“I don’t think content-training for people is worthwhile because they’ll have launched the site by then.”
An email between managers raised a common concern that everything relating to content-marketing needs to be perfect before launching a new site.
This is a misconception that the launch date of your site is the cut-off point to get all your content-marketing ducks in a row.
If you feel you need to create a library of content before launch, you face the danger of:
- Quickly creating a high number of poor-quality content
- Delaying the launch until all content pieces are written
So what content-marketing pieces do you really need to prepare for launch and what can you continue to develop behind the scenes after you launch?
Here are 2 essential items:
Your most important web pages
If you’re planning to launch your website, make sure your essential web pages are well written and explain clearly:
- Who you are, or the story behind your company
- What it is you do
- Who you do it for
- Where people can find more information about you
In terms of public content, this is really the minimum you need before attracting traffic and customers to your website.
To make the most of that first impression, think about whether you will be hiring a designer or using a course to help you design your own website.
In addition to these pages, you should also have:
An editorial plan
Your editorial plan outlines the content topics and articles you’ll be publishing once your site goes live. It includes subjects and questions that are important to your audience, as well as timelines for publication and the format of the content. (Remember, the format of your content-marketing doesn’t get chosen until later).
An editorial plan cuts down overwhelm for you and your employees. It provides an at-a-glance overview to show that you what content you will publish within a set timeframe.
Rather than feeling despair that you won’t have 100 articles on your business blog for launch date, you can relax knowing that those topics will be covered in just a few weeks or months.
Now, what can you develop behind the scenes after you launch?
Your content sales funnel
Your content sales funnels are the various trails of content that get the attention of your ideal customer and lead them towards the sale of your product or service.
This might be an article, which leads to a newsletter subscription, which turns into an auto-responder series into your first offer.
As you develop your content, you will develop more strands and trails of these pieces of content that engage your target buyer before they’re ready to buy.
But you don’t need them all ready before you launch. As your editorial plan is played out and you publish more content, it will be easier to look at the content you do have, and rearrange the sequence of which content links to which, rather than trying to plan it all out before any articles have been written.
Your blog content
How many blog posts do you need to have before you can launch? 1? 10? 100?
I would say that 2-3 pieces of strong articles which showcase your skills and expertise and encourage readers to sign up to your email address is enough.
The rest you can develop after you launch in line with your editorial plan to make sure your business blog is attracting the right reader to your blog.
Ongoing web content and resources
Your content-marketing plan, including your web content, sales pages, eBooks and other content resources that you provide to your audience is flexible.
It’s this flexibility and ability to change the course of your content as the business develops that makes it such a powerful marketing tool.
With content-marketing you can respond to trends and news, and industry developments easily to make sure your company is up to date and an authority in its field. Alongside your editorial plan, this ability to be current and up-to-date helps you stand out from your competitors.
Your content-marketing abilities
It’s not too late to learn about content-marketing once your website has launched. If anything, this is the beginning of your journey. Having a site for your business where you are regularly publishing content makes it much easier for you to apply content-marketing principles and see them in action.
When working with companies on their content-marketing I see more lightbulb moments when we can review content pieces that have been written, than trying to teach everything you need to know before a word has been put down on the page.
If you’re interested in other examples of common content-marketing challenges companies face, you can read some Harrisonamy case studies here.