take a look at the 9 things every brand publication needs to flourish.
1. Big Picture Strategy
The most important element of a brand publication is the reasoning behind its creation. What is your brand hoping to achieve through the development of a content platform? What audiences are you hoping to reach? What financial and staffing resources are you prepared to put behind it, and what is your timeline and rubric for success? Answers to those questions will help your brand determine its big picture content marketing goals.
2. Editorial Team
One of the things that separates a brand publishing platform from a company blog is a dedicated staff. While people from every corner of the company should be encouraged to contribute and participate, there must be a person or team in place to assign commissions, edit content before publication, maintain a publication schedule, and coordinate social promotion.
There may be a practical and cost-effective way for your company to divide these responsibilities among existing staff members. Whether you choose to divide and conquer or expand your headcount, brand publishing responsibilities should hold the same weight as any other bullet point on your employee’s’ job description.
3. C-Suite Support
If indeed you’re looking to hire dedicated staff, this will likely require C-level sign off on budget — and in turn, the establishment of specific goals designed to prove the ROI of your efforts. Executive input can help hone your brand voice, determine objectives, and establish short- and long-term measures of success.
Speaking of C-suite approval, it’s important to create a realistic budget estimate for the whole publishing enterprise. Be sure to factor in the cost of promoting content, analytical tools, dedicated staff salaries, and the time existing employees take out of their workdays to devote to your brand publishing platform. Even if your budget is tight, it’s essential to know what resources are and aren’t available as you develop long-term strategy, set goals, manage expectations, and take advantage of tools you may already possess.
5. Editorial Process
Once dedicated staff are in place and responsibilities have been formally assigned, it’s essential for each member of the team to understand who they report to, what their responsibilities are, and where their contributions fit into the overall picture of the publishing operation. Is your company’s social media team composing social copy and scheduling posts? Even if a particular role seems tertiary to the overall editorial process, team members should understand their big-picture purpose.
6. Editorial Style & Guidelines
The key to consistent messaging is a clearly defined and identifiable brand voice, implemented across all platforms, and understood by every contributor. Finetune your cross-platform communications by ensuring that every team member is adhering to the same grammar and style guide.
7. Editorial Calendar
Create a content roadmap, and work backwards from your launch date to produce and edit a surplus of material. Work long enough in advance to seamlessly handle any staffing issues or technical problems that may arise, and make sure the sequence in which you publish makes sense for audiences new to your brand’s subject matter.
Social media is one of the most obvious and accessible ways to promote your content. But other opportunities like influencer marketing and external publishing partnerships may have the power to introduce your content to untapped audiences with interests that align with your brand’s content.
9. Measure (Define KPIs, Set Up Analytics, Learn & Iterate)
Analytical tools are one of digital publishers’ most valuable resources. But before you dive into the raw data, make sure you understand which performance metrics are in line with your overall strategy and train staff to interpret statistical feedback.
Longneck and Thunderfoot offer brand publishing services and strategies to transform your company blog into a sophisticated trade publication that drives visibility and influence in your market. Learn more about brand publishing here.