The Anatomy of a Great Content Marketing Strategy
A successful content marketing strategy is one of the most important things you need to get right as a business. We are in a world full of competing brands, all looking to capture the attention of consumers with their message. There is a lot of content out there published by brands that is annoying and irrelevant, and in such a wildly competing market it’s now more important than ever to make sure that content is useful and helpful to consumers.
A successful content marketing strategy is not something that will just happen overnight, it is a gradual process and one that needs to be well thought out if one wants to succeed. In this post I’ll be explaining the core elements of every great content strategy that every business needs to get right.
Get Persona - fied
There is one thing that is absolutely critical to the success of any great content marketing strategy - knowing your target audience. If you don’t know who your target audience is then how do you know who to create content for? You can’t just start creating content for anyone, you need to have a clear buying persona of your ideal target market.
This buyer persona needs to include things like demographics and psychographics. The easiest way to find out what the buyer persona of your target audience is to ask 3-5 of your customers or potential customers open-ended questions. Think about the kind of questions you could ask. Things like, what do they do all day? Who do they interact with? What keeps them awake at night? What motivates them?
Having a buyer persona in mind will make it far easier for you to come up with a great content marketing strategy. After all, if you don’t know who you are meant to be helping with your content then you won’t be helping anyone. Having a clear idea of your target audience is absolutely essential to your success.
Do Your Homework
Before you start implementing any kind of content marketing strategy you need to do your research into the market. You need to understand who you are going to be targeting and you need to understand the market you are in. The only way you are going to achieve this is by doing your homework.
The last thing you want to be is like everyone else. You want to be different with your content. You want to be original. Look for gaps in your market. Look at what your competitors are doing. How can you do something different? How can you put a unique twist on something that is saturated?
The only way to find the answers to these questions is by doing your homework. You should also be doing some keyword research, look for things like long tail keywords that you can target. They may not get you a load of traffic but it will get you high quality traffic.
Think about some of the great brands and voices out there. Take Oprah Winfrey for example. She didn’t become a living legend by doing what every other talk show host was doing. She became a legend by doing something different, by having her own personality and putting her own spin on things.
Being unique and doing different things is what is going to make your content strategy stand out. To do this you need to do your homework.
Launch and Learn
Don’t get so buried in research and planning that you under-invest in your content creation. The last thing you want is to not launch because you are so caught up in all the other aspects of a content creation strategy. The best entrepreneurs are the ones that just start and then go from there. Start and correct course along the way. Generate a plan for your company’s first eight weeks of content creation and if you are struggling with company writers block consider the following:
• Collect the top five questions from your sales reps that they get asked everyday and turn that into a blog post.
• Assemble an infographic with industry benchmark data that is relevant to your customers and influencers in your space.
• Ask your CEO to write about the lesson he/she learned along the way in building your company.
• Identify four customers to share their journeys with your product or service in an online interview.
• A video of your product team talking about how they innovate on a daily basis.
• An informal Google hangout chat with an industry leader in your space.
Ideally, you should have someone with great writing skills who can do all of this for you. If not then you can always outsource your content creation to a freelancer or content marketing agency to help you. However, you don’t want to overdo it either so you need to make sure you have the right amount of staff for the workload. The best thing you can do is to launch with your content creation strategy and then take it from there.
Look at what is working and what isn’t working and you can correct course from there.
Market Your Marketing
Once you’ve planned out your first eight weeks of content marketing strategy, the next step is to market it. There are four primary channels that you should be using to market your content effectively.
You should be using social media to share all of your content and make sure that it is optimised for relevant social media channels. However, just sharing your content is not enough, you should also be engaging with users on the various social media platforms around topics related to your content. Also, make sure that you adopt a smart approach to your social media marketing. For example, if your persona is a busy executive with very little presence on Twitter then focus on LinkedIn instead. Focus on a few social media platforms rather than all of them and their relevant buyer personas and you’ll achieve better results.
You should try and find other businesses to complement your business. For example, there are many fields that are related such as health and fitness. If your business is a gym then it would make sense to partner with a nutritionist and establish a relationship that benefits both of you. If you have a business that has similar buyer personas then this is a perfect chance to establish a great co-marketing relationship with them.
Influencer and Media Relations
Focusing on influencers and media are great ways to market your content. Think of who the influencers are in your industry and comment on their blog posts, social media posts, etc. Basically form a relationship with them and there is a great chance they will share your content with their audience. Pitching media outlets is another strategy worth considering because of the amount of leverage it can generate for your content.
Send Signals with CTA’s (Call to Action’s)
You should be using CTA’s on all of your content. Think of your website, blog, and social media posts as signals that send users onto the next level of engagement. However, you shouldn’t be trying to sell your services all the time. It should be more of a case of sending a first time visitor to your blog and establishing a relationship with them.
At the end of your blog posts should be a call to action for a user to sign up to your email list or RSS feed. A CTA is an important and powerful way to drive conversions and they must be used on all of your content.
Always Be Measuring
Measuring the performance of your content marketing is one of the most important things you need to do. Too many marketers focus on things like how many blog posts they’ve posted, social media posts they’ve posted, the time it took to create them, etc. However, you should be focusing on their performance instead. Focus on measuring how well your content performs so how often it’s shared, how many comments it gets, etc. You should have some metrics and goals that you use to reliably track the performance of your content and you should be tracking this regularly.
From here you can see what is working and what isn’t and then focus on producing content that performs well with your audience.
Creating a great content marketing strategy is one of the most important things you can do for your business. You need to be sharing content that is useful and relevant to your audience, that ultimately helps you grow your business. By using this guide you’ll be able to plan and produce content that will help grow your business and get it right the first time.
Plan your content and then produce your content following the advice in this guide and you’ll have a great content strategy to help grow your business.
How has your business benefited from a content marketing strategy? Which parts of this guide are going to help you the most?