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The 7-Step Content Marketing Onboarding Process for Zoe Marketing

August 8th, 2023 | 5 min. read

By Kim Kovelle

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Content can feel like diving into the deep end of the marketing pool. Around 70% of businesses are actively investing in content marketing. That means its importance is skyrocketing — but it also means a lot of competition. No wonder it’s overwhelming.

At Zoe Marketing & Communications, we’re here to simplify your content. Whether it’s writing your blogs, web landing pages or pillar pages, in our 35-plus years of experience, we’ve made the process straightforward and stress-free.

In this article, you’ll discover the seven steps of content marketing with Zoe, including:

  1. Setting the schedule and deadlines
  2. Understanding your audience
  3. Choosing your content topics and sources
  4. Granting access to your Google Analytics
  5. Producing the content
  6. Promoting the content
  7. Reviewing metrics and results

Curious about any one part? Click the links above to jump to that section. Or take it from the top. By the end, you’ll feel more confident and prepared to tackle your content with Zoe.

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Step 1: Setting the schedule and deadlines

No matter the content, you’ll first receive a schedule and set of deadlines. It's focused on your goals and any expected conflicts or challenges.

We work backward to target specific “go live” dates, setting a clear calendar. Say you want your new web content live by Jan. 15 or two weekly blogs on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Each task can take days, if not weeks.

Or, if you’re placing sponsored content in Zoe’s sister publications, Metro Parent or Chicago Parent, each piece can take up to a month’s preparation.

Whatever the case, we build a realistic timeline to ensure smooth progress. It all starts with aligned expectations to avoid last-minute hustling.

1-Content Marketing AudienceStep 2: Understanding your audience

First things first: Who are you even writing for? You want to draw in your best prospects with compelling content that speaks directly to them. There are three pieces to this step.

1. Persona work

Dig into your existing audience with surveys and targeted conversations to discover their interests. This helps create an ideal “persona,” so you know who you’re writing to.

2. Market research

We explore your industry and the people that buy from it. This gives insight into ideal customers’ ...

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Geographic location
  • Occupation/education
  • Other key demographics

3. Keyword research

Understand what your potential clients are seeking. We tap into keyword search analytics and general interests, including ...

  • Shopping or buying habits — in other words, what they’re looking for
  • Web searching patterns (i.e., what other websites/apps/platforms they visit so that you can promote your content there)

All of this ensures your content aligns with your audience’s needs and interests.

Step 3: Choosing your content topics and sources

Next comes the process of figuring out what to write about.

It kicks off with an exploratory conversation. In an open and honest discussion, we get to the heart of who you are and what you offer. Some common questions include: 

  • What's your expertise?
  • What kinds of questions do your clients tend to ask?
  • What are your customers' pain points?
  • How are you different from others that provide this service?
  • What is your goal for this content?

This process helps identify key topics that matter to you and, more importantly, your prospects. The goal is to both engage and enlighten your audience, building their trust in you.

Finally, in this step, we pinpoint sources and “experts.”

  • Who on your team can be consulted to create topics — the “ideators”?
  • Who are the thought leaders you’d like to spotlight as blog authors or to be quoted — the “voices”?
  • What other trusted resources can we reference and credit?
  • What are your competitors producing, content-wise — and how can we do better?

One other key source: Who on your team needs final approval of the content? Communicate with them so they’re on board and know what to expect.

2 Content Marketing AccessStep 4: Granting access to your Google Analytics

One more key step before crafting the content: We’ll need you to grant Zoe read-only access to your Google Analytics, or GA4, account. This way, Zoe can:

  • Track engagement to your website
  • See what’s sparking interest in your intended audience
  • Gather essential data to inform future campaigns and content

By gaining insight into your existing analytics, we can pinpoint what's working and what needs recalibration.

Step 5: Producing the content

It’s time to create that content. This part has six pieces: interviewing, writing, selecting art, editing, final approval and publishing.

1. Interviewing for the content

We chat with the on-staff experts you’ve identified in Step 3. This knowledgeable source is quoted or consulted to create blogs, web copy or other content.

Keep these two tips in mind:

  • We need a clear way to contact this expert and a good idea of their availability. 
  • Direct content is best, so stick to only one quoted expert per content piece whenever possible.

2. Writing the content

At last: the writing! With a clear understanding of your topic and audience, our writers create content that educates and engages.

This phase often takes 2-3 business days after completing the research and interviewing. But it can take up to a week.

3. Selecting the art

Your images, aka creative services, amplify your words. We collaborate to pick imagery that captures the tone and essence of your message.

Research insights on what visually resonates best drives these choices. Sometimes they’re sourced by clients; others, we find high-quality stock or create images for you.

4. Editing the content

Next comes quality control. Our expert copy editors carefully review your content and art. There are two types of editing:

  • Content for your website: We focus on accuracy and a consistent voice that reflects your brand. This applies to blogs and landing/pillar page copy.
  • Sponsored content for Metro Parent or Chicago Parent: We take your message and expertise and present it in a way that resonates with our parent audiences.

5. Final approval

Now is your opportunity to review your blog/article/landing page content before publication. To meet deadlines yet allow ample time, a three-business-day turnaround is standard.

A few things to keep in mind:

  • Check for the basics, like factual accuracy and correct spelling of names.
  • Think like your reader. Is the message direct? Are you avoiding confusing jargon? Are the calls to action clear?
  • Coordinate all team members who need to “sign off.”
  • Send us an email with the word “approved” in the response to sign off officially.

Note: If you’re reviewing sponsored content for Metro Parent or Chicago Parent, check out our spon con editing tips for important insight.

6. Publishing

After your final approval, we load your content to your website or ours, and make sure everything is performing properly. You'll be informed when this happens. And you're always able to give us feedback.

Step 6: Promoting the content

This step is crucial to ensure people actually see and consume your message.

We leverage social media, email marketing, SEO and other channels so your content reaches the largest audience.

Search engine marketing (SEM), aka pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, is also standard for landing pages.

And, to give your content extra traction, share it among your own social networks and followers. This can include Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and more.

3-Content Marketing MetricsStep 7: Reviewing metrics and results 

Once your content is out in the world, we track it, tweak it if necessary and report on it.

Our analysts share key campaign metrics to see how it performs regularly.

Keep in mind that content marketing relies on organic traction. It takes at least 3-6 months to see initial results and a year or more to start seeing real impact in Google search results.

We monitor your content over time, gathering insights and adjusting the strategy when required.

The next steps of your content marketing 

In the marketing world, it’s crucial your content not only exists but excels.

After struggling with this task’s enormity, you’ve likely felt overwhelmed — and it’s hindered your progress. That’s precisely why Zoe Marketing & Communications makes your content marketing process clear and accessible. Our blueprint has you covered.

From here? It’s time to learn more about creating and delivering quality content: 

Free Guide

Download the Sponsored Content Guide

Discover what “spon con” is, the benefits, costs and if it’s right for your company’s digital marketing strategy.

Kim Kovelle

As Zoe Marketing & Communications’ content manager, Kim Kovelle brings nearly 20 years of writing and editing experience in metro Detroit. She has strong roots in community journalism and a knack for making complicated topics make more sense.