Content marketing is a strategic approach that helps a business to build brand awareness and authenticity through various different web-based, content distribution channels. These in turn can increase the number of people visiting a website, blog and social media pages.
Content marketing adds value
For the purpose of any of your internet marketing campaigns, it is integral to create content that is applicable to your business’s objectives and your customer’s needs, as this is what will attract and entice your ‘ideal’ audience to your website.
It is a modern day ‘norm’ for people to search for answers via the web, therefore, content marketing will enable you to connect with people in a way that allows them to have their questions answered via your content. In hindsight, you show your audience that you value their questions by providing them with answers that are of greater value to them.
Content marketing success begins with a plan
To create a successful marketing campaign, you’ll need to know and determine your audience and you’ll need to have a custom content marketing strategy to begin with. This will set out the scope of your goals and objectives for your campaign as well as a content mapping ‘roadmap’ to outline the overall plan, production and distribution channels. Furthermore, measurement and analytics are all part of this content marketing strategy which is always evolving.
8 steps involved in the creation of a content marketing strategy are the following:
1. Define Audience
Your target audience refers to a specific group of people who are most likely to be interested in your product or service. Before marketing your business, it is important to have a clear understanding of your online audience as it is a key to unlocking content- potential goals and opportunities via the World Wide Web. Things to consider might be: Who are they? Where do they reside? What type of information do they want from your service? Why do they want your product? When are they likely to purchase? What are their buying behaviours? Etc.
2. Audit existing content
Performing an audit on your existing content can provide insight into the type of content that has already been shared with your current audience, including the quality and the frequency/consistency of both content and distribution. A content audit also helps to analyse content that has performed well (or hasn’t performed) with your audience in terms of likes, comments and shares, as well as more analytical data such as the type of audience your content has been attracting in terms of gender, demographics and etc. This data insight is valuable, for it will help plan to improve content marketing.
3. Establish content marketing goals and frameworks
Documenting content marketing goals within your content strategy will keep your goals clear and help you to touch-base every step of the way towards achieving them. It is always best to start with goals related to your overall marketing vision and business mission before moving on to identifying both short-term and long-term goals that your content marketing can help to achieve. Implementing KPIs (Key performance indicators) and frameworks such as the SMART or CLEAR framework can be useful for tracking and measuring performance.
4. Develop an editorial plan
There are many different types of content that can diversify your content marketing ranging from textual, visual, interactive, video and PDF. Defining the type of content to be included in your content marketing strategy should be fit for the purpose of your goal and your audience.
5. Plan content production
Planning a diverse range of content such as Infographics, videos and blogs may require specific expertise such as a graphic designer or video editor; along with appropriate tools and resources that need to be allocated for better productivity and effectiveness. Common questions that arise include the following: Does this content require expertise? Who is best to create it? How much will it cost? How long will it take? Etc.
6. Plan and automate content distribution
Planning where, when, and how your content is distributed is fundamental step in putting the plan into action. Content distribution channels include owned, earned and paid media. These three distribution channels may not always be used together but they do work well together.
7. Analyse content performance
Data collection and analysis can provide clear signals as to what pieces of content attracts your audiences interest the most, making it easier to plan in new content ideas and generation that will be of interest to them.
8. Repurpose and reschedule (long-term editorial planning)
Content that has already been published can also be repurposed (producing different versions) so that it can appeal to readers who may prefer a different format of the original content. Nonetheless repurposing content will appeal to a much wider audience across multi-channels.
Overall, a content marketing strategy is important for any digital marketing campaign. It helps to form a cohesive plan to help inspire, facilitate, encourage, and help connect with desired groups of people. Subsequently, it will help increase brand affinity, trust and conversions.