The common theme across successful digital marketing campaigns is effective content marketing. Having a solid content marketing strategy is the top priority for growing companies because it hits essential goals that are vital to the success of any business:
- Builds trust by establishing your company as a thought leader
- Distinguishes your brand from competitors
- Strengthens relationships with customers and attracts new leads
- Boosts conversions
- Improves SEO performance
Content marketing also supports the rest of the digital marketing strategy because assets can be reused and repurposed for a variety of marketing efforts. With these benefits in mind, let’s explore the steps to crafting a strong content marketing strategy.
Understand and Communicate Your Goals
Before your marketing team begins to write or design your content, it's important to understand your goals. Clearly outline what you’re trying to accomplish to develop a clear content marketing strategy. If you’re not the person writing or designing the marketing materials, be sure to communicate your goals to the creative team.
Tailor Content to Your Audience's Needs and Interests
Content marketing provides the opportunity to speak to customers in a way that adds value to them. It also enables your company to continue collecting data about how your audience responds to the content so that you can further refine your strategy. Use the data that you have to determine what type of content resonates most with your audience. Then, continue to track engagement rates to hone in on the most effective content and build upon it.
Audit and Repurpose Existing Content
Most companies aren't starting from zero when it comes to content creation; often, brands would create content such as blog posts but fail to stick to a routine. Run an audit of your existing content to determine if there's anything that you can build upon or repackage to use in a more targeted manner. For example, if your marketing team created blog posts in the past, you may consider consolidating them into a downloadable e-book. You can then offer this asset on your website in exchange for visitors' email and information.
On how to repurpose content:
Develop a Mix of Evergreen and Trendy Content
Content can typically fall into two categories — evergreen and in-the-moment. Evergreen content lasts forever because it’s considered relevant at all times — it’s not tied to current events or trends. In-the-moment (ITM) content leverages trends, pop culture, and news to drive more views to a brand. When consumers are searching for popular hashtags, events, etc., they can come across your content if you create something relevant and employ a strategic hashtag and SEO strategy.
Strive for Originality
Originality is to set your brand apart from its competition. Research the type of material that’s already available to your audience to discover what’s missing. Rather than copying other content, develop original posts, and aim to fill the gap to add the most value for your audience.
Note that search engines will look for repetitive content as part of its calculation of page ranking. If your content is too similar to that of the competition, search engines won’t be able to distinguish between them and will lower the ranking of both pages as a penalty. Originality helps ensure that you gain maximum benefit from your content.
For additional reading on SEO:
Write for the Entire Customer Journey
Every stage of the marketing process benefits from high-quality content. Map out your buyers' journey to determine what type of content your team needs to create for each stage of the funnel. The type of information that you provide should guide your audience toward the steps to making a purchase. Buyer personas could also help you better tailor your content by providing a more tangible character to create messaging for.
On how to build a customer journey map:
Format Your Content for Maximum Success on Each Channel
Determine which channels you plan to publish your content on. Identifying where you’ll post will help you to decide what type of content to create. For example, graphics with engaging captions are best suited for platforms like Instagram. Long-form articles would work best for your blog and possibly Facebook.
Although there are many case studies and best practices for creating content, remember to personalize your content marketing strategy to your brand and audience. Use all of the information that you have about your customers to create content that appeals to them. As you deliver this information in the form of social media posts, blogs, infographics, downloadable PDFs, etc., continue to collect data and analyze engagement and conversions. Analysis and optimization are the keys to maintaining a strong content marketing strategy that speaks to your audience, adds value, and boosts sales.
From blogging to videos to podcasts and webinars, there are many different types of content in content marketing. Check out a comprehensive list here:
Last updated on August 16th, 2022.