When it comes to content marketing, your content can literally make or break your entire marketing campaign. As a digital marketing specialist, exceptional content is one of the first things I focus on with clients, as it is the core driving force behind a good content marketing strategy. Get your content right and so many other pieces of your marketing strategy will fall into place. Let’s look at why content marketing is so important and how you can create a powerful content strategy for your business.
Craft Exceptional Content
It’s no secret that every content marketing strategy requires expert content creation. For a compelling content strategy, carefully planning and constructing your content is essential. Come up with fresh ideas by conducting company brainstorming or interviewing current customers. Every time you create content, ask yourself these important questions.
- Who are you creating your content for?
- What problem does it solve for your audience?
- What type or format does this content need to be?
- Where will it be published?
- How will you manage publishing and the content itself once it’s published?
If you can’t adequately answer all the above questions, you need more time to develop your content.
One of the most important factors to consider is how your content will be unique. Good, unique content is everywhere. That fresh idea you have… it’s probably already out there, it’s probably good, and it’s probably unique. Is your content better than what’s already out there? Is it 10x better? If not, you might need to adjust your campaign’s goals.
Here is a great Whiteboard Friday from Moz about 10x Content.
Identify Your Goals
Every marketing strategy needs a goal and content marketing is no different. Asking yourself what you want to achieve and why you want to implement this content marketing strategy will help you to find the right direction for your campaign and overall marketing plan. It’s ok to set high goals but keep them realistic, and don’t be afraid to reassess a high goal if you don’t think it is achievable. Campaigns don’t do as well as you intended them to all the time. If you learn something, you’re coming out better than you started. But there is nothing worse than sinking time and money into a campaign with an unreachable goal.
Pinpoint Your Ideal Buyer Persona
To create the most appealing content, you need to know your audience. Your target audience is your ideal buyer persona, the person you would love to have as a customer and who needs your product or service the most. You want to know as much about your ideal buyer persona as possible, how old they are, where they live, their income, their likes, and dislikes. The more you know, the clearer the direction your content marketing strategy will be. It’s also important to reevaluate your ideal buyer persona from time to time to ensure you’re still targeting the right audience and that your ideal persona’s priorities haven’t shifted.
Content Type and Format
You also need to clarify the content types or formats that will feature in your content marketing strategy. For example, most of my clients start out with a blog post, whether weekly or more frequently. But after you have created a collection of blog posts, you may want to culminate this information into an eBook or a guide that your audience can download. Depending on your company or industry you may want to prepare a white paper or checklists to assist your clients with more technical details. Infographics, images, and videos provide a visual content stream that really grabs attention. Delivering content in different formats will appeal to clients at various stages in the buyer’s journey and help extend your reach with who your content appeals to.
Organize, Manage and Analyze Your Strategy
Creating content is just one aspect of the content marketing process. You will also need a way to manage your content, including content publication and analytics. Because this can be a complicated process, most digital marketing companies use specialized software to do this. Marketing software can help you develop, publish, evaluate, and test your content marketing strategy to ensure your campaign is fulfilling its goals and reaching its full potential.
Assess and Adjust
Once your content is created and published, you’ll then need to follow it up by looking at the analytics provided by your marketing software. Examining your analytics can help you determine which topics are popular, and which subjects work best with your target audience, helping to shape your content strategy into the future further. This shouldn’t be the end of your content, however. Keep in mind what you’ve put out and refer to it when you can, such as in future content you publish. This is a great way to keep content active long after it’s published, and your analytics will show when this works. And don’t be afraid to update past content to keep it relevant!
Nothing can transform a business’s success and exposure like a well-planned content marketing strategy. And yet, so many businesses fail to nail content marketing, whether that’s because of a lack of time or lack of specialized skill.