If you’re not ready to manage content marketing in-house, there are many firms that can help. However, they often rely on templates, and it’s important to customize the process for your brand.
Ultimately, it’s about providing value to your audience, and that means meeting them where they are on their buying journey. This starts with proper planning and execution, and ends with defined metrics to measure success.
Content Marketing Strategy
Content marketing is a broad strategy that incorporates the development and distribution of useful information like blogs, social media posts, podcasts, white papers, and email updates to current and potential customers. It establishes your brand as a thought leader and builds trust, making it an effective way to attract new customers.
First, determine your high-level business and marketing goals. For example, your goal may be to become the #1 time management solution in the market or generate more leads. Once you know what you want to achieve, you can design a content plan that will help you hit those goals. This includes assessing KPIs like search traffic and email signups using tools like Semrush. It also involves evaluating the budget and resources you have available to make your plan a reality.
When designing content, it’s important to understand your audience’s needs and goals. Personas can help you do this by describing what type of information your audience is looking for and how they use your product.
To create accurate personas, researchers should interview or observe a large number of real users. They can also use statistical persona segmentation to identify specific groups of users that share similar attitudes and behaviors.
Another great way to learn about your audience is by inviting real-life customers to talk to you and your team. For example, Qwilr, a business software company, invites their clients to come in and tell them about their experiences using the product. This helps keep customer relationships front and center for the entire team. Moreover, it makes the company look like a partner that’s interested in their success.
Whether your brand writes blogs, scripts for video content or whitepapers, you’ll need a variety of topics. You can find good ideas through search-engine data, analyzing existing content on your website or reading articles and comment sections on third-party platforms like Reddit.
You might also want to ask your audience for content topics through surveys or forums. It’s a great way to get unique content ideas, and it’ll help you better understand your target audience.
Choosing the right topic is essential for reaching your content marketing goals. Make sure it reflects your company’s perspective and serves the needs of your audience. For example, a fitness brand may write a blog about common questions or problems that its customers face. This content could be used to educate new customers or attract people in the awareness stage of the buyer journey.
The content format you choose depends on the type of message you would like to convey and the target audience. For example, a company that wants to increase its visibility and establish its authority in its sector of activity should use content formats such as infographics.
On the other hand, if it would like to engage its tech-savvy audiences, it should opt for content such as case studies or interactive data tools. In addition, it is important to consider the different learning styles of your audience, namely whether they are visual, auditory or verbal, and how they consume information. It may also be helpful to re-purpose one piece of content into several different formats. This will give you a wider reach and boost your ROI.
When you create content that educates your audience about topics relevant to them, it shows that you understand their needs and are a resource. This helps build trust and relationships, ultimately encouraging conversions.
Content marketing can be used to promote a business in each stage of the marketing funnel—awareness, consideration, conversion/decision and loyalty/advocacy. In the awareness stage, businesses should focus on educational content like infographics and how-to blogs. In the consideration stage, businesses can start to use sales-related content with a few well-placed promotions (but not too many or it will come across as spammy). And in the decision stage, businesses should focus on persuasive content that provides real value, such as buyer guides and testimonials. A/B testing can help determine which type of content is most effective at each stage.