Content Marketing Is A By-Product Of A Good Content Strategy
Content strategy is the ongoing process of transforming business objectives and goals into a plan that uses content as a primary means of achieving those goals. There’s so much information out there about how to build a content strategy. Read about the significance of a content strategy in our Ultimate Guide on Content Strategy in 2021.
When you develop a content strategy, ask yourself a few questions:
1. Who is your reader?
Who is the targeted audience of your content and how big is this audience? Just as your business might have more than one type of customer, your content strategy can cater to more than one type of reader or viewer.
Using a variety of content types will help you deliver different content to each type of audience you have in mind and what social media platforms can you use to engage with the multiple viewers your company does business with.
2. What problem are you addressing for your targeted audience?
Ideally, your product or service solves a problem you know your audience has. By the same token, your content coaches and educates your audience through this problem as they begin to identify and address it, according to Justin McGill.
A good content strategy can help different types of viewers; one who is figuring out their main challenge and one who are already using the product to overcome that challenge. Your content reinforces the solution(s) you’re offering and makes your customers more qualified users of your product whether it’s an e-commerce store or a mobile application, etc.
3. What makes you unique?
Your competitors likely have a similar product as yours, which means your potential customers need to know what makes yours better or, at least, different. This is where content comes in. In order to prove why you’re worth buying from, you need to prove why you’re worth listening to and your content speaks to them.
4. What content formats will you focus on?
What forms will your content take; information, videos or blogposts? Having identified the topics you want to take a position on, you’ll need to determine which formats to best project it.
5. Different forums to avail?
Just as you can create content in different formats, you’ll also have different forums you can publish to. These include owned properties, such as your website and blog; and social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter.
6. How will you manage content creation?
This is where the strategizing needs to be optimized. A well planned and figured out strategy enables you to produce worthy and sustainable content.
What is Content Marketing?
“Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
Content marketing has been around as early as 1732 if not earlier, when Benjamin Franklin first published his annual Poor Richard’s Almanack to promote his printing business. Now in 2021, the concept of content marketing has changed tremendously, and the ways in which brands can now execute their stories are seemingly limitless.
Over the last few years there have been some excellent examples of content marketing that have helped brands position themselves as experts in their field, and they have enjoyed direct business benefits as a result. Yet there are also accounts of campaigns that have swallowed up budget without producing real results.
If you are a marketer today, chances are you’re thinking a lot about telling your brand’s story in an engaging and compelling way. This involves, essentially, content marketing – the art of telling your brand’s story to potential as well as current customers.
Why You Need Content Marketing
According to the Content Marketing Institute, 70% of B2B marketers and 86% of B2C marketers surveyed use content marketing in some form or other. And it’s no surprise. If done thriving, an effective content marketing strategy can grow brand awareness, bring in new customers, drive revenue, and most importantly, help guarantee brand loyalty, conversions, and growth, something we repeatedly tell you and cannot be emphasized enough.
According to research compiled by Coschedule:
- Companies that publish 16+ blog posts a month get as much as 3.5x as much traffic as those that publish 0-4 posts a month.
- Content marketing produces 3X more leads per dollar spent
- Content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing
- 61% of US online consumers made a purchase after reading recommendations from a blog
- Content marketing methods convert 6X more often than other marketing methods.
Here are a few tips to create content that will not fail you:
1. Set goals.
Knowing your goals will guide you and your team in other important decisions, as you further refine your content marketing strategy. For instance, a common goal is to get people to come to your website or blog, and turn them into loyal subscribers. With their emails, you can build relationships with these people who are clearly interested in your content and hopefully, your product as well.
The idea is that a consumer, when aware of a brand’s mission or world, finds it tempting enough to eventually buy the products. Content marketing is about awareness of an issue or lifestyle that stands for something beyond a brand’s product.
2. Know your audience and communicating in a manner which they will understand.
A successful content marketing strategy always has two things in mind: your brand’s voice and the audience. Identifying who your content needs to target can help you figure out what topics and formats your content should feature.
If you’re trying to reach younger shoppers, you might want to reach them via social media with punchy language.
But if you’re targeting older shoppers, your content may rely on building authority in the industry, instead. For example, a company that sells razors but produces a digital magazine all about fathering, styling, and more.
Tools like Google Analytics can help you measure which content is most popular among your audience and figure out who’s reading what, where, and when.
3. Choose your content resource.
Different target prefer different channels and types of content. Blogs and email newsletters are often the core of any content marketing strategy.
But innovative brands have gone much further, for instance appointing influencers on Instagram, building augmented reality campaigns for Facebook Messenger, running podcasts, printing physical magazines, producing video series, and more. Basically, you can avail all the modern techniques to increase the reach of the brand to its audience.
It’s a valuable exercise to at the beginning of launching your content strategy to focus on one or two main channels and branch out later.
As your brand’s audience grows and your content marketing efforts mature, along with your team and resources, you could even ask your audience what additional forms of content they’d love to see from your brand, such as podcasts or video.
4. Consistent content promotion; out of sight out of mind.
Okay, so now you’ve got all this great content in the pipeline. You’re posting to your blog three times a week, have plans to develop a bimonthly newsletter and a video series. How do you make sure people actually see your content? You can create great content but, like the reputed tree that falls in the forest, if no one reads it, does it matter?
An email newsletter is one of the most important modes of content distribution. It’s imperative for marketers to start building emails lists as soon as possible, and have a plan about how you’re going to use it. Do we all not receive tons of emails from our regular brands, reminding us of the latest products and sale offers? Well it certainly keeps out mind thinking about them all day long.
While you build up your email list, you can promote your content both on social media (paid and unpaid) and through your email newsletter, which you can use as a way to get your content bundled up and directly in front of your audience.
Last, set up an editorial calendar. Check out our editorial calendar for you to download. When you first start out, make sure the content you’re committed to producing is something you and your team can handle and keep up. Whether it’s one post a week or two posts per month or simply one robust email newsletter each quarter make sure you execute consistently on schedule.
Another important tactic is to make sure people can find your content through organic search. This involves doing keyword research and taking advantage of SEO to make sure your content promotes itself. It is truly still valuable rather than just stuffed with keywords that improve ranking. The content that best does this is the classic content that anchors the other content in your blog and represents the fundamental of your brand’s values and content strategy.
Why is SEO important for marketing?
SEO is a fundamental part of digital marketing because people conduct trillions of searches every year, often with commercial intent to find information about products and services. Search is often the primary source of digital traffic for brands and balances other marketing channels. Greater visibility and ranking higher in search results than your competition can have a material impact on your agenda.
The search results have been evolving over the past few years to give users more direct answers and information that is more likely to keep users on the results page instead of driving them to other websites.
Furthermore, features like rich results and Knowledge Panels in the search results can increase visibility and provide users more information about your company directly in the results.
Thus, to conclude, this use of content strategy has become vital for digital marketing of products and services in today’s fast evolving markets. To be able to keep up with market trends and to know your consumer/customer better, it is important to keep in touch with them, to understand what they want and to analyze the targeted reach of your product.
For this consistency, together with high quality, continuously published and refreshed content can only reflect highly on your brand. Creating a long-term, engaging and rewarding content strategy is no easy feat but if done well with long and short term goals in mind, it’s certain to pay off.
If it seems too much work, don’t forget that you’re not just adding to the noise and pushing another product but that you’re a storyteller sharing your brand’s story that deserves to be heard. The tips and discussion above is just the tip of a larger digital marketing iceberg.
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