Creating Your Content Marketing Toolkit
One of the keys to content marketing success is consistency — consistency of message, consistency of effort and output, and consistency of approach.
That can be hard enough to achieve across a small team — even a one-person department. It gets considerably harder as team size increases.
So it can be helpful to put together a set of resources that are accessible to all members of your team for easy and immediate access as they tackle their various content marketing tasks.
These resources, or toolkit, work best if you build it with your team in mind. The same basic tools might be presented, organized or made available in different ways depending on whether you are
- A small team vs. a larger or distributed team
- An in-house team vs. consultants vs. a combination
- A group that includes company employees outside of your marketing team (ALWAYS a great idea to include!)
The basics should include:
Everyone should know what will be published when to avoid duplication of effort as well as gaps in your messaging.
These should be used for everything from social media posts to blog articles to infographics. The goal isn’t to make everything identical in a cookie-cutter kind of way, but to maintain the consistency we discussed earlier. Your content should be recognizable as your content.
From fact-checking to product manager clearance to legal or regulatory review where necessary, every piece of content should pass through the same process before it’s available to the public. This is really a corner you do not want to cut.
Having photo collections, graphics and infographics, original research, and other evergreen material at your fingertips keeps you from reinventing the wheel every week. This is an area that typically takes some trial and error — and a reasonable investment — to get right. Once you have it right for your team, though, it may be the most valuable tool in your kit.
This is an adjunct to the materials library, though often it’s treated as a sub-category within. The problem there is that it can discourage folks from gathering the “half-baked” ideas that later turn into great content, since those ideas aren’t fully formed enough to really fit into the library. (And worse, it’s possible that someone might take a not-ready-for-prime-time idea and create content around it.)
Brand Book and Style Guide
Stepping back from execution specific to your content marketing, there are also concerns to keep in mind for your brand more broadly. Your brand book and style guide should cover the visual aspects of your brand, of course, but also be very specific in laying out your house style for grammar, punctuation, tone and feeling.
Of course, you can go a lot deeper in all of these areas, though the value in doing so will depend largely on the kind of content you produce, the audience you’re producing it for, and the team you have producing it. We always recommend that you start with the basics and build each tool out based on how you find yourself using “version 1.” Version 2 will always be better, as you add what you need and eliminate the extraneous.
Since 1996, Andrew Schulkind has asked clients one simple question: what does digital marketing success look like, and how can marketing progress be measured?
A veteran content marketer, web developer, and digital strategist, Andrew founded Andigo New Media to help firms encourage audience engagement through solid information architecture, a great user experience, and compelling content. A dash of common sense doesn’t hurt, either.
His work touches social media, search-engine optimization, and email marketing, among other components, and he has presented at Social Media Week NY and WordCampNYC, among other events. His writing appears in various online and print publications.
Andrew graduated with a B.A. in Philosophy from Bucknell University. He engages in a range of community volunteer work and is an avid fly fisherman and cyclist. He also loves collecting meaningless trivia. (Did you know the Lone Ranger made his mask from the cloth of his brother's vest after his brother was killed by "the bad guys?")