In our recent article “Content Marketing – what is it and why should you do it?”, we discussed the nature of content marketing and what benefits you can expect to gain by implementing it as a part of your overall marketing strategy.
In this article we want to share our views on what to consider when developing your own strategy.
Developing a content marketing strategy is a lot like developing content itself. It’s not about quantity, it’s about quality. The length and format of your plan should take a back seat to what it says. So, here are our tips to create a high quality content marketing strategy.
Step 1: Define your objectives and KPIs
Whether your strategy is aimed at generating more sales, establishing credibility or increasing membership or donations, it is essential that you define your objectives and KPIs clearly before you develop the rest of your strategy.
Once you have defined your ultimate objectives, it is important to work through the steps and define the KPIs that will get you there. For example, if you want to increase your customers by 20. You will need to think about viewing, engagement and conversion rates applicable to your industry and your brand. As an example, you may need to get your content in front of 1000 potential customers, for it to be read by 100, resulting in engagement between your organisation and 20 individuals, and conversion of 4 of them into your expanded customer base.
As for the focus and channels of your content, this should be revised throughout the life of your strategy, based on the feedback and data you obtain along the way.
Step 2: Describe your audience and their interests
Who is your target audience, and what are they interested in? Take the time to learn everything you can about your audience. Thanks to the rise in social networking, this has become easier than you might think. Look at what your target audience are saying, not just about your brand, but about your industry, your products or services and your competitors. Find out what content your target audience engages with; which channels they use and when they’re most active. These considerations will inform both what you create and how you share it with your audience.
Finally, it is time to figure out the key words that you will focus on through your strategy. Remember, these key words need to capture the essence of your organisation, your products and services, your values, your markets and your location.
Step 3: Plan your content program
How much time do you have to commit to content marketing? How often will you publish? Which content types do you have the skills to develop? What channels will you use?
After you have answered these questions it’s time to put together your content calendar.
Your content needs to be timely and relevant but should be at least 10% evergreen. Just like traditional media, it is really important to use catchy and interesting headlines and incorporate your relevant keywords to optimise search functionality.
During this step, you should also consider how you will convert your audience into customers. This could include generating conversations through your blog, increasing direct marketing lists or through the addition of strong call to action buttons on core landing and content pages.
Step 4: Create your content
Find some inspiration, a quiet place, make a coffee and get into it.
Remember to give yourself enough time to draft, review and polish your content. Finally, don’t forget to spend some time to test and adjust your headlines and find the best graphics to support your messages.
Step 5: Publish and promote your content
Once your content is produced and published, it’s time to share and promote it through your chosen marketing channels. We’ll talk more about the best times to post on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram and Pinterest in a future article.
You want to make sure your content is easily shareable for you and visitors to your site. Share buttons make it easy to increase your audience by engaging with broader audiences, as well as distribute content across multiple channels efficiently.
Finally, don’t forget to include your latest content in your other direct marketing activities. While your newsletter audience is one of your most valuable, you still need to remind them to come back to your website regularly to keep up to date on what you’re doing.
Step 6: Regularly test and adjust
Using tools like Google Analytics to monitor how your content is performing will give you invaluable insights to inform your future themes, types of content, publication timing and channel use.
These tools will tell you who is engaging with your content, where they are, and what else they looked at on your website.
You may find that traffic is coming from websites un-related to your products or service offering, or from overseas markets that you don’t support. With these insights, you can adjust the themes, keywords and perspectives of your collateral to bring this audience back to where you can convert it to sales.
Just remember, a great content marketing strategy is always evolving to meet the needs of your growing audience and the channels they use to access information. If you’re responsive to their needs, your company will grow right along with your audience.