To effectively execute a content marketing strategy, it is essential to update your plan with the latest developments in the industry. Reviewing the strategy as often as possible is necessary, whether you’re a newbie or an expert who has been using various marketing methods for your business.
Once you have a viable content marketing plan, you’ll have a competitive edge over your rivals.
What Is a Content Marketing Strategy?
Content marketing strategy is the management or the handling of all the media that an organization or an individual generates and owns. Examples of media include written content, visual content and downloadable materials that serve different purposes in the market.
The strategy is the vital piece that tells your story and what you bring or offer the target population. An effective content marketing strategy includes the following considerations:
Define Your Target Audience
Know your target population beforehand, including the number of people that you want to reach with your content. The plan should meet all the needs of the target audience by diversifying the content formats and the mediums you will use to reach them.
What Solutions Does Your Content Offer?
Every piece of content must identify the target audience’s problem and offer a viable solution in clear and easy-to-understand language. It must show how your product or service can benefit your potential customers.
What Is Your Unique Selling Position (USP)?
Several other content marketers likely offer similar solutions to yours. Ensure that you have a unique feature in your plan that makes you stand out. Reassure the audience that your product or service works and can be trusted as a consistent solution.
Decide on Content Format
Content formatting is crucial as it determines the efficacy of the message. Different formats are available, depending on the project budget and the audience you want to reach. These include videos, infographics, blogs, and articles.
Which Publication Channels Will You Use?
Channels of publications are the different methods that you will use to relay the content. They include websites, blogs, and social media platforms, such as Twitter and Facebook. Each channel has a unique demographic, reach and content preference, so carefully analyze them before making your decision.
What Is the Content Creation and Publishing Process?
The strategy should include the content creation team, final publishing sites, and timelines indicating when the material shall be accessible to the audience.
How to Create a Content Marketing Strategy
1. Set Objectives at the Start
Defining the reason why you are setting up a content strategy is the first step. You will need to define the goals of the content that will be created. Specify why the plan is necessary and what it hopes to achieve.
The objectives will help you break down the best approaches to use, the target audience and the channels or formats.
2. Lay Down the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
Objectives can only be achieved if they are specific and can be measured. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are the pointers that will assist you to gauge if your project has succeeded. KPIs can include the following points:
- Website traffic
- Expected revenue from sales
- Email marketing metrics
- Social media metrics
All the indicators have a value that acts as the reference point.
3. Define the Target Population
Before creating the marketing strategy or market plan, identify who you hope to reach with your content. Fresh content marketers need to ascertain this beforehand to help them create valuable and applicable material.
Eventually, the audience will embrace your products or services. You can continue to market to this established audience, and as long as your offerings remain valuable to them, they will remain a reliable source of sales and revenue.
However, you may wish to broaden your appeal, or you may develop a product for an entirely different demographic. It is therefore always important to look for other audiences.
4. Revisit Previously Published Content
Auditing content helps you gauge the effectiveness of your previous strategy and gives direction on what you can adopt, change or improve. Revisiting the formats allows you to determine which ones work best.
You can also opt to condense the information/posts into one comprehensive guide.
If you have established content on your website, you can identify any gaps in your strategy. Gaps are areas that are yet to be addressed by you or your competitors. Some can include areas that the audience has raised questions about, but to which you have not yet responded. Gaps exist where content ranks well but could do better if improved.
5. Establish a System for Managing the Content
A central content management system is key for marketers or marketing organizations. It helps you manage the various processes of content marketing, including the creation stages, publishing stage and the auditing/ analytics stage.
There is software available that can help you manage your content in one location. An example is WordPress.
6. Suggestions and Ideas for the Content
Coming up with content ideas is the vital point of the content marketing strategy; without the content, the whole process is invalid. Several tools are available online that you can use for the brainstorming stage. The tools help you generate SEO-friendly content, content that is trending in the market and analyze titles and headlines to improve their quality and relevance for the target audience.
Afterward, the content creation process kicks off. The process may involve developing the content outline, seeking approval of the outline, writing the material, adding relevant images and publishing the final piece.
7. Choose the Content Format
You can choose to relay your content through blogs, templates, infographics, videos, social media sites, e-books and case studies. Blog posts are common because they can include a call to action at the end, provide real value to the target audience, are easily shareable across different channels and can be modified into different articles to meet diverse goals.
Popular content formats include content curation, how-to’s, vlogs, videos, opinion polls, newsletters, slide-shares, quotes, quizzes, guides, polls, and lists. Initially, content is published on the company’s website. After this, the content, in its various forms, is distributed to other channels through shares and links (referred to outposts).
You can analyze social media content easily using tools available online that will guide you on how to engage with the social media community and how to distribute the content through the channels for maximum reach. One example is Google Analytics.
Content analysis tools provide you with data such as shares by your networks, shares according to the type of content that you post and the content that ranked highest in the past year (this is not applicable for new content marketing teams).
8. Write the Content
Writing quality content that adds value to the audience is the core of the project. Research what is already available on the market and improve what is already there. Gaps identified previously should be answered at this point.
Take the time to look at the content that ranks high on search engines. Conduct keyword searches at this point to boost your SEO and keyword ranking after the content is published.
Use the data from the research to write content that reflects your brand and the solution that it offers. Companies, such as prREACH, have content writing services for all types of marketing content, should you want to outsource. Choose the tone you want to use to communicate with your audience.
9. Finally, Publish, Distribute and Measure Results
The final step of the content marketing plan is the publishing stage. After this, you will only need to manage the content on the various platforms where the posts appear. Editorial calendars are an easy alternative of helping you keep track of the content on your site.
A content calendar acts as a guide to help the marketing team know when to publish the content, depending on the sites they will use.
Distribution of the content will affect the results of the whole project. Distribute content through email marketing to email subscribers and brand influencers.
After publishing, use Google Analytics to measure the results. Content marketing success tools help you pick up any marketing issues and address them immediately.
Content marketing strategy is the stepping-stone to the success of any marketing project. Successful companies have used content marketing plans to grow their traffic online and generate sales and revenue.
We hope our guide helped teach you the step-by-step procedures that will help your company develop and implement an effective strategy that will take your business to the next level.
Should you still need help or want to leave the content marketing to someone else, prReach is always available to assist you. Contact our team today to find out what we can do for you.