Why do you need a content marketing strategy?
In a world, where marketing is all about adding value, content is among the best ways to connect with your target audience and to communicate your message. Content is king, people say, but it is also a vague term, encompassing a growing number of asset types. Determining what type of content would be most appropriate for your goals, audience, and occasion and crafting a content marketing strategy is, therefore, even more, important than the content itself.
Communicate your brand identity
Your brand image affects your users and customers at each step of the buyer’s journey. People will be well aware of popular and trustworthy brands and will also tend to buy more from companies they know and respect. And building a brand and communicating its identity is all about content. Do you want to have that “fun company” image? Then work on exciting and amusing content, which has the potential to go viral. Do you aim to attract more clients to your B2B business? Then tell them how successfully you are doing your job by publishing extensive case studies and detailed testimonials. Define your brand identity first, start planning your content marketing, and let the world know about your company.
Help your company be found
You may be the best in what you do offline, and yet be no one on the online battlefield. No matter how much expertise you have, if you fail to communicate it properly, you would not be able to meet users’ demands and answer their questions. Thus, you will rarely appear on the search engine results pages’ top positions and rank for the increasing number of informational searches.
Content marketing has proven to provide higher conversion rates. As long as you deliver to the users the information they need and you emphasize on quality and not quantity when creating your content, you will undoubtedly generate more leads. In addition, once users and potential customers trust you and look at you as a thought leader, the conversion rate will surge, as well.
Think about your content mix
You need content, that’s for sure. Only the right content mix though, will efficiently help your marketing efforts, so focus there first.
Know your target audience and buyer persona
Delivering value to potential customers and buyers is how you will attract them. However, too often you cannot sum up all of your potential customers into one buyer persona, as different people are at distinct stages of the buyer’s funnel. Imagine you have a company, which produces and sells mattresses. For people, unaware of your business’ existence, you will need to create content on more general topics like “Does a bad mattress affect your sleep or health?” or “The most common reasons behind the 21st century’s widespread insomnia.” Once people are wondering whether they should purchase a mattress from you or from a competitor, you will need to offer more detailed content on why you are better. For instance, an infographic about your mattresses’ form and structure will do. So first define the different groups of prospective customers and then return to the content strategizing.
Content and the Buying Funnel
To successfully plan the content you need to step into the shoes of each of your buyer personas and think about the problems it faces and the questions it asks. Тhen, you need to come up with the materials, be it articles, blog posts, whitepapers, videos, etc. that would assist your prospective clients in the best way possible. Think about each target audience and then in the context of its needs, plan content across each stage of the buying funnel.
Create a content marketing calendar
Having a content marketing calendar is systemizing your content marketing strategy. So once you have this setup, you are good to go.
Know and analyze the content you already have
Unless you have just created your website, you surely have some content already. Analyze it, check whose problems it solves, and which keywords it encompasses. Create a clear structure of your blog or knowledge center, or wherever section you plan on uploading your content. Set up different categories and tags, if necessary.
Decide on what to publish when
Once you’ve decluttered your current content, think about your future publishing schedule. Depending on your target audience, there would be “good times” to upload and share content and then there would also be not that appropriate moments. For example, in the B2B arena, posting serious and detailed content on a Monday morning would be a complete waste of effort, as everyone is busy answering emails and planning for the week. Publishing this type of material on a Friday afternoon won’t be more fruitful, too. So, timing is key with content.
Make a schedule and assign responsibilities
Once you have the topics and the schedule, you need to start working on content production. If you have a sufficient team of people capable to create content, you can assign each of them to work on one content piece per month. Thus, you will efficiently communicate the expertise of your team without having to outsource content creation. If you have a small team or lack of understanding on how to write qualitative articles, then you better focus on what you are good at and hire a copywriting agency.
Publish, promote, share, track
Content is planned and ready to go. Now either assign a person responsible for publishing and promoting it in your social media channels, or use a platform like Hootsuite, which will facilitate the entire process and save you time and effort. Track the engagement of your content and see what your clients prefer, so that you can improve your content marketing in the future.