There’s a chatter overload in Marketing Land. Businesses that rushed into content marketing often find they’ve left out at least one important aspect – strategy. The result is a lot of content that either doesn’t get read, or doesn’t support your business goals. But fear not, help is at hand!
You can help ensure your content marketing efforts are a success by attracting and growing a perfect audience, encouraging shares, and turning prospects into profit with these five essential tips for a great content mar keting strategy.
1. Make sure you have quality content.
There’s no substitute for on-point, engaging words, clear infographics and interesting videos to grab your audience’s attention and encourage sharing. That way you create valuable word-of-mouth advertising – the best kind of marketing there is. And the best quality content comes from enlisting the help of professionals – designers, videographers and copywriters. Who knew?
2. Identify your target audience and business goals.
Whether you’re a new business or well established, you should always be planning for the future. Your first content marketing step is to refine your target audience into one persona – your favourite customer. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do that. That way, content becomes a conversation with a friend. You’ll have a better understanding of what matters to them, how you want to speak to them and what you want to say to get your message across.
Once you know your target audience persona, define your business goals and objectives. Are you launching new products and services or trying to tap into a new market? Think about what your business wants to achieve – so your content marketing has a purpose.
3. Tell your brand story.
This is the ‘truth’ behind your content, a saga that your audience can be loyal to. Why you’re in business and how you got there is what makes your company different from the rest, brings your brand to life and creates a fizz of audience interest.
Populate your story with main characters and a mission. Weave successes and failures into the plot as defining moments – the gaps, transitions and climaxes that allow your audience to identify with your brand. Don’t pull any punches – it’s only when you really know your business that you can express it to your audience.
4.Get to the nitty-gritty: editorial and content planning.
You’ve defined your audience persona, you’ve identified your business goals, and your brand story is all ready to be the bedrock for your content. Next comes the planning – what you want to say, in which forums, when and how often.
Blogs (like this one) provide news and tips that your audience will be eager to share, and are the most cost effective type of content marketing. Infographics can be the best way to display complex information so it’s clear and easy to understand. Videos and podcasts take more investment to produce, but have a high engagement and share rate. Downloadable e-books provide lead generation, as do templates that save your readers time or help them succeed.
Format your carefully crafted content to match the platforms they’ll be displayed on, and plot the ongoing campaign with an editorial calendar. Think of any interesting upcoming events that relate to your business and your audience that your content could tie in with. Maybe you sell cupcakes and World Bake Day is coming up, for example. Diary initial posts so they don’t clash, and so you post the right content at the right time. And remember to plan for follow-ups and refreshers.
5. Measure and analyse your efforts.
Don’t think of this is a one-off job. A great content marketing strategy requires great quality, ongoing content with constant tweaking and refreshing – you won’t know exactly how much unless you analyse the effects of your initial effort.
Review the platforms you’re using – some will work better than others. Documented metrics can tell you where to make adjustments. For example, don’t put all your time and effort into Facebook posts if you are having more success with Instagram. You’ll develop an efficient, ongoing campaign with the agility to include new information and to reformat successful content for other platforms – but only if you don’t take your eye off the ball.
Want help with your content marketing strategy or creating your content? Get in touch with experts at Words for Breakfast.