Startups know that getting a project ready is tough. The goal is to keep the time to market short while using only a few resources. This Eric Ries-based „Lean Startup“ principle can also be applied to content marketing.
For startups, it is often important to keep the time to market as short as possible. The "Lean Startup" does not wait until everything is perfect. Imperfections are deliberately accepted and gradually completed. This offers several advantages: The startup can establish itself early with few resources while gaining valuable experiences that it can use to even out rough spots as it matures.
This principle can also be transferred to your content marketing. Almost every company has come to the conclusion that valuable content is extremely important for marketing by now. But producing content that allows you to rise in the search engine rankings is not going to happen over night. Also, providing all the information that users may be looking for is not easy to achieve in the quality that is requested - unless you invest a large budget in one fell swoop.
However, that does not mean that lean content marketing should be cheap. The goal is to use the available resources efficiently and to create targeted content. The benefit of publishing content before the campaign is completely thought through and ready is ultimately being able to perfect it in real time based on the incoming feedback from the target group. Companies can launch a campaign that they constantly adapt and optimize while the competition is still trying to nail the concept part. Lean content marketing is therefore also agile marketing.
This is how lean content marketing works
Who do you want to communicate with?
Every company needs customers. Therefore, you need a basic understanding of your target audience. After all, you want to work in a resource-efficient manner. Randomly publishing content that misses the recipients would be counterproductive.
What needs does your target group have? Which channels does it use? Do not think about it too long, develop a hypothesis and test it for refinement in practice. That's lean content marketing!
Where do you want to go?
Traffic for the sake of traffic is not a strategy. You should know why you do content marketing. Do you want to improve your ranking and be recognized as an expert in your field? Then create and share content that supports this strategy. Lean does not mean headless after all!
If you want to run lean content marketing campaigns, you must be willing to experiment. Lean content marketing is also a learning-by-doing process. That means: Test what the target audience likes well and what it ignores and go from there.
Rely on affordable, fast-to-create content to find out what content works for your audience. Through content curation, i.e. sharing external content, you can see which topics your target group is interested in. Short content pieces such as blog articles will help to further find the right direction.
Keep an eye on the results and stay flexible!
The more content you share, the more feedback you will get. On social media, the feedback come sin terms of likes, shares and comments. Important KPIs for blog articles are traffic and comments or shares on social networks.
It is important to continuously check the success of your measures. Feedback is the core element of lean content management, so pick it up and include it in future campaigns. You should not shy away from criticism. Lean content marketing is about publishing content quickly. Hence it is not perfect by design. Criticism is therefore to be expected.
Optimize and recycle content!
Do not only use the feedback for future measures. It is important to optimize the already published content based on the input your receive. Content that has been optimized and content that fares particularly well should definitely be used multiple times. For example, you can share old but updated blog post again on social networks. But you can also rework existing content to meet other habits and reach new users. For example, you can turn your most successful blog article into a short video or a nice infographic.
Conclusion: Lean content marketing puts dialogue with the target group at the center. This requires a certain amount of rethinking: Content does not have to be perfect, but it has to activate the target group.
Read more: Content Marketing.