One of the best ways to reach your content marketing goals is to create a content marketing strategy. This gives you a clear understanding of your collective content objectives and the techniques required to achieve them.
While a strategy is a good starting point, it’s important to back this up with a concrete, down-to-earth content marketing strategy framework. This serves a critical purpose in translating the hypothetical content contained in your strategy into marketing content for your audiences.
To put it another way, it puts your content marketing plan into motion.
A content strategy framework gives marketers a 10,000-foot view of your entire content marketing strategy. It brings together lofty elements, like your mission and goals, as well as specific items, like the team members, tools, and techniques required to create the content itself.
Building a framework for your content strategy should never be optional. It is a necessary part of a healthy, fully-optimized content strategy.
Your framework bridges the gap between the theoretical and the literal. It allows you to take your goals and decide how you can use your current resources to build the necessary content strategy templates to achieve them. From there, your template provides the litmus test that you can use to gauge if your content is performing well and delivering the results you need.
A content framework is a complex marketing tool. It contains a wide variety of key documentation, such as brand guides and mission statements. It also takes into account budgets, team members, tools, templates, and countless other factors that are required to turn your marketing vision into reality.
With that said, there are a few things that are key to a successful framework. Here are four of the most essential content pillars required for any marketing strategy framework to be effective.
Goals are critical to a successful framework. When it comes to content creation, it’s easy to wander as you move from one topic, platform, or format to another.
Having goals in place ensures that every piece of quality content you create — no matter who it’s for, what it’s focusing on, or where it lives on the internet — is pushing toward the same marketing goal.
It doesn’t matter if you’re building brand awareness, launching a new product, improving sales, or anything else. Goals give you a North Star that you can build around as you develop your larger content strategy framework.
Understanding your audience is a basic best practice for any marketing endeavor. Knowing who you’re marketing to is a foundational element of any successful growth marketing initiative.
When it comes to building a content marketing strategy framework, you want to take this audience obsession to the next level. Dig beyond the surface of your target audience and consider what segment of that group is particularly important to focus on with your current strategy. Will you target a potential customer? Or focus on existing customers?
As you differentiate one part of your audience from another, you can hone in on digital marketing messages that will resonate with specific groups that you market to. An example of this could be a bicycle shop owner (whose primary target is fitness-focused individuals of all ages) targeting the 65-plus demographic as they build a strategy around the launch of a new bike for senior citizens.
Focusing on a specific segment of an audience can make a message more effective. It also makes it easier to build buyer personas that can intimately inform your content creation as you go along.
If you want your engaging content to perform well, you have to be willing to put your target audience first and a search engine second. This doesn’t mean you ignore the latter in favor of the former.
On the contrary, it’s always wise to check that your content is SEO-optimized. However, you need to have your priorities straight as you go about the content creation process.
The best way to do this is to create content that embraces Google’s concept of generating “helpful content.” This is content that follows the E-E-A-T (Experience, Expertise, Authority, Trustworthiness) guidelines of the search engine.
This kind of approach seeks to infuse content with value specifically targeting the reader. According to Google, “The helpful content system aims to better reward content where visitors feel they've had a satisfying experience, while content that doesn't meet a visitor's expectations won't perform as well.”
Calls to action should always be a central part of your content strategy. CTAs are the ultimate conversion element that shows your content is performing well and delivering the results you desire.
The good news here is that while conversions are important, you get to tailor them to your specific marketing needs in each content creation situation. Each content piece can focus on a different CTA.
For example, a detailed whitepaper might end with a call to request a demo or book an appointment with a salesperson. At the same time, a basic 101 blog post or social media post could end with a simple request to sign up for an email or click through to another article that moves the reader further down the sales funnel.
Whatever the case, crafting powerful CTAs that lead to conversions is essential for content marketing success. They breathe extra meaning into each content piece that you create and give you a metric to measure its success.
As a content marketer, conversions should be a central element of your overall framework. If you’re unsure how to come up with targeted CTAs or track conversion metrics, consider working with a content marketing agency that can help supercharge your calls to action.
Digital marketing is a multi-faceted and complicated world. It’s important to have a content strategy in place and for that strategy to be reinforced by a clear framework.
As you build this framework and create content, remember to keep the above elements in mind. From clear goals and a segmented target audience to valuable content and conversions, focus on the right areas. That way, you can count on every piece of content that you create to to lead you towards a successful content marketing strategy.