If you’re looking for the most cost-effective and data-driven method for introducing your brand to a bigger audience, content marketing is the answer. Content marketing helps you reach new customers by building an organic relationship with them. It’s not about interrupting your audience with hard selling substances; it’s about creating trust and a long-lasting connection through valuable content.
However, gaining results from content marketing is not an immediate process. The success of your content marketing efforts relies on how well you prepare the strategy. Your content marketing strategy influences how you reach your audience, how you create the content, and how you assemble the results.
Content marketing strategy is the set of steps you take to research, create, publish, and promote information that offers values to your audience. The key ingredient every content marketing strategy needs is quality. Therefore, if you don’t have a content marketing strategy, now it’s the time to create one. Here are the 3 major steps in creating high-quality content marketing strategies that grow your business.
1. Set The Goals
Every content marketing strategy starts with the goals. How are you going to measure the success of your campaign? Is it with traffic? New subscribers? New leads? App downloads? Conversions? Social shares and engagements?
Begin with asking why you start your content marketing attempts. Write down the reasons and the things you want to achieve. This will be the baseline of your content marketing goals.
Create Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, and Time-bound goals (SMART Goals). This will help you know when you have accomplished your goals by providing clear milestones you can tick off. Avoid creating a hazy and ambiguous goal like “achieve better traffic” or “get more leads”. The example of a SMART Goal is “gaining 1000 leads from the website by the end of the 3rd quarter”. Clearly state the number you want to achieve and the exact time of the closing date. SMART Goals help you measure the success of your content marketing through specific metrics that have already been set.
You can always modify these goals when problems occur during the course of your implementation. Start with a few important goals first and jump to the process. It’s better than spending too much time trying to predict what’s going to happen. Your goals should evolve constantly for better results.
2. Understand Your Audience
A successful content marketing strategy needs a clear target audience. You have to understand and analyze who your audience is so you can create the right content to reach them. Knowing your audience’s interests and behaviors allows you to figure out which content topics and formats are appealing to your audience. You can use these insights to plan a long-term content strategy and organize your content-production more efficiently.
To help you do this, it’s essential to create your buyer personas. According to HubSpot, a buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers.
Buyer personas can include customer demographics, behavior patterns, motivations, goals and much more. Spend time defining your buyer personas as detailed as possible. You can consider special interests, communities, research behaviors, journey to purchase and the customer experience to determine how your target audience consumes content.
Analyzing your audience and creating buyer personas is a time-consuming task. When you begin your content marketing project you can choose one or two key personas and develop the others while continuing the project. Eventually, your hard work will be paid off as your content becomes more relevant and more targeted to your brand’s ideal audience.
3. Determine The Content
Different target audiences prefer different channels and types of content. Moreover, today's users demand content that is personalized, engaging, and informative at the same time. If you don’t want to take the risk of losing your audience or disrupting your reach, you have to provide valuable content in the most appealing ways.
Most marketers use blogs and email newsletters as the core of their strategies. But innovative brands have gone much further, utilizing influencers on Instagram and Youtube, building Augmented Reality campaigns, printing physical magazines, producing web series, and more.
All types of content, from blog posts to Augmented Realities, have their place in your content strategy and you can choose anything that suits your brand the most. However, it’s important that all of the content must tell a story. Your content can always contain the information about your brand, but you have to wrap it up in an interesting story that your audience wants to know, engage, and even share.
To create the best story for your brand, Seth Godin, author of “The Dip”, says that there are 4 qualities your content needs to have: emotion, change, alerts, and share. What emotion do you want to ignite through the content? How do you wish your content will change the people who consume it? When that emotion successfully changes your audience, how will it benefit your brand? How can you get people to share and hype your content? Set all of those questions when brainstorming and you’re going to create impactful content that can grow your brand.
Implement your content marketing and see how your audience reacts to determine whether your content choice is working or not. It’s a valuable exercise for you and as your content marketing efforts mature you will find the best types of content that bring success to your brand.
Content marketing can help your business grow, but only if you rely on data-driven decisions and well-planned strategy. Start building your content strategy now and we hope this post helps you.