Content marketing involves the creation and distribution of content for the purpose of attracting, engaging, and retaining customers. Content can take many forms, such as articles, blog posts, whitepapers, e-books, infographics, social media posts, etc.
In a world where content is king, businesses that don’t market their content are at a disadvantage. When done correctly, content marketing can provide a number of benefits for businesses, including increased brand awareness and improved website traffic.
One of the main pillars of content marketing is content strategy. But what is content strategy? Simply speaking, it is the process of planning and creating content that meets the needs of your business and its customers. It involves developing a content plan, creating content, and measuring its success.
A strong content strategy helps you create a consistent, cohesive experience for your customers across all channels, including your website, social media, email marketing, and print materials.
Developing a content marketing strategy can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be.
Set SMART goals
SMART goals are an important part of any content planning. They help you stay on track and ensure that your efforts are producing results.
To create SMART goals for content marketing, you’ll need to start by defining what success looks like for you. What are your overall business goals? How can content marketing help you achieve these goals?
First, you have to know your audience. This is the first and most important step in creating any content marketing strategy. You need to know who you’re writing for and what they want or need from you. If you don’t know who your target audience is, you won’t be able to create content that speaks to them directly.
Once you have a clear idea of what you want to accomplish, you can start setting specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound goals. For example, “I want to increase website traffic by 30% in the next two months.”
You have to decide what metrics you will use to determine whether or not your content marketing efforts are successful. Is success measured by the number of views, downloads, or shares?
Make sure your goals are realistic and achievable. Set deadlines for each goal so you can track your progress. Revisit and adjust your goals as needed, but always keep them in mind as you plan and execute your content marketing strategy.
Know who you are writing for
When you’re creating content, you should always keep your audience in mind. After all, you are crafting content that’s supposed to solve a problem or add value to their lives.
But how do you actually pinpoint who your audience is? There are a few steps you can take to figure out who your target market is. First, think about what you want your content to achieve. Do you want to sell a product or a service or an idea? Raise awareness for a cause? Generate leads?
Once you know what you want your content to achieve, you can start thinking about who would be the best audience for that content.
You can also look at your current customer base and see whom they resemble. What are their demographics (age, gender, location)? What are their interests? What are their needs and wants?
Try to find commonalities among them and use that information to target similar people with your content.
Do in-depth competitive research
It’s vital to do your research and understand your competition. This can help you find gaps in the market that you can fill, and give you ideas for content topics.
By doing a competitive analysis, you can identify what content is working well for them and determine what you can do to differentiate your content and reach your target audience.
There are a few key steps to conducting competitive research for content marketing:
Identify your competitors.
Start by compiling a list of the businesses or organizations that you consider to be your main competitors. This could be based on factors such as industry, target audience, or marketing approach.
Analyze their website and social media presence.
Take some time to analyze their website and social media presence. What are the key messages they are communicating to their audience? How do they differentiate themselves from competitors? What does their website look like and how does it work?
Dig deeper and learn all that you can about them.
Use Google search results to see what keywords your competition is targeting. You can see which pages on your competitor’s websites are getting the most traffic by using the “site:” operator.
Take advantage of social media monitoring tools like Hootsuite or Sprout Social to see which topics they’re talking about on Twitter, Facebook, and other social media platforms.
Finally, read industry blogs and publications to see which topics they’re writing about. You can even subscribe to their email newsletters to get daily updates.
Perform a content audit
A content audit is a key step in creating or improving a strategy. It allows you to take a look at what you have and make decisions about what to keep, change, or get rid of.
First, you need to take a long hard look at your website’s analytics. This will give you an idea of which pages are the most popular and what kind of content is getting the most engagement.
From there, it’s time to start auditing your content. Begin by sorting it into three categories: core, supporting, and redundant.
The core content is the foundation of your website and should be original and high-quality. Supporting content is used to supplement core content and can be repurposed or reused. Redundant content is anything that can be removed without impacting your website’s overall effectiveness.
Create a content calendar
Creating a content calendar is one of the best ways to ensure your content marketing strategy is effective and on track. By having a plan for what content you will produce and when, you can avoid publishing sporadically or rushing to come up with ideas at the last minute.
The most important thing in creating a content calendar is finding a system that works for you and your team.
- Decide what type of content you want to create and repurpose. This could include blog posts, videos, social media posts, or e-books.
- Brainstorm topics for each type of content. It can be helpful to use a topic brainstorming tool like HubSpot’s Content Ideation Tool.
- Create a schedule for publishing your content.
Have a solid content distribution and promotion plan
A successful content marketing strategy largely hinges on content distribution and promotion. There are a number of different ways to distribute and promote your content, and the right approach depends on your goals and the type of content you’re creating.
One common approach is to share your content on social media. This can be effective if you have a large following on social media, or if you use paid advertising to reach a larger audience.
You can also syndicate your content to other websites, or submit it to article directories and other online directories.
Another approach is to create targeted email campaigns that promote specific pieces of content. You can also partner with other websites or blogs to promote your content in exchange for promoting their content as well.
And finally, you can use paid advertising platforms like Google AdWords or Facebook Ads to target specific audiences with your content.
Delegate content creation tasks
Content creation is not an easy feat. To be efficient in producing and optimizing content, you must have a solid and well-oiled content team to which you can delegate tasks. When you can assign tasks, it allows you to focus on the big picture and create more high-quality content.
- Assign tasks to team members based on their skills and strengths. This will help ensure that each task is done efficiently and correctly.
- Always refer back to your content calendar. Make sure it is organized and accessible for all. This will help you stay organized and ensure that all deadlines are met.
- Utilize tools such as Hootsuite or CoSchedule to help manage your team’s workflow and track progress on each task.
Track and measure your results
After planning, creating, and distributing your content, the job is not yet done. There is still monitoring to do. Tracking and measuring results allow you to determine what is working and what isn’t, so you can make necessary changes and improve your strategy. There are a number of different ways to measure the success of your content marketing, but the following are some of the most important:
1. Traffic – Tracking the number of visitors to your website or blog is a good way to measure the effectiveness of your content marketing. An increase in traffic means that people are finding your content useful and engaging.
2. Engagement – Engagement includes things such as comments, shares, and likes. If people are engaging with your content, it means they find it interesting and valuable.
3. Reach – How many people are actually seeing your content is another important metric to measure. A significant increase in the number of people who are actually viewing your content is a good indicator that your strategy is working.
4. Conversions – This is arguably the most important metric to track. How many people do you actually convert in the end?
The Bottom Line
Content marketing is an effective way to reach out to customers and promote your business. It can be accomplished with a few simple steps and by using the right tools and strategies. By following these tips, you can create an effective content marketing campaign that will reach your target audience and help grow your business.
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