Did you know 84% of businesses have a content strategy? This means having a content strategy is no longer the goal, but having an effective content marketing strategy helps you achieve your desired goals.
Whether you’re a start-up or an established business, you can create or evaluate your existing strategy to ensure it offers a high return on investment.
In this post, we will take a deeper look at the important aspects of an effective content marketing approach.
Let’s delve in!
1. Set Clear Content Goals
This is the most important stage as it defines the reason your content will exist and what you’ll seek to achieve through it. Some possible goals include:
- Increase traffic by X%
- Grow email subscribers
- Increase search engine rankings
- Increase lead generation
- Improve brand awareness
As you set up your goals, make sure they are SMART -specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely. Do not seek to achieve too many goals all at once, as you’ll be ineffective in most of them.
2. Understand Your Audience
Also known as the buyer persona, it includes the people who’ll be reading your content regularly. This is more important for those starting since understanding your audience will help you create relevant and helpful content from the onset. Then, as they consume and resonate with it, a portion will be converted to clients.
For experienced businesses, you want to determine whether your target audience has changed, any new things you need to incorporate in your content and whether you want to keep your old audience or not.
Revisiting your buyer persona’s parameters every year is an important step in ensuring your remain relevant.
3. Understand Your Audience’s Pain Points
At this stage, you want to understand those pressing problems that your ideal buyer has and craft content that addresses these challenges.
Your content should educate the readers and coach them about their problem and how they can solve it using your products. When they need to solve their problem, you’ll be among the top brands to buy from.
For customers already using your products, your content should affirm the solution your services or products continue to offer them.
4. Determine Content Format and Marketing Channels
At this stage, you will decide the content format you want your content to take, depending on your target audience. Some common formats include:
- Blog posts
- Press releases
- White papers
With the formats in place, you’ll need to determine the methods, platforms, and channels you’ll use to ensure the content reaches the audience. For example:
- Website’s blog page
- Social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter
- Email marketing
- Public relations
Again, use the right channels should resonate with your buyers.
5. Standout from the Competitors
Let’s face it. Your competitors have similar products and are targeting the same group of people. What will you do differently to stand out? How will you position yourself to be unique?
Focus on things that cannot be replicated – your brand voice, tone, stance, positioning, and story. Ensure content consistency and build trust with your readers.
Being unique and authentic is seen in how you package your content. For example, don’t create content similar to your competitor. Instead, create high-value content that’s specific to your reader and shows some originality.
6. Implement your Content Marketing Strategy
Now that you know your audience, their pain points, have a clear goal, and have determined content formats and channels, it’s time to implement your strategy.
- Choose your CRM
This involves choosing the system you’ll use to create, publish and manage your content. If you are a beginner, WordPress would be a great option as it’s affordable and gives an amazing user experience, even if you’re a non-techie.
- Brainstorm Content Ideas
You’ll seek to come up with relevant content ideas for your next project. The best way to brainstorm is to use tools such as BuzzSumo, Blog Post Headline Analyzer, and Feedly.
- Content Creation Process
Here, you’ll choose whether you want eBooks, blog posts, videos, webinars, or any other type of content. You’ll then determine if you’ve in-house skills to create that content, or you’ll need to outsource to freelancers or agencies. Finally, optimization tools such as Surfer SEO content editor become important for content writing that will rank well.
The outcome is content that resonates with your audience and maintains your brand tone and voice.
- Publish your Content
Using the CMS you selected, it’s time to manage and publish your content. You can also have a publishing calendar of already created content.
At this stage, you’ll also organize your content in different formats to publish in diverse channels. For example, you can repurpose your blog posts into a video or vice versa to increase audience engagement.
7. Measure the Results and Improve
With the published content, the next major step is to evaluate whether your content marketing efforts are yielding the desired results. Measure the results against the set goals and see what you’ve achieved them and what needs improvement.
Always remember no content strategy is perfect. As such, there will always be room for improvement and increase your ROI.
It takes lots of time to create and implement a content marketing strategy that delivers value. But it is worth all the effort. So don’t be in a rush to publish content only to realize you didn’t need it.
Take your time to explore available tools that can save your time and help you create content that will wow your readers.
But if you are stuck and need professional help, contact me!