If you want your business to succeed, you want your customers, leads, and audience to be as engaged as possible. Moreover, they want valuable content from you. Advertising your business on social media websites simply isn't enough. This is where content marketing comes into play.
Creating content is far more complicated than you think. To keep your target audience engaged, you need to create helpful, detailed, and different content; you need a well-developed content marketing strategy.
This article will cover everything you need to know about content marketing strategies, how they work and why you should use them.
We've also compiled an in-depth guide on how you can create a content marketing strategy that'll take your brand to the next level.
What Is Content Marketing Strategy?
A strategy is a plan for achieving a specific goal.
So, what is a content marketing strategy? This high-level strategy involves mapping out the implementation and distribution of your business's content marketing materials.
A content marketing strategy involves planning, content creation, distribution, sharing, and publishing via channels such as blogs, websites, social media, press releases, and more. Every content marketing tactic aims to increase brand awareness, audience engagement, customer loyalty, and sales.
People often confuse content marketing with content plans. A content plan is just a plan that helps you organize your content so you can deliver it in a timely fashion.
Why Content Marketing Is Important
Outbound marketing strategies have become very ineffective in the past couple of years. This is because they're not effective at resonating and converting target audiences.
Today, you need to produce content that will reach your audience in a way that feels organic.
The most effective way of doing this is by creating a narrative for the content you create. In other words, you need to tell a story. By doing so, your brand will feel more authentic and engaging.
So, why is content marketing so important? Here are five reasons:
- A comprehensive content strategy will boost conversion
- It will help educate your prospects and leads about what your business has to offer.
- A successful content strategy will build a relationship between your brand and the customers, which results in increased loyalty.
- It will educate your audience on how your products and services can help them solve challenges in their life.
- You'll create a community around your brand.
Types Of Content Marketing
People immediately think about blog posts whenever they hear the word content marketing. However, content marketing comes in many other flavors.
Here are the four most common types of content marketing.
#1 Social Media Content Marketing
With over 3.6 billion users, social media platforms are one of the most lucrative ways for brands to promote themselves.
You can use several platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to deliver meaningful content to your audience. Remember that you will have to adapt your content strategy based on what social media platform you want to use the most.
For instance, if you're going to make social media posts on Instagram, you can create short video content to spread your message.
#2 Blog Content Marketing
Blog posts are one of the most powerful types of inbound content. They allow for a lot of creativity regarding purpose and topic.
You can promote other internal and external content via links with a blog. Moreover, you can add social media share buttons and incorporate other types of content such as videos, podcasts, guest posts blogging, and even social media posts.
Besides, search engines love blogs since they see them as the focal point for all your online activities.
#3 Podcast Content Marketing
A recent survey by Edison Research showed that 49% of Americans between the ages of 12 and 32 listened to a podcast in the last month. Moreover, the same survey showed that people listen to podcasts on average for six hours a week.
Because of this, businesses have begun producing and sharing their own podcasts.
Podcasts have become incredibly popular because they allow for a lot of creativity. This type of content allows you to be genuine with your target audience.
The best thing about podcasts is that they can be very flexible. You can determine the cadence of each episode, who will be on it, and where you'll advertise it.
#4 Video Content Marketing
According to Wyzowl's research, nearly 70% of consumers say they prefer to learn about brands' services and products through video marketing.
Moreover, video marketing can boost conversions, ROI, and even help you build a stronger relationship between your brand and your audience.
9 Steps To Create A Successful Content Marketing Strategy
According to Content Marketing Institute's latest research, a whopping 63% of US businesses don't have a documented content marketing strategy.
With this in mind, it's no surprise that brands with a documented strategy have a higher chance of succeeding.
Without a content strategy, your success depends solely on luck.
If you want your business to succeed and grow, you must follow the 9 steps you need to take to develop a successful content marketing strategy.
#1 Set Your Goals
Any good strategy needs a starting point. As most content marketers advise, the best starting point is setting out a marketing mission statement.
A mission statement is nothing more than a brief statement on what's important and what's not when making content.
A content marketing mission statement has to outline three things:
- Your target audience
- The type of content you'll use to reach your audience
- The benefit you'll get from your marketing efforts
Thankfully, creating a mission statement is easier than you think. All you need is to follow this simple formula:
We provide [target audience] with the [type of content you'll use] to help them [your business goals].
While the formula above covers what your audience will get from your content marketing tactics, you also need to consider what your brand will get from it. This is where business goals come into play.
Here's a list of typical business content marketing goals:
- Boosting revenue
- Boosting sales
- Getting more web visitors
- Gain influence and authority
- Improve search engine ranking
- Boost social media engagement
#2 Establish KPIs
Once you've nailed down on what goals you want to achieve, you need to make them measurable. This means you need to set up key performance indicators.
KPIs will help you know when you've achieved one of your goals by providing you with milestones. Milestones should include things you plan to achieve in terms of sales, traffic, search engine optimization, social media analytics, etc.
Usually, you want to have specific numbers attached to your milestones. For example, you may want to hit a certain number of social media followers this month or get an increased site traffic by the end of the year.
#3 Get To Know Your Target Audience
To have a successful content marketing strategy, you need to be clear about who your audience is. This way, you can create the right content for them.
First, you need to collect demographic data. You can do this by visiting your Google analytics. There you will find all the essential data you need, such as the age, gender, education, and income of your web visitors.
Social media websites also offer similar analytics. For instance. Facebook gives your demographic information on your followers via Facebook Page Insights.
If you want even more data, you can conduct surveys on your audience. You can ask them how they feel about your content and how you should improve it.
Once you've collected all this data, you can create a buyer persona. A buyer persona is simply an avatar that represents your ideal customer.
Your customer persona should include information on your audience's pain points, information sources, and challenges.
With all this information, you'll better understand the type of content your audience will respond to, how it'll help, and what'll make them care about it.
#4 Assess Your Position
Your brand probably has content out there. This can include blog posts, social media posts, videos, podcasts, etc.
This is why your next step is to figure out whether that content is helping you achieve your goals.
To do this, you need to conduct a content audit. This includes:
- Logging all your content such as blog posts, videos, podcasts, etc.
- Assessing the usefulness and success of the content you currently have out
- Identifying content gaps.
Logging all your pieces of content is pretty simple. All you have to do is create a spreadsheet that lists all your:
- Page titles
- Meta descriptions
- Content length
- Social shares
Next, you need to assess how useful your content is. You want to look at metrics such as:
- Whether you have a lot of inbound links to the content
- What's the search engine ranking for keywords associated with your content
- How much is your content shared
Finally, you need to work out where are the gaps you can exploit.
These gaps can include:
- Keywords related to your niche that are not targeting your content
- Questions your audience has that you're not answering
- Keywords your competitors rank for and that you're not targeting at all (note: research your competitors using SEMrush, as it's an affordable tool that's also easy to use)
- Content that's ranking high but could be improved
#5 Decide On Content Type And How You Will Deliver It
With all the information you've gathered from the step above, you can now get a sense of what content you need to create and where to deliver it.
For instance, if you have a primarily young audience, it's best you produce short video content and share it on platforms such as TikTok and Instagram.
#6 Create A Content Calendar
Consistency is one of the most important things when it comes to making content. You need to know when to publish your content and on what platforms.
If you space out your content, your audience won't be as engaged. But if you flood them with content, they get fatigued and lose interest.
Luckily, creating a content calendar is a piece of cake. You can use a Google Calendar and jot down due dates for each piece of content you plan to publish. This is pretty effective if you don't publish a lot of content.
If you're publishing a lot of content, you can use task management tools such as Asana or CoSchedule. These are powerful tools you can use to manage whole teams of people.
#7 Create Content
As you can see, your content marketing strategy requires a lot of prep before you actually make content.
Thankfully, all the research will help you understand what type of content best serves your business marketing objectives.
So, all you have to do now is get to creating content.
Thanks to your research, you'll know exactly what topics and answers you need to cover.
Once you get to making content, you need to find out:
- What's already out there
- How your content can add value to your audience
To do this, you'll have to do many Google searches, check out the top results, and see how you can improve them.
You can also conduct original research, which takes a lot of time.
Once you're done, all that's left is to post the content to relevant channels.
#8 Measure Results
Once your content goes live, you need to measure the results.
Thankfully this is pretty easy. Most social media websites provide you with analytics; if you own a website, you can use Google Analytics.
Depending on what your metrics say, you can adjust your strategy and hone down on what's the best content for your audience. Thankfully, analytics remove lots of guessing from the process.
Thank you for reading this article. We hope it was helpful.