Content marketing is an extremely effective way for businesses of all sizes to build brand presence, drive leads, and attract even more potential customers. It is also a powerful way to position your brand as an authoritative and trustworthy voice within a competitive market.

Unfortunately, many businesses still miss the mark when it comes to building a smart and actionable content strategy. According to Altimeter, 70% of marketers lack a consistent or integrated content strategy within their business. The challenge is hinged on that many do not know where to begin in building an impactful content marketing program.

To overcome this hurdle, consider these four key elements to build a dynamic content marketing program. This includes developing your brand voice, understanding your audience and channels, assigning roles within your team, and taking calculated risks.

Let’s get started.

Key Element #1: Develop Your Brand Voice

Anyone can produce content these days, but without a clear and consistent brand voice, you will get lost in the noise and miss out on valuable audience engagement.

A key element to consider is creating your distinct voice and ensuring it is consistent across all content, from writing blogs to filming marketing campaign videos. Readers and viewers will become familiar with your tone, perspective, and the kinds of insights you share, so it’s important to stay consistent so your audience gets accustomed to you.

This will help grow a loyal following—and often times, the stronger and more purposeful your message, the more loyal your customers. A recent report by WARC found 8 in 10 consumers are more loyal to purpose-driven companies. This raises the question: Do you know your company’s brand purpose, in addition to the purpose and goals around producing content?

You know your company’s value proposition more than anyone else. Your content strategy is your time to shine and demonstrate why people should listen and engage with your content.   

Key Element #2: Know Your Audience and Key Channels

After determining your brand voice, the next step is to understand your audience across various channels.

As a marketer, one of your top priorities is to capture and retain the interest of your existing and new audiences. The more engaging the content, the more buzz is generated around your business to drive greater awareness which will ultimately drive more interest in your company and its product or service.

Your audience will vary across platforms. Understanding who is listening and where is critical to strengthening the impact of your content marketing efforts. While there are typical channels you must account for when marketing, like Facebook, there are other impactful outlets to consider as well, including email. According to Campaign Monitor, more than 50% of U.S. respondents check their personal email account more than 10 times a day, and it is by far their preferred way to receive updates from brands.

Bake in time to brainstorm and research ideas and a smart approach for each of your channels, along with newer ones which might be more impactful.

In a world where it seems everyone wants to develop content just for the sake of developing it, marketers are under growing pressure to prove their worth through their collateral. Meaning, it’s important to develop content that passes the relevance and value-to-the-end user test, and leaves lackluster content approaches at the door.

Key Element #3: Determine Your Team’s Roles and Responsibilities

You have your voice, you understand your audience and channels, and now, you need the right team to make it happen.

To create the most impactful marketing machine, you must build a team of marketing professionals who are passionate and knowledgeable. Collaboration in this business is crucial. Your team must be willing to test, review and refine new content ideas, which should all ladder up to support unified team goals. These goals should then reflect the company’s overall goals.

According to a recent study by McKinsey & Company, implementing innovative business collaboration techniques can improve your company’s productivity by up to 30%. This can be the difference between success and failure of your marketing machine.

So how do you create this ideal, cohesive team? Start by determining one common goal. This may sound simple enough, however, a goal can get lost in the process, especially as employees are trying to fulfill individual roles and responsibilities. Start by creating one weekly topic to focus on together as a team. I’ve found establishing this process can result in more timely content being written and sets your team up for success to establish a stronger presence across key channels.

You want to be the dedicated resource your audience turns to for a variety of topics as they relate to the industry. With a dynamic content marketing machine, you can turn this goal into a reality.

Key Element #4: Take Calculated Risks

Once you’ve incorporated the previous elements into your content marketing program, you now have an opportunity to drive your brand forward. How do you do it consistently? Embrace some risk.

The word “risk” often has a negative connotation evoking fear with many people. So why take risks as a marketer? In this huge industry, you need to stand out against competitors instead of remaining as another fish in the sea.

Take Domino’s, for example. This over 60-year-old company successfully marketed their content to reflect a change being made to their brand. The company took a calculated risk to admit their pizza was sub-standard, even saying their own crusts tasted like cardboard. The brand listened to its customers and used its content strategy to tell a new, authentic story. In one campaign, the brand started using real images of pizza being made by employees instead of photo-shopped images that made pizza look fake and unrealistic.

Domino’s asked its customers for another chance to prove themselves by using their content to drive this message across media channels. This allowed the company to distinguish themselves from other similar pizza chains. The company gave themselves a new voice, using honest and self-deprecating humor to bring customers back, resulting in the ultimate comeback story.

This demonstrates that taking strategic risks has the potential to lead to great success. And marketing your content accordingly is critical in making a strong impact with your target audience and key stakeholders.

Find the opportunity to make your company unique and take a calculated risk using your content.

Taking Your Content Marketing Machine to the Next Level

Staying on top of tech trends while sounding human and authentic within your marketing content is a tricky balance. However, when you marry the science and human aspects within content marketing strategies, you achieve the strongest results. By implementing these elements, brands can further their content marketing success to retain and grow a loyal audience.

Solidify your voice. Pinpoint your audience and channels. Think with a collaborative mindset. Take risks. Put these strategies into action to become a more trusted resource in your industry.