The digital 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 some key factors to consider when you’re just getting started with crafting your content strategy.  

1. Types of content  

Content marketing is incredibly diverse. Brands can produce social media posts, blog posts, podcasts, videos, infographics and paid adverts. Your first step is to consider the types of content that will nurture prospects through their customer journey, in order to make sure you’re effectively driving them towards your conversion goals. You also need to think about which type best suits the information you’re sharing. For example, tutorials are best as videos and visual content shines on social media. Be careful of not repeating the same information in several different formats – this can quickly frustrate your existing audiences and is unlikely to benefit new visitors.  

2. Purpose of content   

The best pieces of content marketing sell products and services indirectly. If your content is too sales-focused, this will deter audiences. Instead, useful aims of your content could be to explain products, create conversation, share knowledge, answer questions or establish your team as industry leaders. To determine what your aims are, consider your buyer personas and how your content could provide value.   

3. Measurement and KPIs    

It can take a while to figure out which content is working for your brand. To ensure the success of your content is being measured effectively, assign KPIs to each piece of content. You’re 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. 

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.  

 5. Creating the content  

As with anything your brand does, it is essential that all content marketing adheres to your brand guidelines and tone of voice. Depending on the type of content, there are lots of other factors to keep in mind when you come to the creation stage. Is SEO Keyword integration needed? Do you already have a blog to share via, or will you need to set up new platforms? What length should the content be? With attention spans decreasing and an oversaturation of online content, carefully choosing which content is valuable and omitting what’s unnecessary helps to keep your audience engaged.   

 6. Promoting content  

The final, and most important stage is promoting your content. Even your most engaging piece of content is useless if your audience doesn’t know it’s there. Utilise your various owned channels to share your content with current and new audiences and be sure to encourage them to share it with their networks.   

The basis of good content is understanding your buyer personas. Our content hub is here to help you get started on developing your personas and building content into an integrated marketing and communications strategy.  

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