Your content marketing strategy should, like every other aspect of your overall marketing strategy have two goals: reach and convert. Here lies the problem.
How can you create content that will reach your target audience, engage them with content that they will read, then convert them into buying your products or services?
What is the best way to create a content marketing strategy for your business that will grow with it?
Our content marketing workshops teach clients a seven-point strategy that is applicable to all businesses. This strategy will help you grow, but it will also grow with your business.
This post is a summary of my content marketing workshops that I lead each year at top marketing conferences. Read (or skip – it’s fine!) You can even download my content marketing strategy template at no cost!
How to Create and Implement a Content Marketing Strategie
This simple strategy will ensure that you have content marketing that attracts your customers, hooks them with valuable content, converts them into buyers, even brand ambassadors.
7 Steps To Develop A Content Marketing Strategy
- Use content marketing best practices to your advantage
- To provide guidance for content marketers, create a mission statement.
- Content that is relevant to all of your customers, no matter their stage in the buyer journey.
- All content should be edited to target qualified prospects. Your goal is to convert them into paying customers.
- Find the channels that your target customers use and use them to publish your content.
- Track and calculate your return on investment (ROI) for your content marketing program. Then, adjust your content marketing strategy so that you prioritize the methods that have the highest ROI.
Top Practices for a Success Content Marketing Strategy
- Defining and documenting your mission: Although you may know what your content marketing strategy should look like, it is important to have a written record to help others, as Elyse Flynn, the Forbes Council’s Elyse Meyer, points out. This strategy should contain the “what” as well as “why” of your mission. Your mission should be the focus of every piece you publish. You can learn to remove the pieces that aren’t. Make sure you document your mission and make sure that everyone knows it.
- Designate someone to hold you responsible for the success of your content marketing strategy: At the beginning, this person could be you. As your business grows, you may want to assign your content marketing tasks to a digital marketing agency or a chief marketing officer (CMO), and their staff. So that the chief marketing officer (CMO) of your content marketing agency can focus on your objectives, it is important to clearly define your expectations.
- You should publish content on the channel you own. Social media and other channels can change their rules at will. They can also sometimes go out of business. Remember MySpace? You would be out of luck if you had all your content marketing invested into this content marketing platform. You can create email lists, subscribe services, blog posts, and other channels on company-owned platforms. Third-party channels can be used for supplemental distribution. This allows you to focus on your business and not Silicon Valley’s latest darlings.
- Match your content with your customers’ buyer journey. Create each piece of content that you publish to reach specific customers at the right place on their buyer journey. A checklist or how-to video might be useful for customers looking for DIY solutions to their problems. If you are considering selling your products or services, it might be a good idea to review some case studies that show how you have helped others succeed. Or a white paper that gives a solution to addressing one of their problems.
- Share your content via both paid and social channels. Many social media platforms today have amazing analytics that can be used to target the most likely buyers. Keep them updated at the social media sites they frequent. You can also offer your customers deeper interaction, such as blog posts and email subscriptions that provide unique insights to solve their problems. Also, paid subscription services that produce content of high value will be available.
- Pay attention to your subscribers. If someone takes the time to sign up for your content publications, it means that your content is important to them. Find out their greatest challenges and create content that addresses them.
- Measure, track, and optimize your content marketing ROI. If you don’t have a way of measuring whether your strategy is working, you are wasting every penny you spend on content marketing. A well-documented and tracked content marketing program will give you an advantage over your competition and help boost your profits. You’ll likely be the minority. Meyer points out that only 37% B2B content marketers actually do this. This is a staggering statistic, but one that you can use if you document the elements of your content marketing strategy that actually produce results.
You can grow your content marketing strategy to maturity by leveraging the best content marketing practices to their full potential.
Get Audience Insights to Power Your Content Marketing Strategy
Your customer-focused strategy starts with creating customer personas, which are brief portraits of your most probable customers. To better understand your customers’ needs and intent, you can dig into their preferred topics, publications, and content types.
Ask your customers questions via online and in-person surveys, chats or over dinner. To help them solve their biggest problems, you need to know what their needs are. Here are some questions you might ask:
- Which topics would you like to see our content explore? This will allow your team to brainstorm new topics. You will produce content that your customers want, not content that writers or video producers think is clever.
- What type of content would you like to read and share? This question is key to unlocking shares, which is a key component to growing your customer base. Marketing gold is shared content that has been shared by a trusted friend.
- Which channels do you use to get content? Find out what your customers are using regularly. It won’t be worth publishing problem-solving content if they aren’t on Facebook much other than to keep up with family gossip. Maybe they look through their emails to find useful content. You’ll be more successful if you prioritize the channels that your customers use.
Create a Mission Statement for Content Marketing
A map, or at the very least a functioning GPS device, is essential for any journey. Your mission statement is like a map for content marketing. Your audience is the topic that best defines you and the value that your target customers will receive from your expertise.
- Identify your audience. Use data analytics to analyze previously published content as well as surveys of current customers to identify the characteristics of your target market. Do they mostly consist of engineers? Are they mostly homemakers? Dog trainers? You can learn more about them and help you decide what you want.
- Define your signature subject: What are you best at? You can do many things well but choose the one that best serves your target audience.
- Define the topic’s value for your target customers. If you’re selling baby care products, you might find ways to save money and get more out of one product. No matter what it might be, define it.
You can narrow down your customer base, your signature topic and the value it brings to you customers to create a mission statement that is unique to them. It will bring you the greatest value for your time.
Organise Your Content
You must provide an easy way for your customers to access your content in order to fulfill your mission. Your digital destination must be user-friendly and provide quick access to the content your customers need.
- List all categories that you have covered on the homepage: Use plain English and easy-to-read fonts to define the categories. To help them quickly find what they are looking for, provide a search box.
- Blog posts and articles with publication dates and author name Customers who need time-sensitive information will want to know the date and publication date of each article. If a particular author offers specific insight into a topic that interests a customer’s, the author’s name will assist them in finding that author’s articles.
- Keep readers’ attention with strong visuals. Don’t try to fight the attention curve. Accept it and provide visuals that grab readers’ attention to keep them reading.
- Highlight the best posts to increase engagement: When an article is performing well make sure it appears at top of search results for that topic. This will increase traffic to your site and make it appear in search results on Google and other search engines.
- Share your content with friends and colleagues using social sharing.
Define your staff and their roles
As your organization grows, you will need to clearly define the responsibilities of each staff member for what tasks. Don’t use jargon, and instead make each person’s duties clear and simple to understand.
- Leadership is what makes or breaks everything. Find someone who can produce effective content but also exhibits leadership qualities. Name them your managing editor.
- Manage your community. If resources are available, appoint someone who can manage the readership.
- Take control of your analytics. Hire a number cruncher who can not only analyze, but can also provide insights.
- The Design Gurus: Visuals are key to keeping people interested. A skilled designer can create pages that provide outstanding content and display it in a stunning, user-friendly way.
- Curation A smaller company’s managing editor can decide which posts to publish when. Your editor may need additional help to sort through the many contributions and find the best solutions for your customers as you grow.
- Content providers Depending upon the size of your company, you may have several in-house content providers. These could include copywriters and video producers as well as graphic designers. Most companies now prefer to outsource this work and focus on the people who produce the content.
- SEO and paid professionals: Search Engine Optimization and Media Production has become so specialized, that only the most powerful companies can afford to employ the best SEO and media producers for their own in-house teams. Many companies realize that outsourcing to a specialist agency will yield better results for a smaller budget.
Content marketing agencies such as ours are able to fill these roles for startups and smaller businesses. As you grow, we can continue to provide SEO-foundational content, while your team develops thought leadership and campaigns, and tests conversion paths.
Create an Editorial Strategie
Begin by asking your customers questions. Next, determine which topics and content will be most helpful in answering those customers’ questions. You will need to create an editorial strategy that places that content to use in a calendar that gives them the answers they are looking for.
To get the most value out of each piece of content, you can reuse previously published content. SlideShares can be used to share your knowledge with customers after you have given an executive presentation. Have you just published a whitepaper? For potential customers who aren’t ready to read a technical whitepaper, create a series of digestible blog posts using the information from the whitepaper. To get insights from others, you can curate their content.
Creative recycling is a great way to get the most from your content marketing investment.
Customize Your Content to Your Customer’s Buyer Journey
To understand and address the topics your customers are interested in learning about, dig deep into Google Analytics. Learn what questions they are asking at every step. Find out what they are reading. Take a look at the content they share on social media.
Choose the questions and reading list data that best fit each stage of your customer’s buying journey. Next, you will target content that addresses the questions and concerns of buyers at each stage.
It will help you to plan the content for each stage of your journey. This will build trust and position you as an authority.
Develop a distribution strategy that maximizes your ROI
Distribution of content is a major expense for the film industry. It can spend up to 60% of its budget. It is important that businesses do the same. Startups should learn how to use free resources to reach the right customers.
Google Analytics and many social media platforms offer free data analytics. However, it takes time to learn how to use them. It’s worth the time if you have more time than money. Take a look at how each piece of content is distributed on each channel and plan your future content distribution using those results.
Content Marketing Measurement & Planning
First, determine your business objectives. Start with your business objectives. Next, look at the data to determine if your content is meeting those objectives. You can measure your reader engagement and conversion percentages. This will help you to determine how well your content marketing is helping you retain customers who wouldn’t otherwise have found you. To track your key performance indicators (KPIs), use a chart such as the one below.
- Track your KPIs over time It’s a good idea to track the KPIs of your content over time, even if you have hit the jackpot. This will provide you with a better picture of your reach as well as conversion. You can track engagement and conversion rates versus total spend.
- Make a content marketing plan: Once you have analyzed how your content has performed over time, you will be able to create a roadmap for future content distribution. Consider which keywords you would like to be a focus. You should create content that will help you rank higher in search engine results. Content that generates more revenue and converts more people to your site.
Our user-friendly content strategy workbook includes a checklist and interactive planning guide to help you create your content marketing strategy. You will be guided through each step, just like at one of our live events. Download your workbook today.
Our Content Builder Service is available to help you get more traffic and leads to your website or create a content marketing strategy. Contact me to schedule a consultation. I will send you a PDF copy of my books for free!
This post is so popular, we created a content marketing infographic that outlines the 7 steps for developing your content marketing strategy.
Marketing Insider Group’s first article was How to Create a Content Marketing Strategy to Reach And Convert.
By: Michael Brenner
Title: How to Develop a Content Marketing Strategy to Reach and Convert
Sourced From: marketinginsidergroup.com/content-marketing/how-to-develop-a-content-marketing-strategy-to-reach-and-convert/
Published Date: Tue, 26 Oct 2021 13:00:00 +0000
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