In the content marketing world, content strategy is all about campaigns and content plans. It includes planning your content efforts to make sure you’re reaching a relevant audience with messaging that resonates. This article will cover how content marketing can work for you, what it takes to be successful at content marketing, and why it’s worth investing in this type of marketing strategy.
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.
When executed correctly, content marketing can be an extremely effective way to attract leads, build brand awareness, generate sales, and more. But like any other marketing strategy, content marketing requires careful planning, execution, and measurement to be successful.
What is content marketing?
Content marketing is a strategic way of getting your product or service in front of the right people. By creating content that is compelling, informative and entertaining, you can attract potential customers and keep them engaged with your brand.
Some modern examples of content marketing include blog posts, social media updates, videos, infographics and e-books. All of these formats can be used to engage and inform potential customers about your product or service. Additionally, content marketing can also be used to build brand awareness and create a connection with your target audience.
Of course, content marketing isn’t just about posting a lot of content in a lot of places.
Content marketing is about having a sense of strategy around the types of content you create, where you publish that content and even when you publish that content.
It is the art of having crystal clear clarity of the people you are trying to influence and being able to develop, curate and constantly improve content that speaks directly to them.
Why is content marketing considered to be successful?
There are a few reasons content marketing is so effective. First, it allows you to build trust with your target audience. When you provide them with helpful and informative content, they’ll begin to see you as a credible source of information. Additionally, content marketing can help you boost your SEO efforts and improve your visibility online. Finally, content marketing can help you create a connection with your target audience and establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry.
So, how do you go from just posting content anywhere and everywhere to actually conducting profitable content marketing?
The secret sauce is strategy.
How does a content marketing strategy work?
A content marketing strategy should be built on a solid foundation of research. First, you need to understand your target audience and what type of content they’re looking for. Once you have a good understanding of your audience, you can begin to plan the types of content you’ll create, where you’ll publish that content and even when you’ll publish it.
It’s important to remember that content marketing is a long-term strategy. It takes time and effort to create quality content that will engage and inform your target audience. However, if you’re patient and put in the work, the results can be worth it.
What goes into a great content marketing strategy?
There are a few key elements that every content marketing strategy should have in order to be successful. These include:
1. Understanding Your Content Marketing Strategy Goals
Before you can create content, you need to have a goal in mind. What do you want to achieve with your content marketing strategy? Are you looking to increase brand awareness? Boost SEO? Increase leads and sales? Once you know what you want to achieve, you can begin to develop content that will help you reach those goals.
Understanding your content marketing goals is important because it will help you figure out what kind of content to create. If you want to increase brand awareness, you’ll need to create content that is interesting and attention-grabbing. If you’re looking to boost SEO, you’ll need to focus on creating content that is keyword-rich and relevant to your audience.
2. A Clear Understanding of Your Target Audience
Before you can create content that resonates with your audience, you need to have a clear understanding of who they are and what they want. This means conducting market research and using data to segment your target audience into different groups.
There are a few key things you need to learn about your target audience in order to create content that resonates with them. First, you need to understand their demographics and psychographic.
This includes things like age, gender, income level, interests and lifestyle. Additionally, you need to understand what type of content they’re looking for and what type of content they’re likely to engage with.
You can learn all of this through market research, surveys and data analysis. Once you have a good understanding of your target audience, you can begin to create content that appeals to them.
3. A Plan for Creating and Distributing Content
Once you know who you’re targeting, you need to create a content calendar that outlines what content you’ll create and when you’ll publish it.
There are a few different types of content you can create as part of your content marketing strategy.
- Blog Posts
- Social Media Posts
Every different type of content you create for content marketing should be planned ahead and fit into your overall strategy. You need to know who your target audience is and what they want before you start creating content. Additionally, you need to think about where you will publish that content and on which platforms it will be shared.
With this understanding in mind, ensure you have a content distribution checklist.
A content distribution checklist is a list of tasks that you need to complete in order to ensure your content is seen by the right people. This includes things like publishing content on your website and blog, sharing it on social media, sending it to influencers and targeting specific journalists and bloggers.
Creating a content distribution checklist is important because it ensures that your content is seen by as many people as possible.
This will help you stay on track and ensure that your content is distributed evenly across all channels.
4. A Method for Measuring Success
It’s important to set measurable goals for your content marketing strategy and track how well you’re meeting them. This will help you determine what content is working and what isn’t, so you can make changes as needed.
Why does a content marketing strategy work?
The success of content marketing lies in the ability to create content that resonates with your target audience. By having a clear strategy in place, you can ensure that your content is relevant and useful to your customers. Additionally, a content marketing strategy allows you to track your progress and determine what content is working and what isn’t.
Without a strategy, your content marketing efforts are likely to be less effective and may even result in lost customers.
A content marketing strategy gives you a roadmap to success and can help you achieve your business goals.
The strategy behind your content marketing output is also important because of the time and money investment that a content marketing campaign requires.
Due to the volume of content creation often involved across a range of media, from articles and photos to video and eBooks, you want to ensure that every minute and every dollar you spend on your content is able to be justified against a grander plan.
Otherwise, you’re just making content for the sake of it.
Some will stick, but a lot of it probably won’t.
As content marketing is an ongoing process, it’s important to have a plan in place so you can continue to produce quality content that will engage and convert your audience.
A content marketing strategy ensures that your content is aligned with your business goals and is distributed across the right channels. It also allows you to track your progress and make changes as needed.
Getting Started Creating Your Content Marketing Strategy
Now that you understand the importance of content marketing and have a better idea of how to create a content marketing strategy, it’s time to get started building your very own.
Taking on board some of the learnings in this article, here’s how you might get started.
Step 1: Write An Outline For Your Content Marketing Strategy
The first step is to write an outline for your content marketing strategy. This will help you to organise your thoughts and ensure that you have everything covered.
Your content marketing strategy should include the following:
- The goal of your content marketing campaign
- A broad target audience for your content
- The type of content you will create
- Where you plan to distribute content
None of this is set in stone and it’s likely some of it will change the deeper into your strategy you go, but at the very least your outline should give you something to start.
Without doubt, however, the biggest question you need to consider when writing your outline is, “What is my goal?”
It can be as simple as “Sell more electric cars”, or as deep as, “Create a better world for future generations by educating people about the importance of converting to electric vehicles.”
If it was up to us, we’d probably be going with the latter – as it provides a much more detailed sense of the type of people we are looking to reach and a far richer source of content ideas.
Whatever your goal is, without a clear understanding of what you’re trying to achieve and how that relates to your products or services, you’re going to find putting your content marketing strategy together very difficult.
Step 2: Define Your Audience
The next step is to define your audience. This can be done in a number of ways, but the most important thing is to get specific about who you’re targeting with your content.
For example, rather than just saying “People who drive”, you might say “Parents with young children who live in the city and drive”.
Understand what your audience is looking for, as it relates to your goal and your product and/or services.
What are their biggest aspirations? How does your solution get them closer to that aspiration?
What are their biggest fears? How does your solution take them far away from that fear?
Ask yourself questions about the content you are making.
For example, how will it help people understand something?
Who will be most interested?
By getting specific, you are able to tailor your content to be more relevant and interesting to this group of people.
You can then go a step further and determine the demographics of your audience, such as their age, gender, income level, etc. This will give you a better understanding of who they are and what they’re interested in.
The deeper you dive, the better you’ll be at understanding where they look for content, the type of content they consume when they look for content, what they’re hoping to learn from the content they consume and so much more.
Step 3: Market Research – How are your competitors using content?
Your content marketing strategy is not going to be successful if you don’t understand how your competitors are using content.
This is important for a number of reasons, the most important being that it allows you to learn from their mistakes and avoid making the same ones yourself.
Competitor analysis also allows you to better understand the content that is working for them and the content that is not.
It’s important to remember that you should not copy your competitors, but rather learn from what they are doing and find a way to do it better.
One of the best ways to analyse your competitor’s content marketing strategy is to look at their:
From there, you can start to understand what content they are creating, how often they are creating it, where they are distributing it and how successful it is.
This is also a great time to start thinking about who you’re up against.
Are they competing for the interest of the same people as you?
What can you do that they can’t?
How can you stand out?
Step 4: Evaluate Your Content
Now that you have a clear understanding of your goals, your audience and your competitors, it’s time to turn the magnifying glass on your own content.
Start by taking an inventory of all the content you currently have.
This can include blog posts, social media posts, ebooks, infographics, videos, podcasts, etc.
Once you have a complete list, it’s time to start evaluating each piece of content.
The first thing you want to look at is how well it aligns with your goals.
If a piece of content is not helping you achieve your goal, it’s time to rethink it or get rid of it.
Next, take a look at how well the content resonates with your audience.
Is it interesting to them?
Do they find it helpful?
If not, it may be time to make some changes.
Finally, look at how well the content is performing.
Are people engaging with it?
Are they sharing it?
Is it helping you generate leads or sales?
If not, again, it may be time to rethink it or get rid of it.
By the end of this process you want to be able to place your existing content into three baskets.
- Content that’s working and aligned to your goals
- Content that’s aligned to your goals and not working
- Content that’s working and not aligned to your goals
- Content that’s not working and not aligned to your goals
You can work with what’s in the first three buckets.
Whatever’s in the last bucket can be thrown onto the content scrap heap.
Step 5: Work out what’s missing from your content marketing mix.
Now that you know what content you have and how well it’s performing, it’s time to start filling in the gaps.
This is where your content marketing strategy really starts to take shape.
Work out what types of content are missing.
Are you stacked with great videos but lacking in strong copy for your website?
Do you have these great, long posts that are hitting all the right notes but lacking content that can be used to succinctly sum up the contents of those posts to the segments of your audience with shorter attention spans?
You get the idea.
Fill in the content gaps by creating content that’s missing from your mix.
Step 6: Create a content calendar
Now that you have a content strategy in place, it’s time to start planning out your content.
A content calendar will help you do this.
The content calendar should include:
- The type of content you’re going to create
- The topic of the content
- Who is going to create it
- When it’s going to be published
- Where it’s going to be published
- How you’re going to promote it
This is also a good time to start planning your resources. What aspects of the content do you need to create in house and where will you need external resources?
Do you need a copywriter to assist with your written content?
Do you need a videographer to bring your vision to life with visual content?
Do you need a photographer to create imagery that complements your vision?
Your content calendar should be planned out at least a few months in advance.
This will give you time to create quality content and promote it properly.
Step 7: Create killer content
This is where the rubber meets the road.
It’s time to start creating content that’s going to help you achieve your goals and reach your target audience.
Remember, content marketing is all about creating compelling, informative and entertaining content.
Your content should be well-researched, well-written and engaging.
It should also be aligned with your goals.
If you can do all of that, you’re on your way to content marketing success.
Step 8: Distribute your content
Once you have great content, it’s time to start getting it in front of the right people.
There are a number of ways to do this, and which ones you use will depend on your goals, your audience and your content.
Some content distribution channels to consider include:
- Your website or blog
- Social media
- Email marketing
- Paid advertising
- Guest blogging
- Content syndication
- PR and media outreach
As you can see, there are a lot of content distribution channels to choose from.
The key is to start with the ones that are most likely to reach your target audience and help you achieve your goals.
Step 9: Monitor and Optimise your content marketing strategy
You’re not done yet.
Content marketing strategy is an ongoing process.
You need to monitor your content to see how it’s performing and make adjustments as needed.
Are people engaging with your content?
Are they sharing it?
Are they taking the action you want them to take?
If not, make changes.
The beauty of content marketing is that it’s a process that can be tweaked and adjusted to achieve the best results.
The key is to never stop learning and always be willing to experiment.
And Breathe…Making the most of your content marketing strategy
So there you have it – a content marketing strategy in a nutshell. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it.
Now it’s time to put all of this into action and start seeing results.
Creating a content marketing strategy can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be.
By following the steps outlined in this article, you can develop a content marketing strategy that will help you achieve your marketing goals.
Still not sure where to start?
Feeling a bit overwhelmed?
Don’t sweat it.
Content Hype is here to help.
For assistance with all your content marketing strategy and content creation needs, get in touch with us today.