Content Marketing Success Comes Down to One Thing: Strategy

Content Marketing Success Comes Down to One Thing: Strategy

Content Marketing Success Comes Down to One Thing: Strategy

Most brands don’t have a documented strategy for content marketing. How to design an effective one.

In the second decade of the 21st century, marketing experts say you can’t build a successful business without content marketing. Semrush research shows that 97 percent of businesses include content marketing in their overall marketing strategy.

However, there is a catch. Of the 1,500 companies that were surveyed, 98% said that content marketing helped their business. 81% of companies didn’t have a strategy for contentmarketing.

Good content marketing involves telling stories. It is like telling a story out of order if you don’t have a strategy in place.

Buying a Hole

A content marketing strategy will help your content reach your target audience. Content should tell a story, but it should also tell your customers needs.

“People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill, they want a quarter-inch hole,” said Theodore Levitt, professor at the Harvard Business School.

Your job is to convince your audience that you are the best option to help them make that quarter-inch hole. The content strategy lays out how you will use content during the buyer’s journey, from figuring out what the problem is to deciding the best way to solve it

Content Marketing Strategy vs. Content Strategy

These two terms aren’t very similar. You create a content strategy to determine what content you’ll use to engage your ideal buyer and the channels you’ll place that on content during that buyer’s journey.

A content marketing strategy is a 30,000 foot plan where you document what you want your content marketing to achieve, how it fits into your company’s mission statement and business goals and how you allocate your available resources.

The Semrush survey shows how many businesses want to use content marketing, but it also shows that 40% of companies haven’t created a documented strategy. 81% of businesses feel their content marketing has been unsuccessful unless they change quickly.

What Is Content Marketing?

Before we start designing a content marketing strategy, we need to look at content marketing itself.

It is a long-term strategy that focuses on building a strong relationship with your target audience by giving them high-quality content that is very relevant to them.

The end of the hard sell is foretold by the end of content marketing. The goal of marketing is not to push your product into a potential customer’s face. They need help making a quarter-inch hole, according to the Levitt quote.

Content marketing helps potential customers navigate the buyer’s journey from the moment they realize they have a problem until they decide which solution to purchase. The material you create speaks to the buyer during their journey.

The Gardening Example

Another example can be taken. What are people planning when they buy seeds, pots and mulch? They want a garden.

Content should help fulfill that need. You can give them information on the best time to plant, the best tomato varieties and how often to water. When they need to purchase these goods, you will be the company that comes to mind.

Different Content Formats

Depending on where you are in the buyer’s journey, you have a variety of formats to use.

A blog post is usually the first type of content available when people use a search engine to research a topic. Potential customers can be introduced to your brand through the use of a blogs.

Email newsletters or videos can be used to explain more complex topics as they continue their research. You can offer a free trial or discounts if they decide to buy.

Different Available Channels

You can put the content you’ve created on a variety of channels. Remember to keep the buyer’s journey in mind. There are websites, email and social media. Product placement in films and TV shows can be found in traditional channels.

A mixture of both digital and traditional channels is possible.

Your goal is to build relationships with your existing and potential customers, help them solve their problems and lead them to your product regardless of the channels you choose. 21st-century marketing isn’t about you. The customer’s wants, needs and feelings are what it’s about. It’s important that the content you create works for that end.

How to find content marketing success in any budget is related.

The Secret Sauce of Content Marketing Strategy

You need to design your content marketing strategy before you dive into content marketing. To do that correctly, you need to do a few things.

Design Your Ideal Customer Profile

Content marketing can be used to reach the audience that your company creates top-quality mountain climbing gear for. People are looking for pet toys, so you don’t want to speak to them.

People who climb mountains are likely interested in other extreme outdoor activities. You want to create an ideal customer profile that will help you understand who you want to reach with your content and where you can reach them.

Ask your sales team how many people have bought your products. You can check out who your competitors are targeting.

Here are some factors to consider when creating your ICP.

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Household income
  • Location
  • Education level
  • Job title and responsibilities
  • Goals and values
  • What are their goals and values?
  • Cultural influences
  • Media consumed
  • Obstacles to overcome before a purchase

Get to Know Your Brand

Knowing your brand is related to knowing your audience. It will be difficult to create content to promote your brand if you don’t know how to position it.

If you can’t describe your brand, think about how to answer the questions.

  • What do I know about my current and potential customers?
  • How do my competitors market their brands?
  • What is the unique value of my product or service?
  • How does my product solve my ICP’s problems?
  • Why should my ICP select my product over my competitors?

Develop a Business Case

You should treat content marketing the same way you would any other marketing strategy. There are benefits, budget and risks of a content marketing strategy outlined in a business case. A business case can be used to convince doubters that it’s a good idea to purchase from you.

“Well, we’ve already done that,” is the reply you may receive. The need for a content strategy is shown in the business case. Companies that don’t have a content strategy are more likely to be unhappy with their marketing outcomes.

Content marketing is part of the overall marketing mix, so a business case can assure executives that they are not using content marketing to replace paid advertisements.

Write a Mission Statement

The unique value of your product or service should be considered. How does it help an individual to start a garden? Is your content unique to your potential customer? How do you make your content more valuable?

A content marketing mission statement will help answer many of the questions. The mission statement outlines how you can benefit potential customers. Continue to think about your ICP. To help them along the buyer’s journey, you want to give them valuable and enlightening content.

In 9 easy steps you can develop your omnichannel strategy.

How To Create a Content Marketing Strategy

Preparing for any bumps in the road is what helps prepare your business for a content strategy. Knowing how to distribute your content will make a guessing game into a smooth operation.

Share your content strategy with people who are interested in it. Managers may only need bullet point presentations if they aren’t involved in creating content. Your department heads should receive a complete copy so that they can all sing from the same hymnal. Sharing your strategy means less confusion.

Know Your Audience

It’s worth repeating, but we mentioned it briefly above. You need to understand your audience before you create content. Knowing who you don’t want to target is also part of that.

It’s important to keep in mind that your audience may not comprise all potential buyers. In the mountain climbing gear example, the information and research you share may attract people who are interested in other extreme sports. They might be interested in the story you’re telling if they don’t buyclimbing equipment.

Someday, they will want to go climbing. They can refer your site to friends who are interested in extreme sports.

Tell a Story

A company that knows its audience and what kind of story they want to hear is like Patagonia. It uses social media to talk about social activism. The company donates 1% of its revenue to social causes.

They help the brand and make the world a better place by telling a story about how they engage. When brands take an active role in social change, 42% of American consumers view them more positively. The majority of people said brand activism has an impact on their purchases.

It doesn’t sell social activism. It sells high end clothing outdoors. It realized that many people who want to buy their products are interested in social activism, so activism became a part of the story.

Think Like a Buyer

If you want to create content for them, you have to think like a buyer. Many companies use maps to understand their audience. The map encourages brands to think about how they feel and what they believe.

If they listen to their friends or family, consider who they listen to. How do they succeed? Do they like challenges? What are the major obstacles that they face? Fear and frustration can set them back, what can they do?

If you want your ideal customer to interact with your company, you should consider what they are doing during the day. Think about the devices they use to communicate with you, and the questions they ask themselves. Look at their motives and what they care about. It was social activism for them. The reasons that will lead to the next stage will be looked for.

You can use an empathy map to identify what your customer is doing. They don’t want a drill, they want to drill a hole. Your buyer is trying to accomplish something. It will help you understand how to market your content if you answer that question.

Look at Past Performance and Current Goals

You need to consider your goals now that you understand your audience. How will content marketing help your business?

Your business case can help, but it’s important to identify what success is. Define the metrics you will use to succeed. Is it the number of visitors, the amount of time spent on a page or the number of referrals? Check the key performance indicators to see how they hold up as you use content marketing.

If you are happy with your content marketing efforts, you may only need to improve them. If you are unhappy, you may have to change your content marketing strategy to better suit your business.

Perform a Content Audit

Content audits increase the chances of success. Before moving into new formats, run an audit to identify your top and lowest performing content. You can use this step to determine content and formats.

Two-thirds of companies that consider their content marketing strategies to have been very successful in 2021, performed content audits at least once a year.

Content audits can help you adjust your strategy to better suit your audience and help shape the direction your content marketing will take in the future. An audit can uncover holes in your current strategy, determine topics andkeywords that offer the highest levels of engagement, and identify the best channels to place your content.

Create an Editorial Plan

Too much planning is not a thing. It’s true that companies that don’t plan and prepare will be overwhelmed by the first crisis.

Take a moment to think about where you want to be in a year. Take a look at your content strategy. There are holes you can plug or weaknesses that could cause problems in the future. This will allow you to look at opportunities you may have missed.

An editorial calendar is part of the plan and will outline how and where you will deploy content. Content marketing is successful for companies that consistently use it. They don’t release their content at once and then go silent for a while.

The buyer’s journey should be considered when designing the editorial calendar. Awareness, consideration and decision are three stages of the buyer’s journey. Content and channels are needed for every step of the journey. Everyone in your company should receive your editorial calendar.

Determine Your Budget

A mistake a company can make is forgetting to set a budget. You can use this budget to figure out how to allocate money toward organic, pay-per-click and traditional content marketing.

Don’t be rigid. You may find that you need more money to make a difference. The number should be informed by your content audit and performance.

Start Creating Original Content

It’s the fun part. The team and you get to create content. If you’re new to the content marketing game, you might be able to work with a writer who will make your content according to your strategy.

First, quality comes first. All written material must be proofread three times. The quality guidelines of each channel can be explored if you’re going to use video. You might need to redo what works on TikTok for YouTube.

A mix of content is best. At different stages of the buyer’s journey, you will want to use different formats. Think about how to reuse it after you’ve created the content. Cut a long video into shorter clips, which are easier to share in other formats. On your website’s blog page you can post the transcribed episodes of the show.

Encourage User-Generated Content

Allow your audience to make content for you. Photographs, videos and reviews from users give valuable information and entertainment.

You may need to moderate user-generated content if you want your audience to engage with your product. Most offerings are appropriate and contribute to your overall content marketing effort.

Analyze Performance and Communicate

The work of a content marketing strategist is not done. Content marketing can be done on the go since most of it takes place in the digital space.

Receive real-time reports of your content marketing campaigns. You can reallocate resources at a moment’s notice if you keep an eye on the key performance indicators. Be flexible, again.

You should share your progress with the company as well. The more people in your company that are aware of your accomplishments, the more likely you will get support.

There are 5 ways to reuse outdated content to your advantage.

Content Marketing Strategy Tips

The difference between success and failure is the result of a content marketing strategy. The tips below will help you give your content the best chance of engaging customers.

Prioritize Your Audience

The hard sell is over. What your customers want is what you should concentrate on. Something of value to your audience is what all the content should provide. A solution to a problem, clear explanations of complex issues or a simple laugh can be offered by you. Put your customers first and think about what your audience wants.

Use Search Engine Optimization

If no one sees it, it’s pointless to create great content. Since most channels are search-oriented, it’s important to use search engine Optimization tactics.

To find out what terms your audience is looking at on search engines, do some research. The appropriate tags should be included in your content. Learn how to use it. One of your first hires should be anseo specialist as you begin to develop your marketing plans.

Look for Your Customers’ Problems

“In the midst of every crisis, lies great opportunity,” was a quote from Albert Einstein. You want to be aware of your audience’s problems and not look for crises.

People notice when you position your product or service as a solution to the problem. You should focus on positioning your brand as the solution once you have identified the problem.

Don’t Go Birdwatching in a Closet

The analogy applies since birdwatching doesn’t have anything to do with content marketing strategy. A birdwatcher wouldn’t look for birds in the house. They could go to a sanctuary.

Take time to figure out where your audience is. Maybe they prefer social media. They might be interested in writing about things on their blogs. The platform has strengths and weaknesses.

If your product is hearing aids, social media might not be the best place to market it. You will get better results if you use email newsletters, videos, and blogs. The right audience and platform are what you should be focused on.

Get the Most From Your Content Marketing Efforts

Content marketing can be difficult to sell despite the many articles written about it. Executives want to know why they should help customers instead of selling a product.

“We’ve spilled gallons of digital ink over the years talking about how content marketing isn’t new for businesses,” Robert Rose wrote for the Content Marketing Institute. It’s been there for hundreds of years. Many brands are fighting to have it included in their budgets.

It is possible to demonstrate that content marketing is the future by designing your own content marketing strategy. A documented strategy can make all the difference when it comes to success in content marketing.

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