Sure, you need content on your site and channels, but have you thought through everything before you haul off and post a 500 word article? Or a 2 minute video?

Marketing is ultimately about making people aware of a product or service. Content is a function of marketing. The great thing about content production is its multichannel function and appeal-which equates to building awareness and trust through multiple channels with quality content execution.

Got it?

Well, before that piece of content can spread awareness and build trust, you must first consider four key factors.

1. Strategy–Content production is as much about style and quality as it is about strategic execution. Ask yourself, does what I am about to produce meet the business’s and, better yet, the customer’s needs and wants? Will this drive awareness and trust? Will this serve my customer better? Does this piece of content align with our vision, our “why?”

Because, as Simon Sinek so eloquently puts in his 2010 TEDx speech, “People don’t buy WHAT you sell, they buy WHY you sell it.” Simon packs many a great quotes into that 20 minute speech, but one of his best includes (I’m paraphrasing): “Apple didn’t say ‘Hey, here is a great computer, wanna buy it?’ They said ‘We think differently and so do you, we just happen to make great, simple to use computers, wanna join our movement?'”

2. KPIs–What is your key performance indicator? Is it sales? Is it awareness? Is it followers on Snapchat? How will this content achieve your Key Performance Indicator?

Figuring out what your KPIs are may help you to decide to say yes or no to a certain project because if you have a true north–and every business should–you will know if any project, including content creation, will meet your objectives. If it doesn’t aid your strategy, and doesn’t meet your KPIs, don’t do it.

3. Analytics installation–Before you execute that piece of content, have you setup the proper analytics and metrics to measure the effectiveness? You have decided that this meets your strategy and KPI requirements. Can you measure it to decide if it’s something you need to do again?

Great tools like Google Analytics, KissMetrics, CrazyEgg and more are out there to make sure that you hit what you are aiming for. And if you don’t hit what you are aiming at you will know and you can pivot and adjust.

As I have said in previous articles, there is no longer any nobility in going by your gut. Nobility and bravery are found in those who are willing to stake their name, reputation, and even body for something they believe in. They are willing to fail but work as hard as possible to ensure that failure is not the default outcome, rather the very rare exception.

Being willing to measure is brave because it says yes, this will hopefully work but if it doesn’t I am willing to accept that, adjust, and try again with the ultimate hope of success.

4. Multichannel Distribution Consideration–Can I put this content to work? When considering content execution, a smart and simple way to decide if you should do it is if it can serve multiple purposes. Will this make a good video? How about a good podcast? Could clips be repurposed for radio stations to use? Can we reach out to newspapers (you know, those black and white publications with the occasional color photo, you remember those) and see if some quotes would be useful?

A great example of multichannel execution, an example I have used before, is the #AskGaryVee Show by Gary Vaynerchuk.

Let’s see if I can count the channels they use for one show:

Now that’s making content work for you.

Before launching into content creation mode, make sure you’ve considered these four pre-production concerns. If the answer is “yes” to at least 3 out of 4, you should be on the right track to producing worthwhile content for your brand and your audience.