In the age of banners, information overflow, and low attention spans, businesses need an out-of-the-box approach to influence potential customers — that’s where content marketing comes in! Learn how to build an effective strategy, today.
Content marketing is an approach that focuses on providing value to potential customers with the background intention of achieving a range of business goals. These goals can be boosting brand awareness, increasing credibility, handling feedback, building a community, or even eventually closing sales.
Content marketing is a long-term strategy, so don’t expect it to work from day to night. However, if you do it right, you should soon start seeing results. Let’s dive into it!
1# Set your goals and target audience
First of all you need to ask yourself some questions: what do you want to achieve with your content? Who do you want to reach? What are these people interested in? You need to have all these figured out before you even start planning and creating.
Collect data about your audience and set up your goals. Nowadays, you can easily create an online form and spread it via email, forums, and social media pages, so that you are sure you know what pain points and interests you want to tackle.
2# Craft your brand identity
This is something you should have tackled already if you have an existing business. Now you just need to make sure your content will reflect the brand you have crafted. Decide on what tone of voice you want to adopt for your articles, what graphics-style you want to use on your infographics, and what type of imagery should illustrate your blog and your social channels.
Your content should shout your brand name in consumers’ minds!
3# Plan ahead
Nothing that is done in a rush is going to be done well. For an effective content marketing strategy, it’s important to plan ahead and have a sight of what you are going to be working on the next weeks or even months.
Based on your marketing objectives and the insights you’ve gathered from your target audience, you can plan what type of content you want to post, the topics to be approached, the resources needed, the main channels, quantity and frequency of posting, and the results you are expecting.
Not only will this simply be more effective, it will also help you to plan specific content actions ahead of important events, such as Halloween, Black Friday, Christmas, or dates surrounding important people in your industry.
4# Consider the skillset you will need
If you want to create compelling and visually pleasing content, you will need to have a couple of skills among your marketing team.
Consider having a writer or copy expert to help with articles and other text – preferably with SEO knowledge; a social media manager that will take care of social postings as well as follower engagement, and other content distribution; a designer or someone with affinity for the topic that can create graphics and compose images; and a web developer that can do the job when it comes to maintaining a website and improving usability.
5# Be smart: save time and automate whatever you can!
In the content game, it’s important to be regularly active and frequently release a new piece to keep the audience interested and engaged. Try to keep your blog up to date, post daily on social media, and have your email marketing or other communication strategies letting your audience know all about it.
While this might seem incredibly time consuming, there are a bunch of tools out there that can help you save time and automate many of these actions. To improve your performance, you can try to analyse when your audience is most active and schedule the content to be released at those times.
6# Produce top level content
Visuals are crucial for an effective content marketing strategy. The content experience is increasingly important and a good experience is only achieved when the visual approach is a priority too.
Content needs to be relevant to get people to open it, but (no matter if informational, entertaining, or promotional) they will only stay or engage with it if it is visually appealing.
7# Go into video
As we’ve mentioned before, video quickly became one of the most preferred content formats online and it seems to be here to stay. YouTube, TikTok, Instagram Stories, IGTV, or Reels are some of the most successful among users and as a brand you will want to be using them too.
While posting images on social media and insightful content over your channels can still be great ways of bringing your message across, videos are the newest way customers discover brands and have a look at the latest products.
Plus, if your video goes viral, there is no best way of boosting your brand awareness!
8# Make sure people have a way to see it
There is no point in spending time, effort and money into creating top content if no one is going to see it. Make sure you are activating all of your channels and spreading your content seed around.
Sharing your content on social media can be a good first option to consider. You are reaching people who already stated they are to some degree interested in hearing from you and you can do it at zero cost.
However, there are many other channels and strategies you can consider: push notifications, email, cross posting, or paid advertising are just some of them.
9# Measure your efforts
As it’s often said, what doesn’t get measured doesn’t get improved. After distributing your content, you need to measure its impact and results.
Keep your goals in mind and evaluate whether you are on track to achieve them. To measure effectively, you can have a look at metrics such as organic traffic, search engine ranking, time on page, and leads obtained or conversion rate associated with the content campaigns in place.
Additionally, mentions and engagement on social media, followers gained, repostings and backlinks can also be interesting aspects to monitor.
10# Reward your audience
Content marketing doesn’t always require you to produce your own content. In fact, user generated content is much more powerful in certain cases. It allows you to show products and services in a more authentic way, while it also rewards brand fans through featuring them on the company’s channels.
Remember, people often trust other people more than they trust a brand.
These were the 10 steps for an effective content marketing strategy. To see more on brand insights, have a look at our blog.