Content marketing is the art of providing relevant content to your audience without explicitly selling them your product or service. When you sell anything of value, you need to communicate the significance of that value. This value is better conveyed in soft-sell content across blogs, social media, podcasts, or other platforms.
The content should highlight your expertise and the value of your customers. When done correctly, a good Content Marketing Strategy will help nurture the relationships with your customers and build new ones. As these relationships grow, your audience starts taking an active interest in your business and sees themselves as partners. So when it is time to make a purchase, they are more likely to purchase from you than your competitor.
Why Do You Need A Content Marketing Strategy?
Marketers use content marketing to create brand awareness, build trust, and to engage the audience in the communication in hopesof transiting them to paying customers.
Whether you are launching a new product or service or trying to promote an existing one, if your audience doesn’t know about what you have to offer, they would probably look elsewhere for their purchase. Awareness building is one of the significant advantages of content marketing. Take the case of fidget spinners, for example. What started as a social media trend soon got people interested in the product to make millions of sales directly from a Google search. With the social media content marketing strategy, the fidget spinners effectively transitioned users from knowing and engaging with the product to wanting to purchase them.
How Does Content Marketing Look in 2022?
The most widely used formats in a content marketing plan continue to be video, images, infographics, and blogs. This is widely attributed to the fact that people prefer to watch instead of reading. In, addition, with visuals, data can be concise, easy to follow, and engaging.
While creating the content marketing plan, marketers are often faced with the difficulty of coming up with ideas that would educate, entertain and engage simultaneously. However, this has not reduced the efforts to generate good content. In fact, from 2021, 66% of firms expect to increase their content marketing investment in 2022.
With the increased demand for content marketing in 2022, now is the best time to outline your strategy. Here are 5 steps to nail your content marketing strategy.
The Five Golden Steps
Step 1: Define Your Objectives
Whether you are trying to create awareness, promote sales, or a little bit of both, it is essential to write your objectives for the content marketing plan down. Later, we will measure the effectiveness of your content marketing plan against these objectives.
While jotting down your objectives, ensure they are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely (SMART).
Let’s look at generating content across the marketing funnel with some examples of metrics you can use to track progress.
At the first stage, you should be looking to attract your audience with what you have to offer. Social media continues to be one of the best awareness building platforms. It can be free too if you are looking at organic posts. The goal at this stage would be to increase awareness. The performance of the content can be measured by looking at your reach and engagement scores.
Now that you have built some awareness around your product, the next goal would be to explain in detail about your service or product. This could be done through detailed videos or blogposts could be used at this stage. To measure success, you can look at how long people watch your video or stay on your blog. At the end, you could include a link to purchase from your site moving them to the conversion stage.
At the conversion stage your goal could be to convert the lead to a customer. A powerful landing page is the key to your success at this stage. The customer has expressed an interest in your product and is waiting to make a purchase. A well-built landing page measuring how many people who visit, make a purchase would be a good way to measure its success. You could also investigate where people are coming from, which would in turn help you optimise your content for the consideration stage.
Your goal at the loyalty stage could be customer retention. Email is a very powerful tool to address customers at this stage. After your customers have made a purchase, you could provide after-sales support through follow up email. Your continued support would make them more likely to purchase from you again or recommend you to a peer. The rate at which the email is opened would be a good metric at this stage.
While your business may not want to target each stage, it is important that each objective outlined in the content marketing plan is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely
Step 2: Know Your Audience.
Understanding your audience is vital. To be able to sell, it is better to know whom you are selling to. In addition, understanding your target audience will help you tailor content for that audience. Your target Audience should be the people you are looking to target with your content marketing strategy.
An example of a target audience for a meal prep firm could be working individuals in the age range of 20-45, interested in fast, healthy meals living in the Wollongong are with a monthly income between $1000 and $2000.
With the target audience in mind, you could create personas where you could add more characteristics to your ideal customer.
Here is an example of a a very basic persona we’ve created for the food prep company.
|Family Status: Not Married|
|Income: $1500 Weekly|
With the Flu season, Matt works a lot and does not find time for grocery shopping and meal prepping. However, he likes to cook and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Apart from work, Matt spends about an hour on social media catching up with friends and family.
By creating the persona, we can identify where we can target Matt to inform him about our Meal Prep plan. Once we have identified our target audience, it is time to determine the type of content that will attract our audience and move them through the marketing funnel.
Step 3: Determine The Type Of Content And The Various Platforms
Your content can take various forms, from blogs, podcasts, infographics, case studies, images, or videos. But first, you will have to determine which content type works best.
Let’s take Matt’s example again.
We know that Matt spends time on social media to catch up with friends and family. To reach Matt, we can do organic posts on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok. If we are thinking about doing paid posts, we could target Matt’s specific characteristics in hopes of reaching him.
Budgeting for paid ads can be tricky, but we know why Matt uses social media. Instagram and TikTok do not offer the best connectivity with family. This makes Facebook the most viable platform he would spend his time on.
Similarly, not all platforms work the same. For example, LinkedIn might be better than posting on Instagram if your business sells directly to other businesses. Therefore, it is essential to choose your platforms carefully, as it could make or break a content marketing strategy.
Step 4: Develop A Content Plan And Publish
Consistency is the key. Identify, through your metrics, the optimum frequency to publish content. Your frequency will depend on the business you are in. For example, while a fast-food restaurant might post daily on socials, a health care clinic might post once a week.
It’s all about keeping your audience informed and engaged and not spamming them. In saying that, consistency is vital. If you publish content weekly, continue to do so, or your audience might be left disappointed, wanting more. To ensure consistency, plan well in advance and take advantage of scheduling apps. To get you started, here are some scheduling apps that we recommend.
Step 5: Measure Results
A Content Marketing strategy is a feedback loop. To optimise content, you must constantly check how well it is doing with your audience.
An ideal way to measure your marketing performance would be by monitoring the objectives you outlined in step one.
Track performance of high-level objectives – Revenue and sales
By measuring your revenue and Sales, you can measure the impact of your complete marketing efforts. It summarises the result of your marketing efforts. These figures would be available from your finance team or your CRM software.
Track Performance of campaign level objectives – Lead generation, Customer retention, Lead management and nurture, Brand awareness, Engagement
While Revenue and Sales figures paint the broad picture, it doesn’t provide information on how each marketing campaign is doing. Campaign-level objectives can be measured entirely on Google Analytics.
By adding Google Analytics to your CRM software, you can view the performance of all campaigns in one dashboard.
To launch a successful Content Marketing Plan, here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Define your objectives well and early.
- Get to know your audience and tailor your content for the audience.
- Determine the type of content your audience would be interested in and the platforms they are likely to spend their time on.
- Develop a content plan for weeks in advance and automate your publishing.
- Measure results by keeping track of your metrics.