A content marketing strategy is an essential part of any digital marketing plan. Online content marketing is a type of digital marketing that focuses on creating and distributing content to attract, engage and convert potential customers into leads and ultimately sales.
Content can be in the form of blog posts, videos, podcasts, infographics, and more. Creating high-quality content and having all the content marketing tools isn’t enough though; you must have a well-thought-out content marketing strategy in order to maximize its effectiveness and end up with a profitable customer action.
What is a Content Marketing Strategy
A content marketing strategy is a plan to capitalize on existing content and create content that exclusively targets your ideal customer persona. This type of marketing creates content tailored to the interests, needs, and challenges of your target audience as well as content that promotes your product or service. When strategically planned and implemented, a content marketing strategy can increase brand awareness, establish yourself as an industry thought leader, generate leads and increased website traffic!
Why is it Important?
Crafting the right content marketing strategy can be an important factor in the success of any digital campaign. Content marketing strategies involve planning content, deciding on which platforms to host content, and coming up with creative content that captures the attention of your desired audience. It's important to create content that is tailored to your target audience, but it must also be impactful and engaging.
Content should draw people in and help them understand your message or product. Keeping content fresh and relevant is key for success in content marketing strategies since it helps maintain customer interest and encourage customer loyalty. There are many ways a content marketing strategy can help boost online presence, so it's important to take the time to plan accordingly for the best results possible.
Elements of Content Marketing
The elements of a content marketing strategy include: understanding your audience, setting clear goals and objectives, researching content topics, creating content that resonates with your target audience, promoting the content via effective channels, and measuring results.
Understanding Your Audience
Knowing your target audience is extremely important when it comes to content marketing. You need to be able to identify their needs and desires, determine what kind of outcomes they are hoping for, and craft messages that will resonate with them.
Understanding your audience gives you insight into their communication preferences - this could include the type of content they prefer and even understanding the behavior associated with their demographic. Kelly Lyons from Semrush takes an even more comprehensive by making audience personas to understand the audience better, while we at Evolv have something that we call an Anti-Persona.
Having a clearly defined audience gives you an understanding of how to tell stories that matter to them and how best you can deliver a message that resonates.
Setting Clear Goals and Objectives
Setting clear goals and objectives is a critical element of content marketing. It provides focus to your overall strategy and helps ensure that you are setting realistic expectations for the success of the project. Without having achievable goals and objectives, it can be difficult to recognize campaigns and initiatives that are not performing as expected or met with any degree of success.
Setting various benchmarks throughout the process―such as analyzing broader industry trends or targeting key audience segments―can help in understanding which elements of your content marketing plan may require further attention and resources for improvement. Having measurable goals and objectives can be effective in setting benchmarks for success and identifying areas of improvement during the entire project timeline.
Researching Content Topics
Researching content topics involves researching what type of content will be most relevant to your target market and researching the current trends. Doing thorough research for your content topics helps you create more engaging copy that resonates with your audience, adds credibility to your business, and allows you to stay ahead of the competition.
Consider researching potential keywords or topics related to your industry through Google Trends or researching what businesses in the same space produce - this will give you great insight into what type of content works best to attract the right customer base. After researching potential content topics, narrow down your list and plan out how each will fit into your overall content strategy for maximum success.
Content that Resonates with Your Audience
Content marketing is all about creating content that resonates with the target audience. This means understanding who they are, and what they care about, and knowing how to craft content that speaks their language. To ensure content resonates effectively with your target audience, it’s critical to consider factors such as content format, production quality, topics chosen, and even the choice of words when creating content. Content marketing examples include things as simple as a blog post, video content, and paid advertising, and if you are daring enough, you could even use user-generated content, too.
Having a deep understanding of the interests of your target audience will help you create content tailored based on their needs and wants. Going a step further, content should be created with the aim to inform or educate readers in some way: increasing knowledge around a subject matter, offering advice on issues people face in everyday life, or helping people solve specific problems.
Truly remarkable and helpful content will go beyond awareness and make connections to help drive user actions — this is how content really resonates with audiences and leads to amazing results for businesses seeking to achieve marketing goals.
Promoting the Content
Promoting the content of your content marketing effort is where it all starts. Content promoting is an essential element of content marketing which involves the selection, implementation, and analysis of effective channels to share content with potential audiences. Content promoting includes strategies such as distributing your content through paid campaigns, promoting it on social media, or using email to broadcast articles, videos, and other forms of content.
Ultimately, selecting the right channels to promote your content can help you reach a broader audience in a shorter time span than traditional methods. The most widely known platforms are search engines and social media platforms. Therefore, promoting content via effective channels should be a priority for any timely and successful content marketing effort.
Finally, measuring your content marketing campaign's results is essential to ensuring success. Determining what campaigns have had the most success allows you to focus on those strategies and identify which areas of content need improvement or require more attention. Consider reading this piece about website analytics to help you make sense of the data.
When measuring your results, consider measuring the following metrics: engagement rate, return on investment (ROI), and website traffic. These insights will help you determine whether your content strategies are working, and adjust as necessary to improve outcomes such as increasing visitor engagement, ROI, and website visitors. Knowing what type of content works and which ones don't can make all the difference when looking to achieve maximum success in your content marketing campaigns.
How to create a Content Marketing Strategy/Plan
Creating a content marketing strategy and plan can seem daunting, but it doesn't have to be. A content marketing strategy is essentially the how and why behind the content that you create, aiming to create messaging with a unified, consistent brand voice. The Content Marketing Institute has an interesting write-up about developing a content marketing strategy, but here's what we think.
Start by identifying your target audience and outlining a plan for delivering customized messaging based on where those customers are in their buying journey. After that, it's time to develop the content itself which can include blogs, podcasts, whitepapers, and more. Lastly, you'll need to create some measurable goals that will help you track both engagement levels and ROI of your content across channels. Caroline Forsey from HubSpot lists a 7-step process that you may also find useful.
With the right mix of these elements - audience insight, valuable content, and realistic goals - you can easily develop an effective content marketing strategy that forms part of your overall company plan.
By following these simple steps when creating a content marketing strategy, you can ensure that your content is reaching the right audience and achieving goals. Content marketing can be extremely effective in helping businesses reach their objectives but it must be done correctly for maximum success. With a well-thought-out plan in place, you can start seeing real results from your content marketing efforts!