Audience Analysis and Documented Strategy: Key to Content Marketing Success

According to CMI’s 2015 B2C Benchmark Content Marketing Study, approximately 1 in 5 content marketers are not tracking ROI at all. In other words, it’s not clear whether all their efforts are paying off.

Don’t follow in their footsteps. Consider these strategies to help build your online marketing plan:

Understand Your Audience

Who is your audience, what do they like and where do they go online? Furthermore, what are their shopping habits, mobile preferences, and preferred vehicle? Digging deep into the subjects that make your audience tick is the best place to begin your marketing journey. Consider putting the following into action:

  • Create buyer personas. Choose a name, demographics and list of personal and professional challenges for each persona. Don’t be afraid to get granular. Do they like chocolate ice cream, go fly fishing twice a week or collect stamps? Add it to your persona’s description.
  • Map the buyer’s journey. How will buyers find you, and what will that process feel like from a consumer’s perspective? Is it annoying, helpful or complicated? Will the process ultimately fortify the buyer’s relationship with your brand?
  • Define which problems you will solve and how. To add value as an online marketer, determine what your customers need. Specifically, identify how you will address challenges and offer solutions.

Investing time in learning about your audience will ensure your online marketing strategy is tailored specifically to their needs.

Develop a Content Strategy

The basic elements of a documented strategy include plans for content creation, distribution, and promotion. Review the following tips to get started:

  • Determine media strategies. You might use owned media, paid media, or another form to engage with your target audience. Regardless of which you choose, document your decision in your content strategy. What percentage of your efforts will be dedicated to original content creation, curation and paid advertising?
  • Develop promotional plan. Increasing followers and enhancing conversion rates are two rewards of proper content promotion. Before launching content, create a promotional plan outlining key outlets to target and specific goals related to each one.
  • Identify distribution channels. Once content is created, how will it reach your audience on the web? Will you use press releases, newsletters, blogs, social media, or webinars to get the word out? Creating a cross-channel distribution plan can get tricky, because you’ll likely have different content goals and promotional strategies based on content type, but it’s absolutely worth the time.

No one strategy is best for any online marketer, but documenting an initial plan will help you backtrack to find out what is working and what isn’t.

Track Results and Analyze Outcomes

Gaining insight into what you’re doing right (and wrong) will make your online marketing business more efficient, relevant and profitable. Tracking online marketing results is fairly simple if you have documented goals and the right tools at your disposal. Between Google Analytics, social media analytics and third-party programs like KISSmetrics and Clicky, you’re equipped with priceless data detailing customer behavior.

Get Ready to Revise, Improve, and Profit

Although only the tip of the online marketing iceberg, this framework provides a solid starting point; however, establishing a stable, profitable business as an online marketer requires an ongoing revision of your techniques. As technology and data continue to transform the digital landscape, marketers are tasked with keeping up.

But, truly succeeding in the online marketing space is not just about revenue; it’s also about building and maintaining meaningful relationships. Use the tips here to connect profitability and relationship management, and watch your business grow.