A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to attend a night-time seminar by acclaimed astrophysicist and public speaker Neil deGrasse Tyson. I’ve been a huge fan of the COSMOS star for many years and couldn’t have been more excited to hear him speak.
Dr. Tyson was witty, irreverent and extremely engaging. His presentation was a brief snapshot of all the amazing advances being made today in the world of astrophysics, but he kept the conversation street-wise and accessible.
Reflecting on his presentation, I realized a well-planned and executed marketing strategy is much like the inner-workings of a grand, business-spanning universe which includes galaxies, solar systems, stars and planets. Just as the elements of the universe are always in motion, moving in response to each other, all the pieces of your content marketing plan work in tandem to drive your brand forward, get visitors into the system and convert them into paying customers. It’s absolutely cosmic.
The Marketing Universe
Galaxies- Content Calendars
Well-planned and relevant content calendars are the galaxies which make up the bulk of a digital marketing strategy. They contain more than just your schedule. They should also include your messaging to specific audiences. Calendars keep track and forecast your overall marketing strategy while still separating messages by type. Calendars are like galaxies, as they, at the highest level of the organization, contain all the different tools, messages and words you need to market your business.
A comprehensive content calendar should be designed for your emails, blog, static website content, AdWords, direct mail, physical advertising (such as on signs and equipment) and PR materials. Having each of these messaging outlets on one large, easily navigable calendar helps you avoid crossing your messaging or inundating your audiences with messaging that may not be appropriate for them. This also allows you to look at your holistic content universe, putting content publishing patterns side-by-side to see where gaps are occurring.
Your different content systems revolve around one another inside these different tools and galaxies. Each messaging tool has its own astronomical weight and a set of messages held together by its gravity, which keep your messages within these channels organized. However, don’t forget all of these tools should work alongside one another to make a whole marketing universe. Here’s how you can visualize each level of your plan:
Solar Systems and Stars – Lead Groups
New visitors, interested leads, previous customers and customers interested in different products should all be considered different lead groups. For example, customers who bought a new toilet vs. customers who bought a new faucet deserve their own set of targeted messages using different tools. These lead groups are like their own bright and shining stars because the targeted messages required to make marketing work within them are the planets that get sucked into their gravity.
In more earthly terms, this is how you group your individual messages. Without this level of organization, your messages become vague, generalized and ineffective. Grouping lead types together lets you focus your marketing to get down to the exact behaviors you’re looking for from each group.
Planets – Individual Target Messages
Your target messaging are the planets which revolve inside the solar system of your lead groups. They are specially crafted by the needs of these lead groups, essentially formed by their gravity and pull. In order to be effective in encouraging specific behaviors, each individual targeted message needs to be unique, with one goal in mind.
For instance, within a group of customers who receive quarterly reminders for duct cleaning, you may send a focused message for an initial cleaning in the spring, and another newsletter to encourages customers in this group to refer your cleaning services to a friend. Aiming at different outcomes with separate messages lets you measure how likely your leads are to engage in any particular behavior.
Terrestrial Life Forms – Text, Voice and Keywords
Each of your pieces of messaging should be original, relevant and targeted to the group you’re trying to reach. These are the important bits of information that populate your marketing universe on the smallest scale. They are each unique and impact the world they inhabit, just like every one of us. They are also the most important aspect of the grand universal system. They determine how specific your messaging is, and can directly influence a reader’s behavior.
Without the right words to bring your messages alive, you’ll miss out on the chance to convert interested leads into paying customers. The vastness and scale of your marketing universe can be absolutely gigantic, but if these smallest, essential pieces are not in place, you won’t achieve the results you’re looking for.
Your content marketing universe is only as meaningful as its many intricate working parts. From the largest galaxies (your messaging tools) to the smallest forms of life (the words and voice you use to get your message across), each cosmic level of your plan has to hold its own weight.
Interested in learning more about building a content calendar? Check out our article on developing a content roadmap.