Content Marketing offers a huge opportunity for companies to increase their results. By delivering valuable and relevant content to users, you can improve your reputation online.
Content marketing is not just about creating and distributing content. It is a strategic approach that allows you to attract and engage a defined target group and create profitable customer actions.
You can develop a decent content marketing strategy through this guide.
The Four Elements of a Content Marketing Strategy
An effective Content Marketing strategy must have four core elements to succeed.Brand placement
Value proposition from own media channels
Business goals strategic plan.
Let’s see why these elements are important for Content Marketing and how you can start implementing each one of them.
1. Brand positioning
A defined brand and product positioning will help you provide a consistent audience experience. You can easily create the perfect branding through the right content marketing channels.
The following questions will help you to find your position on the market:
- Who are my existing and potential customers?
- What kind of experience do they seek?
- How do my competitors promote their brands?
- What is the unique value of my brand?
- What problems does my product help solve?
- What makes it a better choice over my competitors?
- How can I highlight my brand’s personality / identity?
2. Value proposition from own media channels
To place your business as a credible content source, you need to define your own media channels (eg email list, social media followers, etc.). What unique value do you give to your audience with your content?
How do you stand out from other content creators? Why should readers choose to follow your content channels?
Start exploring your target audience to identify what kind of information they are looking for. Then analyse your competitors’ content strategies to find your editorial niche.
Often, companies focus on their market rivals and do not give enough attention to other content creators. When you decide to develop “owned media”, you should consider everyone in your area of expertise as potential competitors.
3. Business goals
Providing value to your target audience is an integral part of a successful content strategy.
Identify business goals your business needs to achieve. And find out how Content Marketing will bring your business closer to those goals. How many resources do you need to invest in your content strategy and what results do you want from this?
4. Strategic plan
A strategic plan should focus on your goals and exactly how to achieve them. It helps you think through every step of your content strategy. This plan will help you decide who you want to reach with your Content Marketing venture, how to deliver that content to them.
Now let’s see how you can develop a perfect content plan with some helpful tips and tools to help you become more efficient.
Seven steps to create a complete content marketing strategy
With long-term planning, you can focus on your business goals, anticipate challenges, and divide resources. By outsourcing these seven steps, you can develop and implement a complete strategy for content strategy step by step.
Step 1: Review your existing content
A content review can help you stand out in an era of mass content production or content overflow. Considering that there are about 1.6 billion websites and more than 70 million blog posts published monthly. Creating content without understanding what works for your target group and your company is a waste of time and resources.
Collect all your existing content and analyse it to understand the actual state of your content. What kind of content does your target audience attract? Which content will give you the best results? What do you need to improve?
Step 2: Set your goals
In order for your goals to be clear, ensure that each content part is based on meeting these goals and organizing them in a hierarchical manner. First begin with goals related to your vision and mission.
Then identify long-term and short-term goals that your Content Marketing can help achieve. Long-term strategic goals should take precedence over specific operational goals in your plan.
Don’t forget that your Content Marketing goals should help achieve your business goals.
Step 3: Determine your target audience
Finding your target audience and including them in your content is the key to success in Content Marketing. To do this, you need to understand their lifestyle, worries, problems and needs.
Creating buyer personas is very important for Content Marketing, but your target audience is not buyers. An audience includes people who are at the beginning of their buying process and just started interacting with your business.
It is important to create content that attracts your customers before the buying process. Then follow up with content that shows how your company can be helpful when they are ready to take action.
Step 4: Develop an editorial plan
When planning your content, you can divide your resources. And see which workflows take longer than expected and adjust your expectations accordingly.
One of the basic elements of effective planning is prioritisation. If you plan your actions, you can identify the most critical tasks you should do or things that you can easily test.
By doing this, you can protect your strategy from major failures. Also you can find opportunities for experiments that can increase your results.
Find relevant topics
To begin, you need to find out which topics your audience is interested in. A simple method I usually use is to go to Amazon.com and searches for the topic I want to write about.
In the search results, I choose the highest rating / most popular, then click on the tab; look inside. This opens up the book and then I can see the table of contents. Now I have many relevant topics to choose from. Always start with a keyword analysis before you write anything.
Use an editorial calendar to organise your work
Monday.com acts as an editorial calendar that allows you to track progress and streamline communication between multiple group members.
You can add tasks, assign them to specific people, and set deadlines – all while working with unlimited group members. With this tool you can reduce the amount of e-mail communication and thus avoid expensive mistakes.
Step 5: Plan content production
Before you start the content process, you need to think about the purpose of what you want to create. Ensure that the content covers every part of the customer journey to support your future customers at every step and ultimately develop a long-term relationship between your customer and your company.
Awareness Stage – The content is often centered on issues that your leads may have at the beginning of the buying process. This can also be content that tells about your business story, educates, informs or maintains your audience.
Consideration Stage / Consideration – When they continue through the consideration phase, the prospects will want to know more. Help them understand why they need help. guide them through how others have solved similar problems in the past; and discuss which steps may be necessary to follow up.
Decision stage / Decision – The content is designed to help potential leads decide why you are the best choice to help them. Case studies, customer reviews and analysis of the work you have done before can be helpful at this stage.
Retention Stage / Retention – Raise various ways to get the most out of your product or service, as well as ways to solve common problems and new features. To anticipate the issues they will ask and answer them preventively.
Advocacy Stage / Promotion – Content that highlights the parts of your company can turn customers into evangelists. These can be things that reflect your business values, efforts or outstanding employees.
Diversify your content
Include a varied mix of content types in your plan to reach out to more people in your audience. If you have limited content creation resources, these three tips can help you be more productive:
Create SEO-friendly content
35% of all site traffic comes from organic search; That is why search engine optimisation is important. Once your content is created, you can use SEO by Yoast (WordPress user) or SEMrush SEO Writing Assistant to make articles are optimised for organic search.
Transform your content
When an article published, you can convert it to reach new readers who may prefer a different format. Simple ways to reuse existing content are:
- Convert an article to an infographic, slideshow or video.
- Segment a long article or video into shorter articles that you can publish as a series.
- Combine cards to create a white paper or a long article.
- Create image presentations.
- Create useful snippets and informative images for social media.
Take advantage of user-generated content
Include user-generated content in your plan to strengthen your reputation / brand. Reviews, comments, photos and videos create legitimacy for your promises.
Step 6: Plan content distribution
We have already mentioned that one of the core elements of Content Marketing owned media development. Earned media and paid media, in turn, constitute important parts of a content distribution strategy.
You can see below how owned, earned and paid media can work together:
Create an integrated Omni channel experience
Providing omni channel communication to your target audience is the best way to keep your business in top-of-mind. By adapting the message and the goals across several channels, your target group gets a clear picture of who you are and what you can offer.
Identify the most relevant channels
Resources should go to the channels where the target audience already spends most of their time to give your content the best chance of being seen.
Specific social media analyzes and demographics can determine which channels can try to engage your customers or target audience, and which can be a waste of the budget. Using the analysis you have already compiled, you can determine where your target audience is most likely to see and consume your content.
Automate Social Media Posting
You can easily automate posts to multiple social media to save time and ensure timing accuracy.
Plan social media posts in advance with Hootsuite and check which ones get the most involvement from followers.
Step 7: Analyse content performance
Analyzing the content results is the best way to understand the type of content that works for your target audience. Your audience will give you clear signals of what attracts their interest most. Making it easier for you to come up with new content that engages them.
Content falls into four categories:
- User behaviour: unique visitors, pages per session, bounce rate.
- Commitment: likes, parts, comments, boards.
- SEO results: organic traffic, time on site, links.
- The company’s revenue: number of leads, existing potential customers, conversion rate.
While the methods used to deliver content are constantly changing, the core principles continue to be the same – developing a first-class Content Marketing strategy based on reliable data.