Content marketing is taking over where traditional marketing leaves off by showing that your company is more than just a brand. Sharing useful content through your company creates trust with your customer which is vitally important. Customers who trust your company are more likely to share their opinions with their friends and family. This helps generate new customers and increase revenue.
More and more companies are increasing their marketing budget to make room for content marketing. This is largely due to the fact that increasing quantities of customers flock online to get the goods and services that they need. Content marketing uses online algorithms to get your valuable, useful content to the masses. But companies can’t start just churning out content in hopes that the right people will find them. First, your business must create a documented strategy that you’ll follow to maximize your return for your content marketing.
Creating a content marketing strategy helps you stay on track and optimize your results. The first thing you need to do to document your content marketing strategy is to write down your objectives. Think about why you want to invest in content marketing and if it will help your company by increasing awareness, loyalty, and sales. The objectives are different for every company. Some may be interested in creating brand awareness while others have the goal of increasing social media engagement. You’ll want to think about what specific goals you want your strategy to accomplish for your company. The main goal that all companies should have is to be better at business because of content marketing.
The second step in creating a content marketing strategy is to figure out what’s special about your company and your content that sets you apart from the crowd. This isn’t usually your products and services, but more along the lines of something that you can offer that is unique. What is the soul of your company? Think about the message that you want to shine through on all of the content you release. You want people to care about your content. Content marketing is about motivating and inspiring your audience.
The third step in creating a brilliant content marketing strategy is to make sure that you’re measuring your objectives that you outlined in the first step. Track and measure these objectives accurately. If you want more social media engagement, then you’ll want to track your social media engagement to see if your strategy is effective. Don’t worry about tracking everything, just focus on measurable results that matter.
Your objectives will also indicate what type of audience you’re aiming to attract. Creating customer personas can help you get into the mind of the consumer to figure out which type of content will benefit them. Think about what your audience wants and needs and how you can provide this to them through your content. Researching popular search terms and paying attention to which content performs better than others will help you understand the wants and needs of your audience.
Content marketing doesn’t necessarily need to be a blog full of helpful articles. Content marketing actually involves several different outlets including social media, e-newsletters, website articles, blogs, events, videos, photos and illustrations, infographics, webcasts, and much more. By using a variety of avenues to share your content, you are expanding your reach significantly.
A content planning worksheet can help you stay on top of your content marketing tasks. Your spreadsheet should cover the date that you want the content to be released, the format or method you wish to release the content, where the content is coming from, and a description of the content. You’ll also want to include the personas you’re trying to influence and their needs, what your call to action will be, and how you can measure your results. You should organize the worksheet by week, month, quarter and year so you can easily track the data. A call to action is what you want those who are seeing your content to do next.
Ideally you’ll want to create content for each audience need. This may seem overwhelming as you consider all your audience personas but this vital step helps you understand the topics and content that will be most relevant to your audience. Having a documented content marketing strategy will help relieve the stress of just taking everything as it comes.
Once you’ve created the content, you need to get it out for the entire world to see. Content marketing is about marketing that content to your audience. Think of the content as a fire and social media as gasoline. The content itself may be excellent, but without fuel it won’t reach its full potential. Create a distribution plan for each piece of content. Various forms of social media are a great way to get your content seen. Using SEO techniques can help with search engine inquiries by elevating your content on the search result list. Advertisements both online and offline can also direct more customers towards your business.
Remember that your content should be interesting and useful to your audience. You want to avoid sounding too much like a brochure and instead focus on creating interesting, useful content.