Here's my simple and fast process that I use to figure out what a true center of excellence is for content. Why do this? Focus. I want to ensure that whatever messaging that I produce, publish and promote ties back (as closely as possible) to my center of excellence.

1. Step #1: The Tactic

My tactic of primary output is content. Yours might be advertising, word of mouth referrals, networking, database marketing, etc... You don't have to stick with just one. Obviously, I deploy all tactics to grow the brand. Choosing a primary tactic gives focus. Content works for me, personally, because of my background in writing, journalism, media and communications.

2. Step #2: The Format

 My format is text and audio. You can choose just one. And, truthfully, my "one" would be text, but I do find myself producing more and more audio content. We live in a world where anyone can have an idea and share it - in text, images, audio and video - and distribute it - for free - to the world. This can be long-form, short-form, live/streaming or produced. This can be highly-produced or more off the cuff. 

3. Step #3: The Frequency

My frequency is daily for text and weekly for audio. I don't recommend such a frenetic pace, but I do recommend setting up a regular schedule, and doing everything in your power to stick with it. This is often the most highly-overlooked and mistreated part of the process. When brands fail at content, it's usually because they have not figured out a groove and flow, and consumers don't make the connection. Prior to the Internet, I was a much more voracious consumer of print magazines (had to be, there wasn't the selection that we have today online). I would often go to the corner store, and I could "feel" when the latest issue of Fast Company was due. It just "felt" like it had been about four weeks since the last issue. I often get feedback when the Six Pixels of Separation Podcast is published later in the day on Sunday. My listeners know that it's published early Sunday morning. When it's not there, they feel the gap and this weakens the brand. Frequency will not only keep you on schedule, it will be core to the brand experience.

4. Step #4: The Triangle of Attention

Visualize (or, better yet, draw) a triangle. For every point on the triangle choose one area of interest. My three areas of attention are: 1. Brands. 2. Consumers. 3. Technology. What does this mean? I will not produce, share or promote any content that doesn't (in some way) speak to all (or some) of these areas of attention. It can be only one area (even an idea that is loosely related to just one area), but the more points of the triangle that your content taps into, the more focused it will be. Choosing those three words is not as easy as it looks.

5. Step #5: The Bullseye

 My bullseye is "marketing." Once you have your triangle defined (see step #4), now you have to figure out what the, exact intersection is of those attention points. For me, what pulls it all together is how does marketing affect, change and touch the areas of brands, consumers and technology. Again, this may read a simplistic, but it's not. If, at the centre, of my content there is not the notion of how this affects the product, price, promotion and place (those classic Four Ps of marketing), I probably won't publish the content. The bullseye is what pulls everything together. For you and for me (as your consumer).

6. Step #6: The Promoter

How do you get your message to spread. Thankfully, I've been able to build (over 15 years) a significant social media following. With that, I've had the fortune of being a two-time published business book author, an in-demand public speaker, I have a regular radio stint and write for several other publications (print and online). In short, I have many outlets and opportunities to promote my thinking. How will you get your message to catch on? What paid and organic media opportunities will you take advantage of? Many well-respected content producers tell me that they spend five hours of promoting their content for every hour of content that they produce. "Build it and they will come," is not a promotion strategy. This doesn't have to be a broad list of opportunities. Be very specific and go after it. 

7. Step #7: The Analysis And Adjustment Bureau

Use your analytics (most packages are free) to better understand what is working, where it's working and how it is working. Think about how often you will use these tools, to not only better understand your audience, but to then adjust and tweak your content to make it connect in a more effective way


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