The digital content strategy landscape has transformed the way consumers interact with brands. With the whole world at their fingertips, they are in more control than ever and can be extremely selective about what content they engage with.
If brands aren’t sharing relevant content that speaks to their customers on a personal level, they will be unable to grab their attention and cut through the noise.
Content marketing is a technique that involves creating and distributing valuable, relevant content targeted at a defined audience. It means putting the consumer at the heart of your strategy to provide answers to their questions and solutions to their problems to build brand trust and create a loyal customer base that keeps on coming back for more.
Whilst it might seem easy to dip in and out of content marketing with an occasional blog post or video, the key to success is having a consistent content plan integrated with your wider marketing strategy.
We’ve outlined the four key factors when developing a winning content marketing strategy:
1. Define Your Target Audience and Objectives:
The first step in building a content marketing strategy is to define your target audience and your objectives by asking yourself these questions:
Consider your target audience
- Who are the people you want to reach with your content?
- What are their pain points, needs, interests, and goals?
- Will this piece of content appeal to them?
Consider your objectives
- Are you looking to drive traffic?
- Are you wanting to develop the brand image?
- Are you wanting to generate leads?
For help on defining your objectives, check out our objectives toolkit, and get a free goal setting framework here.
By understanding your overall objective and ideal target audience, you can create content that resonates with them and provides them with value.
To define your target audience, you can conduct market research, analyse your website and social media analytics, and create buyer personas. Buyer personas are semi-fictional representations of your ideal customers based on research and data. To define your own buyer personas, we have a persona mini-course that takes you through how to develop effective personas for your business, delivered straight to your inbox over just 7 days for only £45+VAT.
2. Develop your content plan
Once you have defined your target audience and overall objectives, you need to make a start on your content marketing plan. Here are the key steps in developing a content marketing plan:
a. Set your content marketing goals: What do you want to achieve with your content marketing strategy? Do you want to increase website traffic, generate leads, improve customer retention, or boost sales? Make sure your goals are SMART - specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.
b. Choose your content types and formats: What types of content will you create to achieve your goals? Some common content types include blog posts, videos, infographics, podcasts, webinars, and e-books. What formats will you use to deliver your content, such as social media, email, or your website?
c. Create a content calendar: Plan your content in advance using a calendar. This calendar should include the topics, formats, publishing dates, and promotion channels for each piece of content.
d. Promote your content: Use various promotion channels to reach your target audience, such as social media, email marketing, influencer outreach, and paid advertising.
3. Measurement and KPIs
Measuring the success of your content marketing strategy is important to determine if your efforts are effective.
To ensure the success of your content is being measured effectively, assign KPIs to each piece of content. Your measurement tactics should be focused around actionable metrics over vanity metrics in order for your content to truly impact your business objectives. For example, in blog posts, this may be the number of clicks on the CTA, or the number of views on a video.
By keeping track of what works and what doesn’t, you can replicate successes and where necessary and adjust to make improvements to make your strategy stronger. It is best practice for content marketing to contribute to as many of your objectives as possible so don't just focus on content that sells products, nurturing your online community is vital too.
Download your free measurement toolkit to help you build a measurement framework around your business objectives so you can effectively demonstrate the value of your marketing.
4. Resources and ROI
To maximise the ROI of your content marketing, consider the resources needed to produce content. Many forms of content marketing are free, but for paid channels, careful budgeting is required. Any content creation will require resources, such as the time and the people involved in production. Some content may require specialist skills or equipment, such as filming and editing for videos. If there’s a skills gap in your team for the content you’re looking to produce, it might be time to bring in outsourced specialists.
Download your free content marketing toolkit which takes you through the key steps to building a content strategy that drives inbound leads, helps you reach your content marketing goals and keeps your customers coming back for more here.
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