Creating a Successful Content Marketing Strategy
Creating a Successful Content Marketing Strategy.
We spoke a bit about content marketing in this post.
This week we go a bit deeper and discuss creating a strategy that will keep people engaged.
Research your business.
You need to know your business inside and out to determine the best content and strategies for your campaign. The more you know, the better you can determine the best content to achieve your goals. You need to clearly define your brand identity and positioning in the market. Information of great value will be your sales cycles, conversion rates and why leads aren’t converting to sales. Another thing to take a good look at is your business’s strengths and weaknesses. What gives you an advantage against some competitors or why prospects would choose a competitor? Lastly, you should clarify what your short-term and long-term goals for your campaign is. Are you simply looking to boost sales in a slow season, increase brand awareness, or increase customer loyalty?
Research the market.
Demographics such as age, gender, location and income level are a start. But we suggest going further and deeper into their attitudes and behaviors. Create full customer personas and identify job details, schedules, daily tasks, and anxieties or expectations. Just knowing your customers is not enough though. You need to be in the know about the influencers in your industry. These people have already connected with your audience and you should closely examine where they are connecting, what they are talking about and how. Use this information to help decide on the content you will be creating and how to connect with potential customers. Checking out the competition should also be done. What type of content are they creating. You may find some ideas for things they are publishing that you didn’t think of. Or even gain an advantage by focusing an area they are lacking.
If you have content already published on your website, blog, or outside articles or interviews organize a list of them. Now that you have it all compiled evaluate the content and it’s performance. Look of the number of shares, comments, and how many visitors it brought in. Also take a look at your conversions rates at the time of publishing. Identify any patterns of performance to particular topics or types of content. It could give you some direction of what works well for your target market.
Decide on media types and distribution channels.
Different business types do well on different types of social media. An artist will do better posting pictures on instagram then a lawyer might do but a lawyer posting helpful info on twitter will do better then an artist will on that social media.
Looking over all the information you have gathered decide what content types you think will work best for you goals. There are a number of options to choose from, including articles, interviews, videos, infographics, contests, webinars, photos, games, memes, animation, etc. Will you distribute by email, RSS feeds or social media channels, if so which ones? If your audience gathers on a number of different sites you can focus on a couple different types that work well for particular sites. Be sure to pay attention to particular cues for creating content on certain sites and keep your audience in mind. B2B marketing on LinkedIn would probably include white papers, articles and interviews with industry professionals. But dealing directly with consumers via facebook could be more casual including things like games, memes and contests.
Create an Editorial Calendar.
The editorial calendar is the key element to your content marketing strategy, it’s how you will stay organized and keep on track. Your editorial calendar will be your schedule for publishing new content. Depending on your goals you can have a number of deadlines daily, weekly, or monthly setup. You want to include all relevant information into the calendar, including the title of the piece, media type, distribution channel, keyword targets and goals. Sticking to the schedule is important, but you should have some flexibility and update the calendar on a regular basis. If you find particular content is doing better than others, you may want to do more similar pieces.