In digital marketing, every detail matters, and we think anyone who is even relatively close to this sphere is aware of this fact. There is no such thing as “something unimportant”; in marketing, only a combination of processes may guarantee positive results and effective brand improvement. In today’s article, we would like to talk more about content marketing strategies, their importance, as well as some crucial steps for its success.
Even though “30 common questions about content marketing answered by professionals” or something just as click-baiting as this heading is not mentioned here, still, you’ll find plenty of valuable information in this blog post. So, without further ado, let’s learn more about content marketing and its essentials that cannot be ignored if the final goal is to reach new levels of success with your business. It’s never too late to study!
The Definition of Content Marketing Strategy
Before talking about creating a successful content strategy, we think it would be a good idea to have a closer look at the definition that stays behind it. This plan is literally needed to know where to go and what to start from. Overall, every strategy consists of two main aspects:
- The strategy itself. With its help, it’s easier to map out all the available material and decide in which way it can be used to reach the most beneficial results;
- Content plan (also known as a content calendar). When you are aware of all the material available for work, you gather it and put it in order to use and share with customers at the right time.
Is Content Really Important?
We were surprised to find out that approximately 40% of businesses out there don’t have a well-planned content strategy; moreover, they are not quite sure how to use them in various spheres. However, we believe it’s crucial to stress that success is almost impossible without structure and a step-by-step plan.
Without it, you won’t be able to do more than just a chaotic publication of the content without connecting it to specific topics, goals, metrics, and other aspects related to the overall performance of the company. So, don’t ignore the importance of the content’s planning and join 78% of businesses that noticed their growth after adding systematization to some vital processes in their work.
Things to Consider to Increase Content Marketing Efforts
In general, an effective content marketing plan consists of five essential elements that define the overall success of the strategy: audience portrait, the brand’s background, its values, goals, and a basic action plan. Let’s have a closer look at these elements separately to understand their advantageous role better.
#1. Audience Portrait
You can’t really create a content strategy without knowing who will interact with everything you publish. So, we recommend identifying the audience before starting the plan:
- Survey your existing customers;
- Learn more about the trend in the industry;
- Know who is NOT your target;
- Analyze your competitors to see how they work with their customers.
After defining all crucial aspects, you need to be able to discuss and clearly explain the main features of your potential clients (for example, to those who will create the content for your business).
#2. The Background of the Brand
If you know your brand well enough, you’ll be able to understand who are those potentially interested in it in various marketing channels. Try to brainstorm and answer such questions as who are the top competitors of the business, its values, what problems may be solved with its help, what brings you over your competitors, and others. After identifying all the aspects, it’ll be easier to create a plan of action for a company and develop a unique strategy for it.
#3. The Value of Your Proposition
By analyzing the value of your content for the target audience, you’ll have a clearer picture of possible development options. What can you offer to all the users? How exactly is the information you provide can be valuable? Why should you be picked among other companies that work in your field? After answering these questions, you may come up with a unique style to ensure people won’t hesitate to choose you.
#4. Main Goals
After defining the main values of your company, you need to set goals to see whether your plan works or needs some corrections. All nuances should be included in it: starting from the money you are ready to invest in boosting the content, ending with desired numbers related to the audience interactions. The main point of the marketing plan is to move forward, and if desired results are written down, it is easier to analyze the performance and see where the changes should be made.
#5. Plan of Actions
After gathering all the information, you may add it to the content plan and think about the exact ways of using them during the work. Doing so would make a content marketing plan easier to combine with the business’s overall goals. Make sure to consider these factors:
- The content format you think will be the most suitable for your work;
- Topics that will demonstrate high performance;
- Channels to promote the content to a broader audience.
These are the main factors that must be included in the campaign to guarantee its successful development. Now, let’s have a closer look at the main steps of the strategy building (all of them were chosen based on well-performing content marketing examples of famous companies).
10 Content Marketing Objectives You Should Be Focusing On
Planning the content strategy may be pretty useful in the long run because you will see all the available resources clearly and thus understand the most effective ways of using them. Read 10 easy steps below to know well-planned, detailed instructions on creating a content marketing proposal, using it in practice, and reaching the desired results in a short time.
We recommend having your plan noted somewhere (a Google Document or a spreadsheet) not to miss anything important.
Step 1. Consider What Type of People Will Become Your Target Audience
First of all, your content is always created for your audience; thus, understanding the people you develop everything for is crucial. Overall, all users may be divided into four categories:
- Audience (those who are just interested in the topic);
- Followers (who love your brand and want to know more about its background);
- Buyers (followers who buy the product or services you offer);
- Advocates (people who have already worked with your brand and recommend it to others).
According to the categories above, the content you work on should include something for all of them. In his way, more users will be involved in the communication and potentially become leads in the future.
Step 2. Create a “Jobs to Be Done” Framework
For those who ask, “What is the jobs to be done framework?” we have a pretty easy explanation. It’s one of the most effective ways to understand the needs of your target audience. Typically, specialists represent it as “When I ___ , that’s why I want ___ , so I can ___ .”
- “When I___” is the problem a user has.
- “That’s why I want ___” is an available solution your company may offer.
- “So I can ___” is the need of an individual.
E.g., When I buy books, they take up too much space. That’s why I want more bookshelves in my apartments. So I can purchase more books and grow my library.
By using this easy formula, you can create engaging content that provides not only a positive visual effect but also a solution to various problems your potential clients may have.
Step 3. Think About the Main Goals of Your Content
In order for you goas to be more straightforward, you should set defined and understandable measures. Here, we have one more helpful formula for you:
- SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound), which is more suitable for setting fixed goals on the working path;
- CLEAR (Collaborative, Limited, Emotional, Appreciable, Refinable) is more flexible, creative, and has room for experiments.
A correct approach should be picked based on the business’s needs and general working style. Overall, there is no need to limit yourself to just one formula.
Step 4. Have a Closer Look at the Existing Content
To get out the maximum from the existing content of the company, it is crucial to analyze already ready and published information to see where precisely the mistakes were made. It is also recommended to perform the audio of everything you post at least twice a year and answer these questions:
- Which topics (and keywords) demonstrate the best results?
- Which content leads to the best engagement and conversions?
- Which channels drive the most traffic to the website?
By doing this, you will build an efficient strategy that will include only the most beneficial components for the company’s development.
Step 5. Think About Your Content Plan
This step includes a few smaller tasks we are going to tell you about right now. All because, if not divided into smaller sections, it may seem quite confusing and challenging (especially to those who have never worked with this type of company promotion). Here they are:
- Create a plan for your actions. Which are more important, and which ones can be done later? Which resources are needed to complete all the steps? What elements cannot be ignored? It is better to understand which way you should choose before actually starting to move;
- Start looking for relevant topics. Pick the main themes you would like to cover this year, break them into smaller pieces, and think about how they can be useful for your social media. By the way, keyword research may also be done after this, which is also crucial if you want to create optimized, well-performing content;
- Build topic cluster. In general, topic clusters are useful for inter-organizing the available content. It includes the common theme and smaller subtopics that can open the main one better;
- Perform competitive research. To make sure you offer unique and helpful content to Internet users, it is important to know what your direct competitors bring to the table. Their positions, tone of voice, type of content, and other details may be quite essential and useful when it comes to creating your personal style;
- Organize your work by creating a content calendar. Understanding deadlines and time frames make it easier to organize the working process and set clear deadlines.
Step 6. Develop Everything According to Content Marketing Institute
By saying so, we mean it is important to work on the content to make it better for clients and search engines. Focus more on originality – you will more likely stand out from the others with a unique, memorable information presentation.
Step 7. Add Some Diversity
There are five main types of content that should be used to provide customers with the best experience and fulfill all their needs:
- Interactive content. Quizzes, tests, and other activities;
- Vide. Live events, recorded podcasts, online conferences, etc. One viral video can make more than paid advertising sometimes;
- Visual. Slide presentations or infographics will make everything you post more memorable;
- Text. It’s one of the essential ones: news, valuable updates, feedback, interview, and many other ways to keep users noted about everything that’s going on in your company;
- PDF files. E-books, checklists, tutorials, manuals – the list goes on and on.
Step 8. Think About Content Promotion Options
Creating high-quality, engaging content is crucial, there is no doubt about it; however, in most cases, it won’t reach the right audience without proper promotion. So, don’t skip this step and think about platforms that may be used for the advertising of your business:
- Paid channels. PPC and social media ads, sponsored content, influencers’ feedback – all of this can be used in the paid channels;
- Owned media channels. Landing pages, blog posts, newsletters, and, of course, your social media profiles;
- Earned. This one is related to everything your business built up with its work: feedback, mentions, honest reviews, guest posts, shares, etc.
Step 9. Don’t Forget to Optimize Your Content for SEO
As surveys demonstrated, organic traffic takes 70-80% of the total website traffic. Thus, it’s crucial to improve the content quality for search engines just as for potential customers. Many factors are decisive when it comes to this task:
- The text’s readability;
- Its structure;
- The tone of voice;
- Used visuals and many others.
Moreover, don’t forget about interlinking and keyword usage, which will most likely boost everything you publish well enough for it to occur at the top of the Google ranking. Not to mention that nicely optimized content will more likely convert potential leads into your loyal customers.
Step 10. Constantly Analyze Your Performance
In order to know which processes and types of content performed the best, it is important to see the numbers and understand what type of information people are genuinely interested in and interact with actively. The key to a successful content marketing strategy is being cautious about what people like the most.
To Sum Up: About the Importance of Content Marketing Strategy
In order to have a defined path and successful growth for your business, a strategy is an essential component that cannot be ignored or skipped. Each step should be analyzed and considered, like in a well-planned recipe. Various types of content, its format, frequency, and many other aspects are gathering together to boost your company’s performance and lead it to new heights. Hopefully, now you have a better understanding of the content marketing strategy, its importance, as well as development. Take care!