Creating a content marketing strategy is not the easiest nut to crack, because you need to take a lot of aspects into consideration. Content marketing is not about writing (this would be called only copywriting), but mainly about wise redistribution and creating accurate content that is loved and appreciated by the audience. What to take into account why creating your own content marketing strategy and why is it important to optimize it on a regular basis? Read our article to find out more.
What is content marketing?
Content marketing is a set of tactics around creation and redistribution of content (blogs, articles, newsletters, social media posts, video, infographics, webinars, podcast, checklists and other whitepapers, etc.) that is not directly about boosting sales or generating leads, but rather about giving some general understanding about your brand and stimulating interest in your products and services. Content marketing can be also used for lead nurturing, with valuable content as lead magnet.
For some, content marketing is really overpriced and they don’t seem to believe it can deliver any amazing results. However, if you prepare your strategy thoughtfully, you can be surprised by the effects.
Why does it matter?
Content marketing is not a buzzword – it can deliver amazing results if it is implemented wisely. Below, you’ll find a few reasons why you should make the most of it.
- Google loves content, so creating some valuable articles can help you generate some additional traffic. It is a classic win-win situation: not only you deliver value to your audience, but also care about your branding and SEO same time. You can pack your piece of content with a lot of keywords and SEO-compliant elements to make it deliver great results for positioning, too. You shouldn’t forget about SEO while creating your content strategy – it still matters, and it will for a long, long time!
- You can generate more conversions thanks to content marketing. No matter what you take as a conversion – sales, newsletter signup or register for a trial – content marketing can help you achieve success and meet your business goals. It can play a role of great support for your sales team as well – if they need to convince someone to your product or services, they can send some pieces of content published or made for a brand. If PR departments wants to get some attention, they can use some content as well.
- It can be more innovative than casual marketing and traditional techniques. A lot of people associate content marketing with just articles of blogs… little did they know! Nowadays, content is put in a form of podcasts, webinars or videos, and videos are to rule the world.
- It impacts your brand awareness. There are not many activities that will help you increase your brand awareness as effectively as the content does. The better content you deliver, the better and higher-quality traffic you drive. Your brand can be associated with great content and great product.
- It is often used for providing some ROI, it can be difficult to manage and estimate at first but definitely worth trying.
- It can also impact your social media following. If you publish valuable content you shouldn’t be worried about some social media impact. People will start following you not to lose any touchpoint with your brand, so your content strategy should be compliant with social media and include some social media posts to maximise the reach.
- It can be a great connector between your product pages and audience. Target groups hate salesy stuff, but love content – and they can click through it to product pages if their attention got caught by some content.
There are a few questions you should answer before making any strategy, but content marketing strategy in particular. It can quickly turn out that you have no clue about creating engaging content and whatever you already published is not appealing enough to your target group to interact with your brand and convert. Answer those questions below to find out if you can start your activities with the knowledge you already gained.
Where are you now?
Sometimes it takes a while to find out what your current situation is. Even if you create some content already, you don’t have to know if it performs well. In this stage, you need to find out some answers to this question. Without the answers, you may never find out if your content is actually accurate.
So, high time for you to investigate: if you invested enough efforts and time into your content strategy? Did you analyse performance? Have you actually taken seriously your work with content, or you treated it as extras you don’t need to care about?
You need to detect where your strengths are, identify your weak points, oversee opportunities and chances to sparkle. We know it is difficult to point out your own weaknesses but it is absolutely necessary to move on. It can make you think: maybe you need additional manpower? Maybe outsourcing your processes could be a good idea? You never know if you don’t try this.
2. What about your competition?
You need to find out what your competitors do in terms of content. There are at least a few explanations of this: not only you can see what they do, but also what works for them and what doesn’t, and why it is worth or not following them. Don’t even try to copy-paste them, it will be spotted easily. Research websites, social media profiles, but also look into personal branding of employees – it can give you a lot of information you need to leverage your content strategy. Do it manually or with a little help of social media monitoring apps. Manual research can be more precise, but also takes time and efforts you should spend on creating an actual strategy.
3. What is your target group?
If you think that your target group includes everyone, you are wrong. You need to find specific segments that could be put in your target group and personas who play the role of representatives of those group. Identify their needs, requirements, expectations and interests to find out what type of content they want and really need. Remember that content that is problem-solving and solution-oriented, is likely to be loved and shared. People love solutions, they don’t look for useless content they may never benefit from.
If you don’t know where to start with personas, try some free online generators – this one from HubSpot will do for the very beginning. You can also personalize it for your needs and find out what really could work
4. What do you want to achieve?
Content marketing, in general, should lead you somewhere. Did you identify what do you want to achieve? Do you want to generate sales, gather some sign-ups? Your content needs to reflect your goals and answer needs. If you don’t know what you expect, content marketing won’t work. Clarify what kind of action do you want your audience to take – and just keep rocking with your content. Build your own toolbox to make your work smooth and more automated. As long as personalization matters, you need to automate a few processes to build a proper scale.
5. Where and what to post?
This is a question that can be a trobulemaker for many. What tactics to take when it comes to content marketing? The key is in a wise redistribution. If it is good and maintained regularly, your audience will be reached and redirected to your content, where they will have a choice if they want to engage in your brand’s life or not. You should be where your audience is and get to know what frequency is the most appropriate.
While you can think that Facebook is the best way to spread the word or two about your project, you should look at hard data and find out if it is true? It can turn out, according to statistics or external reports, that your audience prefers Twitter, Quora or LinkedIn. And this is where you simply need to be active.
Creating a content marketing strategy is not a single activity but a process that needs to be analyzed and optimized in terms of delivering the best quality and results. Even if your initial arrangements will seem to work really well, they may need some adjustment as time goes by. Things tend to change and content tactics are one of them, so we strongly encourage you to keep testing!