Recent statistics from the Content Marketing Institute tell us that around 88% of B2B companies and 86% of B2C companies rely on a content market strategy.
Content has become a core part of a business’s overall strategy for success and survival and there is no reason why it shouldn’t. After all, the results are undoubtedly fantastic. In fact, when some of the respondent businesses were asked whether their respective content marketing strategies were successful, 97% of them (B2C and B2B) responded with a “yes”.
You see, content plays a major role in the overall marketing and branding process. This is even more obvious when you start considering the world of digital marketing.
Think about it. What do you do when you want to know about, let’s say, the latest iPhone? Well, you Google it. That’s the thing. You can search and find all the information you need on the internet.
So, if you want to make it in the current business landscape, you have to go online and that means a content strategy is a must.
But, more importantly, your content strategy must be effective. You see, the web is already filled with enough content from rival businesses. In other words, the content marketing arena is an extremely competitive one. This is exactly why we stress the effectiveness of your content marketing strategy. You need to produce content that’s creative, smart, useful, and relevant. Focus on the quality of your content more than you do on the quantity.
Whether you’re dependent on webinars, infographics, videos, ebooks, white papers, tutorials or blogs, your content needs to fit the criteria we just listed above. That’s the only way you’re going to make an impact.
The primary purpose of content is to create awareness. You need to get the word out about your product. That’s what creates value and ensures sales. By creating outstanding content, you’re allowing your brand to become recognizable and easy to recollect.
So, if you’re just stepping on to the content marketing path and are confused about how to go further, here are a few tips that can help you out.
List Out Your Goals
One of the first things to do when developing a content marketing strategy is to have a set of goals. You have to know what you’re going after. Is it awareness? Are you looking to just boost sales? These are examples of the kind of questions you need to be asking.
Once you come closer to figuring out your goals, make sure they are specific. Specificity is very important when it comes to goal setting. You can’t just say “make more profit” and expect it to make sense. You have to know exactly what you want.
Is it a 10% boost in profit or a 20% boost in profit?
Some of your other goals can be customer engagement, a boost in lead generation, or more customer retention etc.
Once the goals are listed, you can move to the next step.
Also, on a side note, make sure the goals are measurable.
Understand the Market
The next step is to focus on getting to know the market or markets you’re catering to. There are several elements to focus on in this phase. This typically includes demographic traits such as occupation, age, and gender etc. But, you need to go much further than that.
For instance, consider developing audience personas that alert you to daily tasks, pain points, job details, schedules, and expectations.
But, getting to know your customers is just the first step. You also need to know how to connect with them. Identify the influencers. Find out what they’re talking about or what they’re doing on the internet. Are there any specific relationships that you need to leverage in order to make contact with your target audience?
Think about what kind of content that would be relevant in this context.
Also, don’t forget to study and monitor your competitors. Look at the content marketing strategies they’re using and how effective they have been. Competitors are excellent case studies. What they do will give you an idea of what will work for you as well.
At the same time, you can also identify opportunities based on what your competitor isn’t doing. For instance, are they ignoring blogs, which are relevant to your target demographic? If yes, seize the opportunity immediately.
Use What You Already Have
Do you have content already? If yes, stop wasting your efforts trying to create fresh content. Create an inventory of what you have at present and see if some of it can be used. However, don’t just look at relevance.
Make sure you take the time to measure the content’s effectiveness. This should be easy considering that most of the stuff has already been used in older campaigns. Find out how the content performed in terms of goals such as engagement, revenue generation, or sales etc.
Based on the insights you gain, you can make the content even more effective by using it strategically and even tweaking it a little bit.
The success of your content marketing strategy also depends on the number of relationships you build, as well as the quality of those relationships. The modern customer engages with you first via content. The salesperson comes only after that.
So, try to offer an experience that the customer finds memorable or satisfactory. Make sure that the first line the customer reads is inviting enough.
Once you’ve established your credibility, it is much easier to progress up the content strategy ladder.
Promote the Content
Content is what helps you promote your product, service, or brand. However, for that to happen, your content itself needs a bit of a push. If your content isn’t being pushed, your target audience is going to ignore it, especially due to the fact that content is present everywhere today.
Consider utilizing both paid and organic promotion. Leverage channels such as social media and tactics such as search engine optimization.
You can even try getting in touch with the influencers in your industry.