There is no doubt that content drives the businesses. It pips the context and companies with good content marketing strategy are likely to be most successful. However, research points out that most companies don’t focus on putting in place an effective strategy.
The latest survey from the Content Marketing Institute shows that 63% of businesses are not having any strategy for content marketing.
Statistics show the need for companies to create a content strategy to grow their business. Though content it provides the guidelines, having a strategy alone will not guarantee you results. You require proper execution of the strategy to see any results. With the flood of information available online for free, you get an edge over your competitors depending on how well you execute your plans.
Creating an Effective Content Strategy
The first step in succeeding to drive traffic to your business is to have an effective content marketing strategy. However, hardly 30% of businesses have any. The companies which document their content strategy are found effective than those that have not documented.
Content marketing involves a strategy for blogging, social media, email marketing, and SEO. You need to have the best tactics and tools in online marketing, covering all the aspects to influence a customer’s journey. A proper strategy helps drive more organic traffic since it delivers traffic with little or no investment.
Businesses have to follow precise steps to build their content marketing strategy
Define Your Goals
An essential step in building an effective content strategy is to have clear goals. Have clear mission statements that define your approach
- Your target niche and audience
- Content methods to reach your audience
- Benefits you provide them.
You should have a primary goal and secondary goal. For example – Building a successful brand in the next 18 months could be your primary goal. The secondary goal should further break down the primary goal into smaller goals like
- Acquire 25000 leads every month
- Get 1000+ likes, shares and at least 50 comments on your social posts.
- Grow email list to 20000 prospects.
- Improve customer base by 20%.
Unless you have goals well defined, you can’t measure them. What can’t be measured can’t be improved. The more specific and quantifiable goals, more likely they will be achieved. You can also track your progress using metrics like Traffic to your site, Engagement, and Growth using tools like Google analytics.
Establish Your KPIs
Key performance indicators (KPIs) help you know when you have reached your goals. You can have milestones defined in terms of sales, revenue, traffic, and social media metrics. You could also have metrics on marketing expenditure to track spend on various campaigns to keep the cost of acquiring leads and customers under control.
Once you have your goals defined, you need to collect data on both demographics as well as psychological data of your audience. Knowing your audience helps you create the right kind of content to reach them.
Use Social media analytics to gather demographic data of your audience like age, gender, education, income etc. Get audience interests to get more insight into customer behaviour. You can also get more information about market segments customer visits using Google analytics. You can gather this information from social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc.
While researching, ensure that you get to know about your competition too. It will help you to understand the market landscape and design your strategy much better. You can also know the tools and strategies that your competitors are using. You can use tools like BuzzSumo, SEMrush to analyze your competitors.
Research into keywords that your audience are using to search to better rank your content using different keyword research tools. Once you have the required information about your audience, you can build buyer personas which is a representation of your ideal customer. Businesses marketing to buyer personas are 2-5 times more successful than those who don’t take time to create buyer personas.
Assess Your Position
Know where you stand right now. Assessing your resources, your customer feedback with your content out there and responses to your social media posts help you redesign your strategy for better success.
You need to carry out a content audit by
- Logging all the content, blogs
- Assess the reach and response
- Content quality and gaps
To log your content, you can use tools like Screaming Frog. It can be used to list URLs, sitemaps, find duplicates, Analyze page descriptions and titles of both yours as well as your competitors.
Plan Your Content Channels and Content Types
Once you find the content that has worked for you and your target audience interests and needs, you should plan for right content channels to reach them. You have to know where your target audience is hanging out and their online presence. It is prudent to always start from what’s working and amplify from there.
You can use tools like BuzzSumo and Google Analytics to know which networks to target and what type of posts to include. You can know whether to focus more on videos, infographics or mix all kinds of content.
Content Planning and Allocation of Resources
As you become clear on content channels and content types to reach your target audience, you need to plan and manage your content. You have to create editorial schedules and allocate your resources to provide a steady stream of engaging content to your audience.
You have to ask the right questions like
- Who will spearhead in producing and disseminating the content?
- What digital tools and resources to use to create the content?
- What should be the optimum content schedules?
Execute Your Plans and Measure the Results
Once you have your content creation planned and required content generated, you need to handle the distribution and marketing of content efficiently. You can amplify your results when you can market your content with right schedules using techniques like drip campaign with tools like Missinglettr.
You can also use email marketing to make it more personalized. Using influencers can help you spread the word and reach a broader audience. OptinMonster is one of the best tools for promoting your content. It provides page-level, geo-location targeting and onsite retargeting along with exit-intent technology to grab visitors when they leave the site.
Last but not least, you have to measure your results to know your progress. It will help you realign your content strategy depending upon the feedback.
You can use tools like OptinMonster’s Conversion Analytics, Google Analytics, and Social Sharing Activity via BuzzSumo. These tools can help you analyze the success of your content strategy.
Create Amplification Plan
As you fine-tune your strategy based on the feedback and find results, you can try to amplify the effects by allocating resources to what is working and trimming down what is not working. It is at this stage you will see your results grow exponentially.
Most businesses fail to do this leaving handful on the table even when they can grab most of it. It is pathetic not to maximize the results even after having worked for it and succeeding in seeing the results.
Now you have a clear idea on how to go about building a robust content marketing strategy from scratch and the tools to achieve your desired objectives. It requires more than just writing some content and publishing it on social media. You need to know exactly what content to create, whom to target, when, where to focus and the right time to amplify by optimally allocating your resources. You have to take time to do proper research and plan carefully to achieve the maximum with your content marketing efforts.