Content marketing is a strategy of creating and publishing content in order to promote a business and build trust and authority among the consumers. Marketers also use this strategy to build communities around their brands and keep their customers loyal. Unlike some other marketing strategies, content marketing can drive your sales without using the traditional ‘hard sell’ tactics, which is one of the reasons for its exceptional popularity.
Content strategy plan
Your content strategy needs to have a good foundation that will enable you to plan your future moves and analyze your marketing campaign. After starting a blog, you should create a strategic plan. A strategic plan can be made in the form of a spreadsheet and depending on the desired content strategy, it should include some of these columns:
- Content type- You can create and publish different types of content including articles, videos, podcasts, audio recordings, infographics etc.;
- Objective- Each content piece needs to have a clear objective. In this column, you should describe how this particular content piece is going to improve your business;
- Channel- This column should state channels you’re going to use for promoting each content type;
- Frequency- Depending on the content’s objective you should determine the desired posting frequency.
- Desired Action- Every article, photo or a podcast, should lead consumers to take certain actions. In this column you should define the desired consumer actions, for each content type.
|Content type||Objective||Channel||Frequency||Desired action|
|Short videos||Increasing the number of Facebook and Twitter followers||Facebook and Twitter||One per week||Liking Facebook page or following Twitter account|
|How-to articles||Promoting new offers||Website, Facebook and Twitter||One per day||Clicking on call to action button/link and reviewing new offers|
|Podcast||Sharing knowledge||Soundcloud and YouTube||One per week||CTA|
Same as with any other marketing niche, the content strategy should have clearly defined goals. These goals need to be SMART, which stands for:
- Specific- Content marketing goals should be stated in figures and percentages;
- Measurable- Marketers need to measure campaign goals with website and social media analytic tools on a regular basis.
- Agreed-upon- Your whole content marketing team should take part in the goal setting process;
- Realistic- Content marketing goals need to be realistic and achievable. Don’t expect that your company’s blog will become as popular as Forbes or Bloomberg in first few months of its development;
- Time based- Every goal should have its own deadline and you should review their progress in the end of every week or quarter;
How to create content?
There are different techniques that should be used for content creation, depending on its type. Content creation process starts from an idea. Ideas come and go so you should always write them down immediately after the ‘eureka moment’. Later, you should turn your ideas into catchy and engaging titles.
Before you start with content marketing, you should conduct an elaborate market research. It will help you to determine your customer base and one or the few ideal customer profiles. Every content piece you create or order should be customized for your ideal buyers.
Use analytics to find the most engaging content
In order to determine the topics of interest of your customer base, you need to conduct regular analysis of your content engagement. While doing this, you shouldn’t only focus on likes, followers and page clicks, but also on conversion which is the most important marketing metric.
Even if some content is interesting and useful it doesn’t mean it will increase your company’s sales or attract new customers. By following your content’s conversion you’ll be able to determine the topics and content types which bring direct sales’ improvements.
Conversion can be tracked by adding call to action links to your content and tracking page clicks with Google Analytics. This way, you’ll be able to determine how many people got interested in your offer after reading an article or watching a video and how many of these prospects decided to buy something from you.
Content marketing is currently one of the most effective digital marketing strategies. Increasing popularity of this type of marketing benefits all internet users because big corporate entities are investing millions of dollars in order to turn their websites into useful and interesting niche-specific encyclopedias.