Content marketing is on the up and at least 85% of all marketers say their organizations are investing heavily in it. Unfortunately, it’s getting harder and harder to stand out from the crowd in today’s cluttered information age.
While the amount of available web-based content is doubling every 9 to 24 months, our customer’s ability to consume that content is not. To make a strong impact, your content can’t just be good; it needs to be extraordinarily compelling. What’s more, you can’t have great content without agreat strategy. Here are 5 steps to help create an effective content marketing strategy:
Take the time to really become familiar with your customers. Find out demographics to discover what people are into. Study your customers’ preferences, tastes, and interests to find the answers to these questions:
Build your customer personas from the real-world findings you discover. Then craft your content marketing strategy to appeal directly to them, ensuring that your stories are engaging and relevant.
Internal buy-in is essential for a successful content marketing campaign. You need champions at the executive level who are willing to push for investments in technology, people, and content marketing.
Get your content champions to communicate the key business initiatives and market trends that will help inform what content you should create.
A great way to invite stakeholders into your content strategy process is to build a dedicated board. For content to be effective, it must link back to business initiatives. Run your content board once a quarter to discuss key objectives, campaigns, and customer strategy. These meetings can be utilised to determine a list of key themes.
Focus on quality, not quantity. Push your content marketing plan to prioritise which themes are most critical, and focus your efforts on those. This translates to having a documented content marketing plan that includes an editorial calendar for a well-defined target audience, core content marketing offering, and effective content distribution.
When it comes to content distribution, make sure that you’re utilising every opportunity to promote and distribute your content. Make use of owned, social and paid online/offline platforms.
Last but not least, observe the latest content marketing trends and incorporate them to engage your target audience. Here are some tips based on the biggest trends in content marketing today:
Streamlining content may be challenging, but it is essential. That’s why it’s critical for you to identify who is doing what and when.
For each piece of content you plan, make a list of the people responsible for creation, design, approving content, publishing, managing PR, demand generation, paid digital efforts, social media, SEO, and performance analytics.
Last but certainly not least, if you want to get any value out of your content marketing strategy, you need start tracking performance against a set of key targets. Here is a short list of the types of metrics you can use:
Set specific targets on traffic, leads, MQLs, and pipeline, conversion rates. Also, track social media interactions such as views, likes, shares and followers.
Keep these goals in mind as you launch your content strategy, and hold a meeting 30 to 90 days after launch to review them. Highlight what worked, what didn’t work and why.
If you take the time to build an effectivecontent marketing strategy, your audience will reward you for it.