5 Steps to a Great Content Marketing Strategy
Interest in content marketing has been growing steadily since at least 2011, but according to Google Trends, that interest has recently started to spike, and the trend shows no sign of stalling. Small and large companies alike can no longer afford to ignore content marketing as a valuable way of engaging new customers. So if you want a great content marketing strategy, and you do, there are some steps to consider.
1. Know who your customers are
Content marketing is a more nuanced approach to selling your wares than traditional advertising. It shares goals with editorial content, in that it seeks to entertain and inform the audience. To do that effectively, it needs to know its intended audience. Too many content marketing strategies are aimed at a business’s peers rather than their customers. Think about who your customers are, and what they want from your product or service, as a starting point for your strategy.
2. Know what your goals are
Are you seeking to increase prospective leads? Increase conversion rates? Improve or even repair your company’s reputation? Perhaps you want to develop name recognition and respect, or develop a community of customers who interact with your brand socially and will act as ambassadors. There are a number of things that great content marketing can achieve, but your focus will necessarily change depending on what is most important to you. You should be able to identify at least one primary goal and a couple of secondary goals in your strategy.
3. Decide on a strategy that drives traffic to where you want it
If you’re looking to increase sales, you want a strategy that drives users to complete a particular action, such as subscribing to a service or registering their attendance for an event. A company whose focus is to develop their reputation as a specialist knowledge leader may focus on downloadable white papers, whereas social interaction is better achieved by shareable content and great social media management. Your goals, and your defined customer base, will help you decide on a strategy.
4. Hire the right talent
Content marketing is a specialised skill set. Content curators must be able to produce compelling, well-crafted pieces of prose. But writing skill isn’t the only thing required for a content marketer: if you’re hiring, you should be looking for someone who can write across several styles, understand SEO, HTML, CSS and WordPress as well as being a social media specialist. If that sounds daunting, it need not be, but it is indicative of why you need to hire a specialist and not delegate your social media strategy to the secretary with the lowest workload.
5. Measure your outcomes
When you set your goals, make sure that they are measurable. Implementing a content strategy is an investment in time and money, so set a timeline at which you will measure whether the strategy is effective in meeting your chosen KPIs. Any great plan should be answerable to its own goals, and adaptable if it doesn’t meet them.
This article was written by Tanya Ashworth-Keppel on behalf of the Australian Institute of Business. All opinions are that of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of AIB. The following sources were used to compile this article: Contently, Quick Sprout and Entrepreneur.