Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible to the visible. – Tony Robbins
One of the most important reasons any brand creates content is to become visible. As Tony Robbins says, setting goals is the best way to make that happen. You know you need a content strategy, but do you know why? Do you know what outcomes you want to get from creating content for your brand? By setting goals, you can tailor your content strategy to meet those objectives. By strategically setting your goals, you can focus on the type of content that will achieve these goals, rather than blindly creating content and hoping it gets read.
Creating brand awareness
Whether you’re a startup or have been pounding the pavement for years, brand awareness is where it all begins. You won’t make any sales if potential customers don’t know who you are. Not only do you want them to know you, but you want them to think of your brand when they think of your industry or main product line. When you sneeze, do you reach for a tissue or a Kleenex? While your brand may never realize Kleenex-level recognition, setting brand awareness as one of your primary goals is crucial during your initial content strategy process. Conversely, if you are a well-recognized brand, brand awareness will not be your primary goal, but it could still remain at the forefront of any content you create.
Creating brand awareness can be done through concerted efforts of outreach, which means focusing on social media content that can go viral and get you recognized, as well as build your presence and get you connecting with your target audience Because more than 91% of retail brands use two or more social channels, you don’t want to be part of those 9% who aren’t participating in making a name for yourself. One of the best parts of social media marketing for new brands who undoubtedly have low marketing budgets? It is absolutely free and the return on investment can be astronomical when executed strategically.
Another great content outlet that helps you gain brand awareness is guest posting. Guest posting is the new “word-of-mouth” and it can pay off big time. Up to 85% of small businesses get most of their business by word-of-mouth, so it is an avenue any brand trying to create awareness needs to go down. By getting your brand talked about in relevant publications, your target audience will take notice. Your brand awareness content should focus on creating a problem, solving the problem, and selling your brand as the best solution. At this stage, it is all about building trust with your audience and your content should be tailored accordingly.
Winner: Social media content and guest posting
Positioning your brand as a thought leader
Running a successful company is normally the primary goal of any business, but more important than that is being a leader in the industry. Thought leadership shows your audience that you don’t just sell your products, you live them. This is important because it builds trust in your brand and creates value for your customers, ensuring long-term customer relationships.
In setting your content goals, if being a thought leader is important to your brand, you’ll need to address this in your strategy and you can do that by putting out more long-form content. This is acheived by creating guides, e-books, and blog posts that are 2,000+ words. Not only about length, your content should be super valuable and give your readers actionable advice that they can’t get from anywhere else. Long-form content also ranks higher in the search engines and gets more shares and views, making it a worthwhile endeavor on all fronts.
Winner: Long-form content
Content begets content in the case of driving traffic. You want your customers and leads to read the content you’ve skillfully created and curated on your website, but how do you get them there? With more content, of course! If your primary content strategy goal is to drive traffic to your website, you’ll need to focus on your outreach and your social media channels, as well as your SEO strategies. You need a regularly-updated blog, with targeted keywords and value-driven content that you can link back to while doing guest posts and social posts. To drive traffic to your website, your content strategy plan should be comprehensive and incorporate all aspects of content creation. This includes blogging, newsletters, social media and guest posting. All of your content channels are important when you are trying to drive traffic.
Winner: All content channels
Traffic is great (unless you are stuck in it), but it is nothing if you aren’t gaining valuable leads from the people who visit your site or read your content. This is where your website, especially your landing page, comes in. Your content strategy should always incorporate your website, especially if you have good traffic but few leads. Start by figuring out the purpose of your website and the primary goal of your homepage. Your content should reflect this and give your readers a great user experience for your targeted audience. Your home page should be quick, colorful, and appealing to those who you’ve already defined as qualified leads. Take a good look at your current website and ensure it suits your brand and gives that amazing user experience your customers are looking for.
Email marketing is another avenue that is important for lead generation and in fact, email can be more important than social media marketing in terms of customer retention. A full 80% of retailers say that email marketing is their most important customer retention channel and another 59% of marketers say email is the most effective marketing channel in 2018.
Winner: Web and email content
Converting leads and/or upselling
You may have a fairly large audience already but aren’t getting the sales you want to see. If your goal is to convert more leads and get more upsells, you’ll want to tailor your content strategy to hook your existing leads and customer base. Your focus should be on your emails and newsletters and your social media, where your customers are already signed up to see your content. It is important to keep them hearing your name by sending out regular emails and social media updates. The information should be pertinent and valuable to your audience so that you can pull them back to your brand with everything they read or see. Specialized offers that are tailored to them as loyal customers will do the trick and turn your leads converted into long-term and dependable customers. A recent study found that brands who post on social media regularly have more loyal customers. By keeping your social media presence up and giving your current audience value, they’ll go from lead to customer easily.
Winner: Email and social media content
By focusing your content strategy on one or two specific goals, your brand will be better positioned to realize those goals and see a better ROI from the content you take the time to produce. Your goals may change over time, so it is always important to reassess what you’ve done and how it has worked.