A good content marketing strategy is something that helps people plan ahead for how they will bring new traffic and conversions to their online presence. Even such a seemingly simple thing as a blog post is a useful addition to a content marketing strategy if it brings in leads.
Every business should form a coherent strategy for content marketing because such a strategy, if successful, can directly increase revenue. A content strategy will also help build a coherent brand for your company. It can also teach your target audience about your product or service, as well as transform your visitors into customers.
What’s the difference between a content marketing strategy and a content marketing plan?
Put simply, a content marketing strategy asks why, and a content marketing plan asks how.
The strategy should always come first because it lays out all the details: why and for whom content is being created.
In contrast, the content marketing plan should contain information like what topics will be covered and the content types that will be used.
How can you develop a good content marketing strategy?
A successful content marketing strategy will show how the marketing itself will introduce potential customers to the business and what it values. There are no strict rules for what a strategy should look like, but many marketing specialists identify the following five rules as good components of any strategy.
- Make the case for using content marketing. There are many forms of marketing, so explain why you chose content marketing over the other options.
- Explain what content marketing will involve. Lay out what the business will achieve through content marketing, what the content will provide, and what the customers need.
- Create target audience and content marketing maps. Describe the audience you will be targeting, what values will be shown through the marketing, and what your audience needs are.
- Develop a brand story. What message and values do you want to get across to your audience?
- Choose a channel. What channels will you use to spread your message? Will social media be involved?
How should you measure your content marketing strategy?
Result-driven strategy: Clearly define your goals for your content marketing strategy. Knowing what results to reach for in terms of content, channels, and audience will make your strategy more successful.
Failed strategy: A failed strategy does not necessarily mean a complete failure of the strategy. However, it does mean that whichever part of the process failed needs to be re-evaluated. For example, a poorly chosen target audience means your message falls on deaf ears.
Result-driven strategy: Once you know your goals, you can then complete research to determine more information about your target audience. What social media do they use? What’s the best way for your message to be delivered to them?
Failed strategy: Research can sometimes fail, through either the fault of the business or the fault of inaccurate information. Sometimes a business does not always pay attention to the result of their research, leading them to make decisions that are not in their best interests. Sometimes the information itself is out of date. This can lead to a business taking certain marketing avenues, but not achieving the desired results due to inaccurate information.
Your Content Types and Channels
Result-driven strategy: The type of content and the channels used can differ according to the audience which is being sought after. Good research will help sort out which channels and what content is best. For example, Instagram is a better social media platform for a younger audience, while Facebook is better for older audiences. Social media relies on smaller pieces of content than do blogs, and so on.
Failed strategy: Failed strategies revolve around a lack of research. A good example would be the use of social media. Bad research will lead businesses to use social media in order to reach an audience that has no use for social media. The content marketing would fail, as it would have no way of reaching the intended target audience.
Result-driven strategy: Tracking results during the content marketing process is vital for a good result. Thus, businesses need to track how their marketing strategy performs. Track your results with free tools like Google Analytics and analytics by social media platforms.
Failed strategy: Failed strategy in this area can come about either through a failure to track anything in the marketing campaign, or a failure to do anything about the information being tracked. If a business knows that one area of marketing is not successful, then leaving it as it is is a failure.
Your Updates and Experiments
Result-driven strategy: This naturally follows on from tracking – having a content marketing strategy allows you to explore new ideas that might act as good follow-ons from what is currently happening. Whatever you do, A/B testing is what will help you identify what works best for your audience.
Failed strategy: Running experiments with no clear idea of what you need to check with that testing is a bad practice. Not running experiments at all is even worse.
In a nutshell, having a coherent content marketing strategy that covers planning, implementing, measuring, analyzing, and improving is imperative for success. A strong content marketing strategy will bring your brand more recognition and new customers as well as increase your sales.