The modern consumer is more informed and empowered than ever before. Today, customers expect more from the brands that they interact with, a factor that has made it necessary for businesses to find the right strategies to meet these expectations. Content marketing is gradually becoming the new normal from the consumer side, partly because it provides an avenue through which you can connect with and educate your customers, helping them to make smarter purchase decisions.
From a business perspective, content marketing is a great way to build trust, generate leads, and improve customer loyalty. To be successful with content marketing, you will have to create a solid and effective content marketing strategy. Here is some information that can help you run a successful marketing campaign.
What is a Content Marketing Strategy?
A content marketing strategy can be described as a plan for creating, maintaining, and spreading content frequently and consistently to build an audience. To achieve the set goals, the content has to be educative, entertaining, or inspiring. Quality content helps to turn strangers into fans and then fans into customers.
The marketing landscape is constantly changing, thanks to the internet and the related communication technology. With traditional marketing becoming less effective by the day, marketers have to find better and more effective ways of reaching out to customers. Creating valuable and relevant content is fast becoming a popular marketing approach, one that can help to attract and retain a clearly defined audience and influence customer action. Therefore, it is no surprise that nearly all the leading brands in the world are using content marketing. When done correctly and using the right strategy, content marketing can help you to increase sales, save on costs, and gain better customers with more loyalty.
Today, it is impossible to do marketing without great content. Since content will have a huge impact on the future of marketing, content marketing should be part of your larger marketing strategy. An effective content marketing strategy will enhance your social media strategy, effectively helping you to realize your marketing objectives. Search engines will also reward businesses that publish quality and consistent content, meaning that a good content marketing strategy can help you improve your search engine rankings. When it comes to PR, an effective content marketing strategy will ensure you address the issues that your readers care about as opposed to talking about your business. Great content will be important for PPC to work and will be crucial in driving inbound traffic and leads as well as contribute to your content strategy.
4 Reasons Why You Need a Content Marketing Strategy
Without a content marketing strategy, content marketing will be like going on a trip without knowing your destination. Without a proper strategy, you may end up wasting time and money, earning mediocre ROI in the end.
Here are some reasons why you need a content marketing strategy:
#1 Improve Brand Reputation
With the right content marketing strategy, you will be able to build trust and establish a positive brand reputation. The quality of content you share can also help you to build brand authority.
#2 Influence Conversions
Content marketing gives you an avenue to engage with and educate your leads and customers. By giving customers relevant information to help them make informed purchase decisions, you get to influence conversions.
#3 Improve Your SEO Efforts
Optimized content is one of the indexing factors that search engines use to rank websites. A good strategy will boost your SEO efforts, resulting in increased website traffic.
#4 Forge Better Relationships With Customers
Today, businesses that build and maintain strong relationships with customers are likely to improve customer satisfaction and retention levels. The right content marketing strategy will go a long way in helping you build better relationships with customers.
6-Step Process for Developing a Content Strategy?
The content marketing strategy you create should be unique to your business and situation. However, you must ensure that the content you publish will be of value to your target audience and inspire them to take actions that will boost your business.
Step 1: Define Your Goals
The first step to creating a content marketing strategy is to establish what you would like to achieve. Take time to determine your main aim of creating the strategy, why you want to produce content, and key performance indicators. Knowing your goals will help you develop a blueprint of how you want to achieve them. Apart from defining your goals and creating an actionable strategy, you should share these details with your team.
Step 2: Understand Your Audience
Great content should be relevant and valuable to the target audience. If you are to create content that will be helpful to your customers, you will need to have an intimate understanding of your customers. You may need to conduct research to understand the demographics, habits, and preferences of your target customers. You should also know their problems and the type of content that interests them.
Step 3: Run a Content Audit
Once you have a better understanding of your audience, you should narrow down to the topics that they care about the most. Be sure to review your content marketing efforts and the results achieved in a given period. Regular review will help you to figure out what needs to be done differently to maximize your efforts. Performing SEO analysis will also allow you to come up with relevant keywords that buyers use when they want to make a purchase.
Step 4: Conduct a Gap Analysis
Before investing in new content, take time to establish what your target audience wants to hear and compare it to what they are currently getting. Part of this will involve looking at how the competition approaches their content, the subjects they cover, and how their content performs. Conducting a gap analysis will put you in a better position to explore creative opportunities and publish content that resonates with the audience.
Step 5: Determine the Type of Content You Want to Create
The next step will be to determine the type of content you want to create. Considering the different content formats you can use, it will be important to choose the one that will be most impactful. Some of the options you can consider are blog posts, e-books, infographics, videos, podcasts, and social media. The decision you make will be informed by where your target audience spends most of their time.
Step 6: Publish & Manage Your Content
The final step is to bridge the gap between strategy and content creation. Besides creating content, you will have to organize it to ensure a successful content marketing strategy. By using a content calendar, you will be able to consistently produce relevant content that captures the attention of your audience. However, you should consider timely topics that will contribute to spikes of traffic.
How Do I Know If it’s Working?
Tracking performance and measuring results are critical to a successful content marketing strategy. In the course of the marketing campaign, you will need to know whether the technique is working, and if necessary, make the required changes and adjustments to improve your results. Follow these four methods in order to track success.
#1 Have a Clear Mission Statement
If you are to know whether your content marketing strategy is working, you should determine what a successful strategy is. Take time to outline the type of customers that gravitate to your content, how the content will move them, the actions that their feelings will lead to, what transformation their actions will bring about and how their actions relate to your business objectives. You will need to make your mission statement the gateway for all your content distribution channels, align it with your business objectives, and use it to achieve your marketing goals.
#2 Analyze Traffic Sources
One of the main aims of publishing content is to get more people to read and benefit from it. While you will not be creating content just to attract traffic, this is an important indicator that will help you to know how your content is performing. Some of the channels you may want to pay attention to are social traffic, organic search traffic, direct traffic, email traffic, referral traffic, and paid traffic. Depending on your findings, you can increase efforts in areas that need improvements and double investment in areas that are performing well.
#3 Keep an Eye on Engagement Metrics
When it comes to determining the ROI of your marketing efforts, you will need to track engagement metrics that are in line with your business objectives. The metrics you choose will depend on your mission statement and the specific goals you want to achieve. When running a content marketing campaign, you may want to focus on building brand awareness, generating quality leads, increasing customer acquisition and sales as well as improving customer retention and loyalty levels.
#4 Consider the Intangibles
As much as numbers are important, they never tell the complete story. When figuring out whether your content marketing strategy is working, you will have to consider the intangibles. Every customer will have a unique purchase journey, a factor that makes it necessary to engage your audience to get more information. Get information from users when they visit your website, use social media surveys and polls to get feedback, start user-generated content campaigns on social platforms and monitor various forums to learn what people are saying about your business.
Want Professional Guidance? BizIQ Can Help!
Content marketing is constantly changing. To achieve the results you desire, you must have an effective content marketing strategy. At BizIQ, we provide businesses with marketing solutions that contribute to their growth. Contact us to learn more about how we can help take your business to the next level.