The problem with building a content marketing strategy is that it’s intimidating to start from scratch. Every week, there’s a new tactic or approach that you should be using. Even if you aren’t a total novice, it can be difficult to decide where to start.
That’s why today, we’ve put together a list of the four building blocks of any successful content marketing strategy. By the time we’re done here, you’ll be ready to build an industry-dominating content marketing strategy that gets you the audience and conversion rate you want.
- Have A PlanRight off the bat, you’ll want to make sure you have a plan in place before you create another blog post. It’s easy to just start creating content and hope for the best. In fact, that’s typically how most businesses start off. And while there’s something to be said about the fact that some content is better than no content at all, creating content on impulse simply isn’t a sustainable approach to executing a content marketing strategy.If you want to hit your target, you need to know what you’re aiming at. This means that from here on out, you need to clearly establish what success means to you and your business. Instead of saying “I want more traffic,” say, “I want to see traffic to our website increased by 30 percent in the next five months.”By adding a level of precision, you not only make it easier to appreciate your successes when it comes to content marketing, but you also make it that much easier to identify and repair weaknesses in your strategies.
- Know What You’re Dealing With (Competitors, Industry, Audience)Now that you’ve come up with a plan (maybe even a content calendar, if you’re feeling a bit adventurous), it’s time to take the next step and look beyond your own business. If you’re going to compete in your industry, you need to know what you’re dealing with.
First off, take the time to understand how your industry functions on digital media. Who are the authorities? Where do people meet to chat about the industry? These are the types of questions you should be able to answer.
But there’s more to it than that. You’ll want to have a strong understanding of your biggest competitors in the space as well. Learn as much as you can about them. From the kind of content they create to how engaged their audience is.
Then, identify their weaknesses. What questions have they failed to answer? What does their community want that your competitor hasn’t been able to give them? By seeking to understand your competition, you’ll be armed with the knowledge necessary to stay one step ahead of them.
And finally, make an effort to know as much about your audience as you can. If you haven’t yet, for some reason, create some buyer personas. You should understand not just what your audience wants out of your product/service, but what they expect from your marketing material.
- Rely On DataAs ‘boring’ as it may sounds, the reality of high-quality content is that it usually relies heavily on data. It may sound a bit counter-intuitive, but when you’re creating content designed to appeal to your audience, you shouldn’t always trust your instincts.
We’ve had it happen here before. We’ll create a piece of content we’re sure people will love, and it doesn’t go anywhere. Then we’ll release a piece of content that was meant to only appeal to a small portion of our audience, and it ends up being relevant to everyone.
The only way to be sure every time is by making sure that your content is data-driven. If you can pull that off, then your content marketing efforts are on the right path. The easiest way to ensure that you’re doing this properly is by using Analytics tools and social media shares to determine which pieces of content are performing the best. Once you’ve done that, collect that data and put together a list of topics that your audience seems interested in.
- Determine A Promotion StrategyMake no mistake: the way you choose to promote your content will have a massive impact on both the popularity of your content and the overall effectiveness of your content marketing strategy. Which then begs the question, “which platforms should you use to promote your content?”While there are plenty of tools you can use today, the most appealing candidate for most businesses will likely be paid social media ads. Aside from being a great value in terms of cost, you can ensure that your content is targeted towards the right audience. You can choose different audience interests and leverage brands that you know your audience likes.
Targeting the right audience is about more than just saving money by targeting few people. It ensures that your ad won’t end up being ignored.
What content marketing strategies are helping you convert more customers? Share your insights in the comments.