Content Marketing Strategy has been the latest craze in the digital marketing world. While many companies have been implementing content in their marketing plans, many businesses have a flaw in their strategy. We have noticed a gap between what companies say they know about content marketing strategy and what they actually do. To clarify, when we say Content Marketing Strategy, we mean the mixture of Content Marketing and Content Strategy.
What is Content Marketing Strategy
Content Marketing: Many companies do content marketing well. Content Marketing is the process of content creation, scheduling, promotion, and publishing. Posting content is a crucial part of Content Marketing and it is the first thought that comes to minds for people who want to implement content. However, there is more that goes into content than just publishing! Creating and posting content can be a waste of time-- and even lose your company money-- if done incorrectly. Understanding when to post content and what kind of content to post is where Content Strategy comes into play.
Content Strategy: Content Strategy is the vision for your marketing plans. This strategy gives internal guidelines for your content. In this way, your content revolves around the needs of your target audience. Remember, the purpose of writing content is to share knowledge that your readers care about! Content Strategy also sets a tone of voice that should be present throughout your content; some content has a serious tone of voice while other content has a casual tone. For example, you do not want to be casual when talking to doctors about heart surgery. On the other hand, you do not want to be too technical when explaining health concerns to someone who is looking for easy-to-follow advice.
When we attack our content marketing strategy, we consider the following factors:
Why are we making content in the first place?
Outline your specific needs about why you decided to write content. Are you trying to capture awareness of your product to potential customers? A good idea would be to have a blog and landing page that each highlight your product’s specifications. If you are looking for sales, then create a white paper that compares you and your competitors (and shows why your company has the advantage!). Laying out a clear reason for creating content will help you save time and money.
What content do we need?
When we hear the phrase “content marketing”, the first picture that comes to most of our minds is blogging. But, content marketing goes well beyond blogging! Sit down with your marketing team and figure out your target audience, their needs, and their sources for content that satisfies their needs. This analysis will give you a solid idea about the type of content that will attract readers and meet their needs. You can also plan out your target keywords, which are words and phrases that you will work into your content to help your content rank high on the Google search engine. Keywords can be either short tail (i.e. “shirts”) or long tail (i.e. “Hawaiian men’s shirts”). We suggest that you focus on long-tail keywords because they have less competition and cost, and higher focus and conversion rate. To learn more about the best practices for creating a blog, check out our Ultimate Blogging Guide!
How do we get that content to accomplish our goals?
No better way to see if your content has met its goals than to check the numbers! Do a full content audit of your website and see the conversion rates on blogs, landing pages, internal pages, and your guides. Make data-driven decisions to determine the content that you will re-write, keep as is, or eliminate. Work with your team to create a content calendar that lays out your content topics in detail. Estimate the time that each piece of content will take and the amount of content that your team can produce within a month. You can get a better picture of a content calendar with this content calendar template. Finally, set a budget for activities to promote your content, such as a paid advertisement campaign.
Our goals for content marketing.
Set SMARTER goals for your content marketing. You can’t know if you have hit your goals if you don’t know your goals. The goal is to have content retain current clients and attract new leads. Setting these goals gives you a roadmap to create targeted content. Be realistic with your goals for content marketing, however. Doing content marketing well is a process that can take some time. If you overestimate your goals at the onset, you may be get easily disappointed and have a negative view of content marketing. Create attainable goals using metrics like CTA, CTR, or number of leads that you can expect from content. One possible way to set a content goal is to measure leads gained from content in a three-month period, with a goal of 1 lead per week and 1 new client per month.
Who are our readers and what is their style?
Create a buyer persona of your target audiences to write out all the details of your desired reader. Get in depth about your readers’ habits, likes, and dislikes. People have different styles of content that they like to read, so do your best to capture your reader's preferred style of reading and writing. This is crucially important when designating how to structure your content. Learn more about developing buyer personas with this buyer persona guide.
Can our products fill our readers needs?
Review your buyer persona and match your services or products to the pain points of your customers. Does your company’s offerings reflect your customers’ needs? If so, structure your content in the form of “problem-solution”. Your customers will see that you understand their issues and be more open to your proposed solution. This structure will improve conversions from your content.
Influencers vs Agencies.
Find the influencers in your region or industry. No one can promote content better than they can! Since influencers have a diverse audience, they can have a huge impact on the credibility of your content. Reach out to your chosen influencers and try to have them share your content. Their stamp of approval on your work can turn you into a leader in your industry and grow your digital audience. Also, you can find different agencies to promote your content in the form of press releases, guest blogs, native ads, and social media.
What types of content should we create and how long should it take?
As mentioned previously, there is much more to content marketing strategy than than just blogging. Outside of blogs, you can create effective content as landing pages, social media posts, infographics, guides, case studies, and more. Estimate the length of time that each type of content that is in line with your buyer persona will take. Then, it is time to divide and conquer the work. Avoid overwhelming yourself with unreasonable amounts of content. Your readers probably don’t love to get spammed with daily content from your company.
How do we promote our content?
This is the crucial step of content marketing. Where will you publish these blogs, how will you reach your audience, and what kind of emails can you send? There are many method to get your content seen on the Web. Be sure that you choose ways to promote your content that relates to your industry. Do some research to see if your competitors are using social media, paid advertisements, or other ways to promote their content. You can identify the gaps to promote your content where your competitors fall short. Avoid posting randomly to Instagram and other social media platforms just because you saw another company do it.
What We Learned
Content Marketing Strategy can play an important role in your marketing plans. In the mean time, find out how blogging can increase your websites awareness. Download our free blogging guide below.
Where do you see Content Marketing and Content Strategy fitting into your marketing strategy? Share your insight with a comment below.
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