Most businesses recognize the importance of having a content marketing strategy, but don’t understand the necessary steps to creating one that meets their needs.
While these are necessary pieces of the puzzle, content marketing is really about telling the story of your business. Sure, you want to encourage profitable behaviors and turn those prospects into dollar signs, but your primary goal should be to engage and connect with your audience. Here, we’ll take a closer look at developing a great content marketing strategy for your business.
The Content Marketing Process
There are no set rules to creating a content marketing strategy, but each marketing strategy needs to be tailored to the business.
Think of the rules of content marketing more as guidelines.
The number of businesses without a documented content marketing strategy is significant, as found by The Content Marketing Institute.
Get It on Paper
According to a new survey conducted by The Content Marketing Institute on how B2B marketers approached their content strategies, 83 percent had a verbal strategy in place but only 35 percent had strategies that were documented. That same survey revealed that 60 percent of marketers who had documented strategies believed their organization to be effective, while nearly half as many verbal marketers could make the same claim.
Clearly, organization is a necessary part of your content marketing. If you want to be successful, get it on paper.
More research from the Content Marketing Institute revealed that 33 percent of B2B marketers saw their inability to measure performance as a serious challenge to their success. One of the first steps of your marketing strategy should be to develop baselines to gauge the effectiveness of your marketing efforts.
Begin with goals that track your market performance. As we mentioned above, these will vary based on the needs of your business, but no matter what they are, they should be well-defined and actionable.
Once your marketing is underway, remember to check in and measure your metrics with tools like Google Analytics or other platforms provided by large social media sites like Facebook. Monitoring your marketing performance is an essential part of knowing how effectively you’re reaching your goals.
Create a Schedule
Now that we’ve established our goals, we can move into applying your campaign.
The best way to do this is with the help of a creation schedule that determines when content is published. It can also serve as an effective way to manage resources and information to make future content creation easier.
A host of marketing tactics are use to share content, provided by The Content Marketing Institute
While we’re on the subject of publishing schedules, let’s address an aspect of your marketing campaign that may be even more important than creation: distribution.
Did you know that today’s Internet user will only read about 28 percent of the words on the average web page? Think about that: 72 percent of the content you’ve so painstakingly crafted will be wasted on any given reader.
To combat this, you should try to use as many channels of outreach as possible to get more eyes on your content aside from the blogs on your site. You can always create new content for social media to get your name out there and get people talking, but you can also leverage your existing content by partnering with business blogs or companies interested in promoting the value-driven content you have to offer.
Whichever methods you use to get your message out there, try to ensure that they’re as diverse as possible while still being targeted to your market.
Speaking of targeting your market, there’s a good chance your distribution efforts will fall flat if you’re not providing content to the right market. Research conducted by Janrain revealed that nearly three-fourths (74 percent) of consumers become annoyed when they receive content that doesn’t reflect their needs and interests, making customized content a necessity for any marketing campaign.
Buyer personas allow you to analyze your customer’s lifestyle, buyer values, and attitudes to determine what content will provide the most value. This is also an easy way to group your customers, allowing you to give them the most relevant content possible for each phase of the marketing pipeline.
Create specific content for each step of the customer journey and ask for customer feedback from those you’re hoping to reach. This allows an unparalleled level of personalization for your marketing efforts.
Your content marketing success is a product of the effort you put in during each step of the process. As long as you stay organized with a documented plan that coordinates your content creation, distribution, and buyer logistics, your marketing initiatives will bring you the loyalty and increased revenue needed to grow your business and connect with your customers.
What strategies will you use to market your content effectively? Let us know in the comments!