December 13, 2017

710 words 3 minutes.

How to Create a Content Marketing Strategy that Works

Two people standing around a table, working on their marketing strategy.

Content marketing: everyone may be doing it, but not everyone is doing it right. Do you want to create content that your audience finds useful and relevant and helps you reach your business goals? Then keep reading…

Because this is how you create a content marketing strategy that actually works.

Define Your Content Marketing Goals

Content isn’t free. Every time you write a blog post, create an infographic, or put together a graphic you are investing (wo)man hours and budget.

So why do so many businesses throw valuable resources towards content creation without a clear plan?

Before you fill out your editorial calendar or conceptualize your next infographic, start with the end in mind:

And ask yourself what you are trying to achieve.

In other words… define your content marketing goals.

Your content marketing strategy should be aimed at achieving a clearly defined business goal, such as increasing website visitors, expanding your email subscription list, or increasing your conversion rate.

Identify Marketing KPIs

How will you know if you’ve reached your content marketing goals? What’s your measure of success for a campaign, video, or podcast?

Your goals must be measurable.

Clearly define your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs); the metrics you will track to measure the effectiveness of your content.

Here are a few examples of common marketing goals and the metrics that can measure their success:

  • Goal: Brand Awareness

  • KPIs: Website traffic, page views, downloads, referral links

  • Goal: Lead Generation

  • KPIs: Downloads, form completions, email subscriptions, blog subscriptions, conversion rate

When it comes to data, don’t just “collect and neglect.” Schedule time to analyze your data and use that information to help you refine your content marketing strategy.

Be Relevant

You can’t please everybody, and neither can your content. Tailor your content offerings to be relevant and useful to your ideal customer.

Relevance is not optional. Here’s how to achieve it:

  1. Start with a buyer persona. Who is buying your product and why?
  2. Understand buyer intent. What is your buyer persona trying to do?
  3. Give your buyer what they want. What kinds of content does your persona prefer?
  4. Deliver at the right time. Where is your persona at in the buyer journey?

If you aren’t delivering the right content to a specific buyer persona, at the right time and at the right place, your content marketing simply won’t succeed.

Diversify Content Offers

Get out of the blog rut and diversify your content offerings. There are so many content ideas that you can use to reach your audience, why limit yourself to just one?

  • Blog posts
  • Videos
  • Podcasts/ audio posts
  • Gifographics
  • Quizzes
  • Downloadable guides

You don’t have to throw everything but the kitchen sink at your audience. Be smart. Use your persona research to determine the types of content that your buyer persona prefers, and then broaden your efforts to deliver two or three different content types to them.

Measure the effectiveness of each.

Dare to be Different

Be original. Zig when everyone else zags.

What can you offer to your audience that they haven’t seen before?

How can you solve their problems and pain points in a new and novel way?

Your audience is bombarded with content. It’s causing information overload. It’s leading to reduced attention spans. It’s turned your audience into scanners, not readers.

If you’re going to stand out in a sea of content, then you need to have something original to offer your audience.

Be different, and your content will earn your audience’s attention.

Promote Your Content

Imagine if Mercedes Benz spent hundreds of thousands of dollars conceptualizing and creating a print ad, and then never ran it in a magazine?

Or if PepsiCo invested millions in a tv ad that never aired?

You are investing time, money, and resources in your content. So why wouldn’t you promote it?

Whether you reach out to industry influencers, utilize paid distribution, or distribute to your email list, you need to promote your content in order for your audience to see it.

Your content marketing strategy can be successful with the right amount of research, data, originality, and a solid understanding of what is relevant to your specific audience. Don’t waste resources throwing content at the wall and hoping something sticks. Create smarter content with a strategy that actually works.

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