In recent years, content marketing has become one of the most powerful techniques for growing your business. Because of its effectiveness, businesses are now allotting as much as 40 percent of their advertising budget on content marketing. The investment makes sense because well-executed content marketing can bring more traffic to a website, raise brand awareness among consumers, position your business as an expert, raise customer loyalty, and greatly improve sales.
However, in order to get the most of your content marketing efforts, you'll need to have a clear and defined strategy. And, you'll need to stick to it! This will not only make it easier to create more content but also help you analyze, set goals, and measure your ROI.
How to Build Content Marketing Strategy
Determine Your Objectives
The first step to developing a content marketing strategy is to determine your company's objective. In other words, you'll need to have an end goal. Are you trying to create more awareness about your brand? Or, are you trying to gain more subscriptions to a service you provide? Decide on one or two core goals that will affect your bottom line and two or three supporting objectives you want to meet.
Define Your Target Market
You want to market to the right customer using the right content at the right time. To do so, you would need to define your target market. You can do this by creating buyer personas and using them as a model for your content marketing plan. Conduct qualitative research to build these personas. Make use of surveys, customer feedback, focus groups, social media activity, and customer interviews. Even user profiles and transaction histories will help you in understanding who your real customers are.
Study What Your Customers Need
Make use of social media, search browsers, surveys, customer conversations and insight from your sales and customer service personnel to understand what your customers need. You can then use the collected data to segment your customers and send them content that is specific to their needs.
Decide on What Content to Prioritize
Once you have determined your end goal and identified your buyers, you can start focusing on content. There are a lot of content types to choose from—blogs, ebooks, infographics, games, courses, mobile apps, webinars, podcasts, and newsletters to name a few. Choose two or three types that are most suited or relevant to your audience to ensure you can always provide high-quality content. Once you have decided on the content channels you want, you can start creating a content schedule.
According to a 2018 B2C survey by Conductor, businesses use blogs and videos 3 times more than any other type of content marketing.
Develop a Plan for Executing Content
Utilize your buyer personas and customer information to design a plan for executing your content. Start brainstorming for ideas, like what keywords to use or topics for your blog. Think about how and where your audience will receive their information. Consider that customers require different kinds of content per funnel stage.
Design Ways to Measure Your Content Marketing
Your objectives will help define your metrics. Develop a measurement framework to help you keep track of how your strategy is helping with your goals. There are different categories of content marketing metrics that you can find online.
Amplify Your Content
It's not enough to just develop content. Even an in-depth blog post or expertly edited video will fall on deaf ears unless you amplify its reach. Consider that there are at least 4 million blog posts published every day, how will you get your post to rise above the noise? You can get the word out through social media channels or explore other avenues, like using influencers or creating events.
3 Tips on How to Stick to Your Strategy
Once you have established your content marketing strategy, you'll have to stick to it to reap the benefits. Unfortunately, this is where a lot of companies falter. Here are three tips to help you stay on your path:
1. Make sure everybody knows what to expect
Every departments' goals should align with each other. For instance, the goals of the marketing and sales department should be in tune with each other and should fall in line with that of the upper management. Every member should also know the metrics that will be used.
2. Concentrate on initiatives that are already successful
Check which previous marketing strategies gave you the best results and build from there. After all, why fix something that isn't broken. For instance, if one PPC campaign resulted in a good ROI, update it by either boosting the ad spending or launching a similar campaign using a different product.
3. Delegate or outsource
Good marketers know they should play to their strengths and delegate or outsource the rest. For instance, if you have good graphic design skills, make your own business logo or visual banners. If you are terrible at getting your ideas across in words, hire a writer. There's no reason to do it all yourself when you can tap the services of others who can do a better job.
A solid content marketing strategy is essential to a successful business. Brainstorm for ideas and do not be afraid to experiment with different approaches or try a variety of tools. Keep track of customer engagement to ensure that you will stick to the strategy you devised. These will help in the continued improvement of your content marketing strategy and the success of your business.