Without a clearly set out strategy, content marketing techniques are pointless regardless of how good they are. You can have the best content out there, but it all means nothing if the right people don’t find it.
No matter what stage of content planning you’re in, whether you are just starting out, in the development phase, or the delivery stage, this is the perfect time to think about the best way to optimize and distribute it to the right audience.
Content marketing has been around for a couple of years now, and an estimated 70% of businesses are actively investing in content marketing today. However, not all these companies succeed thanks to their content marketing campaigns. This is because, according to the Content Marketing Institute (CMI), approximately 63% of businesses lack a documented content marketing strategy.
The truth is there is no standard formula or any secret to creating the best marketing strategy**. ** Every business and industry is unique, so whatever works for someone doesn’t guarantee that it’ll also work for you.
This guide will walk you through the quintessential content marketing framework for long-term success.
WHAT DOES A SUCCESSFUL CONTENT MARKETING STRATEGY LOOK LIKE?
Regardless of the type of content and the delivery channels used, professional marketers often follow a particular roadmap leading to success. Here are five things to consider when developing your content marketing strategy:
1 . SET YOUR MISSION AND GOALS
It is quite easy to get all caught up in the what, how, and where of your content marketing tactics. However, we often skip the most important piece, which is ‘why.’ Before rolling out and content marketing campaigns, a successful business will always figure the content marketing mission statement.
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An ideal content marketing mission statement outlines the content you’ll use for the audience, and the benefits they stand to get.
Apart from that, you also need to figure out what your business goals are. Some of them include: boosting revenue, high-quality leads and better brand reception, more engagement and traffic to your site as well as increased sales and reduced marketing cost.
2. ESTABLISH YOUR KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS (KPIS)
Once you have established what you need to achieve through your content marketing strategy, it is prudent to make them specific and measurable. KPIs enable you to create milestones that you can check off once a target has been accomplished and measure your success.
Beware of vanity metrics that do not go deep into explaining the results of your content marketing campaigns. Here are four metrics to consider:
1. CONSUMPTION METRICS
It is basically accounting for how the audience consumed your content. Think of the level of engagement it received, the actions taken, streams or listens, downloads, page visits, etc.
2 . SHARING METRICS
How often does your audience share the content with their network?
3. LEAD GENERATION METRICS
Measure how many leads you get from your different content marketing strategies and maximize those with impeccable results.
4. SALES METRICS
Did you make any money as a result of your content strategy becoming successful?
5. UNDERSTAND YOUR AUDIENCE
For your content marketing strategy to be successful, you ought to identify and understand your ideal audience. Here are three crucial steps you need to undertake:
6. COLLECT DEMOGRAPHIC DATA
The first step to understanding your audience is by collecting the demographics of your social media followers, page visitors, and email subscribers. Some of the factors to consider are age, gender, education, location, etc.
2. GET CUSTOMER FEEDBACK
To get more involved with your target clientele, it is prudent to collect feedback from your current customers. Doing so will provide you with access to:
- Their views on your existing content
- What their priorities are
- How you can provide solutions to their issues regarding your content
Knowing all this opens the doors for you to:
- Decide on the best platforms to use to reach out to your audience
- Flesh out buyer persona, which takes us to the next point:
3. CREATE BUYER PERSONAS
After getting the demographic data and feedback from your current audience, you can now roll out buyer personas. Also known as customer avatars, buyer personas help to describe your ideal consumers to enable you to curate more relevant content.
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After creating buyer personas, you become aware of your customers’ pain points, the challenges they face, their source of information, and even behavioral motivators.
Once you know all that, you can create content that your preferred audience will respond to.
4. CREATE MORE CONTENT WITH LESS
Many businesses already have tons of content out there. As it comes to content issues, most business owners think that creating more of it is the way to go, but it isn’t always the best solution. The best way forward is to assess your current situation and start by identifying the best type of content to put out there.
There are many channels used by successful companies, such as social media, blog posts, video marketing, etc. Are they useful to you? Is your target audience using such platforms? You can also be creative enough to use other efficient methods, such as podcasts.
With such, you can easily talk to your customers directly while sharing about their pain points - making it easy to appeal to their emotions. Such platforms are easy to run; for instance, you only need the best podcast hosting options to have your podcast up and running.
If you already have plenty of content on your platforms, it might be the perfect time to mix things up instead of creating a massive heap. Before you come up with another piece, here are three things to do that can help you out in your campaigns:
1 . Repurpose the content - you can update existing content and give it life with new information, infographics, etc.
2. User-generated content (UGC) - tap into your social community for content ideas.
3. Atomization - the piece of content you currently have can be broken down into many sub-sections that you can use to offer more insights for your audience.
Maximize on the content you have before curating new ones if need be.
5. STAY CONSISTENT
The key to ensuring that your content marketing strategy works is by being consistent on how you put it out. Growing your audience isn’t easy, but if you only make one social media post in a month, you shouldn’t be surprised to see your strategies not bearing any fruit. Once you’ve developed a content marketing schedule, you should strive to stick to it.