Creating An Effective Content Marketing Strategy
If you have never created a content marketing strategy before, doubtless there will be a number of questions that you need answered. This will be the case, whether it is you who is going to actually create and implement your content marketing strategy or, you are employing someone else to do it for you.
The reason we say you will need your question answered, even if you are an agency like ourselves to do it, is because in order to properly assess the level of its success, you need to know some of the basic principles of content marketing.
Otherwise you would be trying to analyse and judge something that you had little or no experience of, so here is that outline to help you.
What is a Content Marketing Strategy?
Content marketing normally forms part of a more comprehensive marketing or SEO campaign and is seen as something which has long term value, rather than a quick fix. With a strategic plan in place, your content will be produced in such a way that its impact is maximised.
Some of the factors that are considered will be the audience the content is targeting, the form that the content takes, the content ideas, including what the subject matter will be, and how it will be used.
With a strategy in place to optimise all of these elements of your content, that then allows you to consider the results that your content will produce such as improving brand awareness, enhanced ranking on Google, and generating increasing numbers of potential customers for your business.
The Importance of Content Marketing
Unfortunately, many business owners see content as nothing more than a chore, and something which they ‘have to do’, without ever realising the potential benefits it can bring their business.
As a result, they put little effort into creating the content, and then wonder why it produces no results. This is a crying shame, as the results and benefits of content marketing are considerable.
Increasing Brand Awareness: Consumers like to do business with companies they know and trust, and a huge part of that is the awareness they have of the brand. Often, they will pay more, and in some cases, purchase inferior goods, simply because they trust the brand they are buying from.
Content can help you raise awareness of your brand simply from visitors to your website reading, viewing, listening to, and consuming any content which you have created, provided it has sufficient quality to make it worth their while.
It Is Extremely Cost-Effective: The cost-benefit analysis of virtually any type of content you have created is going to be remarkably high. This means for every dollar you spend on having quality content created, then optimised and used in the most effective way, is going bring rewards that will multiply exponentially over time.
Whilst content can be time-consuming to create if you are doing it yourself, employing our agency to create it for you may seem like an expense, but what value price to put on your time. Whilst we are creating it for you, you can be working on the areas of your business that you add the most value to, instead.
Creates New Leads: Content may not necessarily be designed to sell any specific product or service, but it does attract new visitors to your website and other online properties, such as your social media pages. Look upon each one of those visitors as a potential customer, and even if they do not purchase something on their first visit, if the quality of your content is high enough, they will remember it, and likely return.
Uplift In Sales Conversions: Not only will great content bring increasing numbers of visitors and return visitors, but the percentage which buys from you will also increase. This increased conversion rate will be due to factors like the content proving additional information on your products, or possibly explaining in greater detail how a specific service can benefit them.
Create Long-term Relationships With Customers: If there is one thing better than a customer, it is a repeat customer, and repeat customers are often created thanks to great content. It helps build trust, and it provides them with ever-increasing information and facts about your products.
As we have mentioned, your branding also becomes much stronger in their mind. So, when they next need what you can provide, they are going to more willing to buy from you again and again.
Enhanced search Engines Rankings: When Google sends it spiders out crawling the internet, the content you have on your website will play a large role in where their algorithm calculates you should rank.
Properly optimised content, that includes the correct keywords, and the correct number of keywords helps, and it also provides opportunities to link to other pages on your website. Even better it enables you to generate links from other websites that want to send visitors to the excellent content you have.
How An Effective Content Marketing Strategy Is Created
For any strategy to succeed it will initially have been broken down into specific components. This means that rather than a ‘scatter-gun’ approach, which is never a good idea when it comes to any kind of marketing, a step-by-step plan, whereby it is possible for individuals with specific skills, knowledge, and experience can maximise the impact they have on the overall result.
When it comes to content marketing, strategy creation is really no different to many other marketing plans, however, to be effective, each part needs to carefully created, and implemented correctly
Set the Objective of the Strategy: This might seem basic, but you would be amazed how many marketing plans are created, and obviously fail, because no one thought to pinpoint what the objective of the plan was. As the saying goes, if you have no target, you will hit nothing.
There are lots of methodologies for setting targets and goals, and if there is one which you use to good effect then go with it. Better still, if you are using our agency, we have a well-proven system for setting content strategy objectives, and part of that will obviously be listening to what your goals are for the campaign.
Assess Who Your Audience Are: Another big mistake made with content creation is it does not appeal to the audience that is being targeted, simply because the plan did not include determining who the audience was. Audience demographics are a big help here especially if you have done that kind of data gathering from previous customers.
Whether you have, or whether you and our agency determine who they are, it means that when the content is created it will be done so in a way that should induce the best reaction from those who it is aimed at.
Audit Current Content: It could be that you have already been creating and publishing content, and the reason you are now seeking help from our experts is that the content has not had any impact. That does not mean that it does not have some value, so you should ask us to carry out a content audit.
By doing so, the results will show us what has worked, what has not, and we can use that data in order to make the new content marketing strategy even more effective. For example, there might some content that has generated a reasonable level of traffic and so your strategy might continue creating more.
Generate Content Ideas: Now that we have set objectives, determined your audience, and audited any existing content, it is now time to come up with ideas for all the content that is going to be created.
The decisions to be made will obviously include what the subject matter is going to be. In addition, the format will also be vitally important, so the proportion of written material, videos, audios, infographics, and any other media, will have to be decided upon.
Managing The Content: As well as deciding what content is going to be produced, an effective content marketing strategy will also determine how the content is going to be professionally managed. You might think managing content seems easy at this stage, but as the strategy progresses and grows, it can become unmanageable. A dedicated Content Management System (CMS) can be set up by our agency which will maximise the success of your content strategy.
Measure Success and Adapt: This is why setting the objectives for your content marketing strategy is so important to start with. By having clear and specific goals for your content, you are then able to assess how effective it has been, across a number of measurables. These could be an uplift in traffic, increased conversions, or an improvement in your rankings on Google.
Each of those can be attributed to certain types of content and for those that are bringing a return, that is where you want to focus and expand. For other content, which is not producing any noticeable results, you can then choose to remove them from your strategy or seek ways in which they can be improved.
As you have hopefully already realised, content is something which can be a powerful weapon in your armoury, in terms of expanding your business and increasing profits. However, it needs to be done strategically in order to be effective, so speak to us so that we can assess your content needs and create a content marketing strategy which will work for you.