Why Do You Need a Content Marketing Strategy for Your Business?
When it comes to lead creation, content marketing is three times more cost-effective than sponsored search. Websites with blogs get more traffic, and blogs are the most effective brand-building tool. Every statistic shows this fact.
Content marketing, when done well, can help you create trust with an engaged audience, remain top of mind, and drive sales. When your content entertains, inspires, educates, connects, or delights your audience, it may help you stand out from the competition, raise brand recognition, and expand your company.
Marketing is not a segregated activity, and content marketing is no exception. In reality, content is important in every aspect of your company. This is why, in order to synchronize your objectives throughout the business, you need a defined content strategy. There will be more on this later.
Content Marketing Types
Today, there are no limits to the sorts of material you may make. If we had to categorize them, we’d put them into one of four categories: written, audio, visual, or interactive. Let’s have a look at it in more detail.
Blog articles, ebooks, whitepapers, product one-sheets, testimonials, FAQs, and case studies are all examples of written content. Today, one of the most prominent content formats used by companies is blog writing, which focuses on SEO to increase brand recognition and website traffic. Longer form editorial material, like ebooks and data reports, are great lead-generating tools since they provide readers with in-depth study in your field.
Testimonials, FAQs, product one-sheets, competition comparison sheets, and case studies are examples of sales enablement material that give instructional resources to sales teams to aid in the purchase decision process by giving vital information on how you may deliver value to the customer. Don’t worry; later in this piece, we’ll go through how all of this fits into your content marketing funnel.
Audio content focuses on channels that are ingested acoustically, without the need of a screen. Podcasting, live streaming using Clubhouse or similar platforms, and even music creation are all examples of this.
Podcasting is a terrific approach to conducting in-depth interviews with influential people that can then be turned into articles and editorial material. In general, audio services like Clubhouse let you develop profoundly intimate connections with your listeners.
However, why restrict yourself to standard audio formats? Hamburger Helper made headlines when he released a mixtape on April Fools’ Day.
Visual Content that
Visual content conveys a message in an easy-to-understand way via design. Some topics are difficult to explain but simple to demonstrate. Infographics, memes, gifs, photographs, charts, diagrams, and slide decks are the most prevalent sorts. As weird as today’s reality may seem, there’s a reason why influencers and politicians alike are using memes to spread their message. A picture, as the cliché goes, is worth a thousand words. However, in the age of Instagram and Twitter, it’s worth millions.
Your audience will be more engaged if you use interactive content to provide them with a valuable experience. Webinars, calculators, online tools, checklists, surveys, and even games fall within this category. Everyone has their own distinct learning styles, just as we taught in elementary school, and interactive material is a terrific approach to keep your audience interested in a variety of ways. Interactive content is a great method to engage your audience in a two-way conversation.
How to Develop a Content Marketing Plan
1. Obtain buy-in from the organization
Successful content marketing strategies are built on a foundation of cross-collaboration rather than silos. To get there, you must first create a written business case to demonstrate that the program’s expenditure is justified. And just because everyone else is doing it doesn’t imply you should as well.
An effective business case considers how much it will cost to create content, how it will be used, and how it will be judged. Remember to highlight why you’re creating content, how it will benefit the company, and who will be responsible for the results. Before being pushed in a million ways by hundreds of external content requests, this crucial initial step will help you limit your focus.
2. Create a brand story
Now that you know you’re going to start a content marketing campaign, you need to figure out who you’re going to serve and why. Determine who your target audience is and delve into the problems you’re attempting to tackle. It makes no difference whether you’re creating personas, archetypes, or ideal consumer profiles. The most important thing is to answer the following questions:
What exactly is the client’s issue?
- What is the present situation of the clients?
- How do you go about resolving the issue?
- What is the optimal future condition for your client?
- Begin writing your story when you’ve collected your information. What position do you have in the market?
- What makes your product or service stand out from the crowd?
How are you making a good difference in the world? Creating a clear brand narrative can give your content efforts fresh life and help you generate a consistent message across all of them.
3. Make a list of your most important channels.
While some marketers suggest that you should create content for every potential channel, your lack of concentration will lead to failure. Instead, discover the three most popular channels where your target audience hangs out and figure out how to provide truly useful content for each one. Analyze relevant rivals, influencers, and hashtags to determine which content forms are most popular, and then imitate their performance.
These three platforms will also function as your primary distribution methods. As a result, anytime you develop new material, keep this in mind while distributing and repurposing it.
4. Do some research on the subject
By now, you should have a good idea of what your customers’ biggest problems are. Conduct a variety of subject research techniques to transform this into what content to generate.
Nothing beats having a one-on-one conversation with your consumers. Keyword research is an excellent place to start if you don’t have access to these talks. To get started, go to the ‘tools’ section at the conclusion of this page.
5. Organize your content into topics and formats that correspond to your content funnel.
Now it’s time to turn your muddled mass of content ideas into a workable content strategy. By mapping out a customer’s content journey, you can develop content that has the greatest influence on business outcomes. Consider the content funnel, which is divided into three sections: top of the funnel (awareness), middle of the funnel (consideration), and bottom of funnel (decision) material.
Content for the Top of the Funnel (TOFU)
The awareness phase of your funnel is where you want to provide high-value content in a larger context for an audience that doesn’t necessarily comprehend the issues they’re dealing with. They aren’t aware of your solution but are interested in learning more about a certain issue. “How-tos,” infographics, social media, thought leadership pieces, listicles, email marketing, checklists, ebooks, and pillar SEO content are all examples of this kind of content.
Content in the Middle of the Funnel (MOFU)
Your audience is in the contemplation phase and is seeking a solution to a particular issue. Whether it’s YOUR answer or not, your material should be instructional while also mentioning the solution you’re presenting subtly. Product overviews, case studies, tutorials, success stories, and more may help you cover your niche’s themes in more detail.
Bottom of Funnel Content (BOFU) (BOFU)
Your audience is ready to purchase at this point in the decision-making process. Provide material that explains the value of your goods and services to your audience and demonstrates why you’re better than your competition. Product one-sheets, product demonstrations, comparative charts, customer reviews, and product use cases may all help with this.
Start the mapping procedure.
Sort all of the stuff you’ve collected into these three funnel phases. Prioritize high-value content items that you feel will have the greatest effect first while finalizing the plan. If you want to concentrate on SEO, start with the terms with the largest search traffic and lowest competition. Identify which sales-facing material should be prioritized in collaboration with your sales staff.
6. Establish Measurable Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
There are KPIs that are important and those that are merely for show. It’s critical to focus on the metrics that matter to your bottom line if you want to create a highly successful content engine. But it’s a delicate balancing act. Too much focus on bottom-of-funnel conversion numbers might cause you to lose sight of the bigger picture and cease thinking about how to cultivate a long-term engaged audience.
The trick is to treat every content creation as a scientific experiment rather than adopting industry “best practices” at its value.
7. Create Procedures
A great project management method has three main components. A reporting cadence, an editorial schedule, and brand rules.
Your content team’s editorial schedule is its lifeblood. An editorial calendar, whether it’s a Trello board or a basic spreadsheet, can help you keep track of roles, responsibilities, timeframes, and project statuses. The following are the most important items to keep track of in your editorial calendar:
Your content team will use the brand standards and editorial guidelines to create material that is consistent with your brand values and voice at scale. Ensure your brand’s voice, values, and language are included, but just having a list of Do’s and Don’ts is a solid beginning point. The more time and effort you put into creating simple rules, the simpler it will be to bring on new writers and content producers down the road.
Finally, create a reporting schedule that enables you to monitor the performance of your material. We’ll go over this in further detail in section 10, but the most important thing to remember is to develop a culture of testing, monitoring, and optimizing the content on a regular basis.
8. Create outstanding content
It’s now time to start creating fantastic material that will make everyone proud. Here’s a brief checklist to make sure your material is of good quality.
- What is the goal of this content piece? Is it well-defined in your work?
- What is the issue you are attempting to resolve?
- What role does your brand play in all of this?
- What distinguishes your material from that of your competitors?
- What is your rallying cry?
9. Distribute Constantly
While everyone understands that content is king, great content marketers also understand that distribution is queen. The old saying “if I build it, they will come” is a lie, particularly in today’s crowded marketplace when advertisers are vying for your attention.
Make each social media outlet a one-of-a-kind experience. On Instagram, people consume material in a very different way than they do on Twitter. As a result, produce unique content for each platform.
When you post each item, quote experts and influencers and urge them to share it with their audiences.
Use newsletters or promotional emails to send your material to your email list.
10. Repurpose, kill, or optimize
A fresh piece of material has a short shelf life. That is unless you continue to give it life. Track the performance of your content over time and make sure there’s always a strategy in place for each piece. I like to adopt one of three approaches:
Optimize your content to rank higher for SEO or to be better than your competition if there are areas for improvement.
Kill your content if it’s cannibalizing other material, doesn’t add to your overall objectives, or doesn’t serve a distinct function. Repurpose your content for other channels or smaller content forms if you have a significant piece of content that delivers distinct value.
11. Be open to serendipity
The last stage is to accept the uncertainty and be open to possibilities that arise from exceptional content creation. Always offer your team leeway to experiment with new content forms, whether it’s working with an influencer who likes your content or coming up with a great video concept. It’s impossible to predict what will stick! So don’t be afraid to push the limits of what you can achieve right now.
Putting It All Together
Writing about the hottest subjects, as fascinating as they may be, is not the only way to create content. Content marketing strategies that are successful are founded on a laser-focused plan that includes more than simply blogging. It’s a jumble of making a business case, generating a distinctive point of view, doing extensive audience research, implementing processes, producing, distributing, measuring, and analyzing content. Overall, to achieve long-term success, content marketing strategy needs research and practice.