Developing an Effective Content Marketing Strategy

What is content marketing?

Content marketing is creating and sharing valuable content with the intent to reach marketing goals like increasing leads, promoting your brand and reaching new customers. In order for content marketing to be effective, a marketer should understand who they are creating the content for and set clear goals for the content. Having a clear marketing strategy will increase the effectiveness of your content, helping you reach your marketing goals.

Why is a content marketing strategy important?

A content marketing strategy is important because it helps businesses stay focused on the overall marketing goals of content creation and distribution. It should be used as a roadmap that keeps content aligned with the overall business objectives. Without a roadmap, reaching these goals becomes more difficult.

This strategy should answer questions like:

  • Who is the target audience for this content?
  • What marketing goals are we trying to achieve?
  • How often should content be published?
  • What types of content should be created?
  • What KPIs can be used to measure the success of the content?

Determine goals for your content marketing strategy.

When setting goals, using the SMART goals approach is a great method:

Specific – Be specific about the goals of the content marketing strategy. For example; increase website traffic from Twitter by 10% or get 250 more followers on Facebook.
Measurable – It’s important to be able to track the progress of goals and also determine if the goal was successfully reach.
Attainable – Setting unattainable goals will usually lead to disappointment. Goals should be realistic and achievable.
Relevant – Make sure your goals are relevant to your overall business objectives.
Time Bound – Goals should have a logical endpoint that makes sense for the business. Endpoints could be weekly, monthly, quarterly or even annually. The endpoint does not mean the content marketing strategy is dead. Instead, it’s used to determine if the set goals were achieved. New goals should also be set at this time.

Create a content schedule.

Now that you understand the goals of your content marketing strategy, you should be able to determine how often content needs to be created and shared in order to reach those goals. It’s always better to create high quality content on a less frequent basis than creating low quality content on a more frequent basis. Everyone that is involved in content marketing should know the content creation schedule.

Understand your target audience.

It’s crucial to understand who you want to target when developing your content marketing strategy. The target audience will help determine the language to use, where to post your content and the type of content to create. It’s important to make sure your content provides value to your audience in order to improve the chances of users sharing the content.

With social media, understanding your audience can help you reach them more effectively. Social media lets you target users based on demographic, location, age and interests. For example, when paying to boost a Facebook post, targeting your audience effectively will help you get the most for your money.

Decide which types of content to create.

Now it’s time to choose what type of content to create. It’s best to showcase a variety of content types to keep users engaged while keeping in mind that not all content types work effectively in every industry. It’s best to determine what your audience prefers. A competitive analysis is a great way to learn this information. Pay attention to which of your competitor’s posts get the most interaction from users.

Here are some different types of content:

  • Blog Posts
  • Infographics
  • Polls
  • FAQs
  • Tutorials & How-tos
  • Research & Analysis
  • Lists (ex. top places to visit in Buffalo)
  • Interviews
  • Status updates

The chart below illustrates the effectiveness of each content type based on the cost to produce the content.

Choose where to promote your content.

Now that you have started creating content, it’s time to decide where to promote it. The content promotion process ensures that what you created will reach your target audience. Not all content is the same. Certain content types will be more effective on some channels and less effective on others. In general, you will have the most success promoting your content across a variety of channels in order to maximize reach.

It’s best to continuously optimize your promotion process. Measuring results is important to determine which channels work best for each type of content. By consistently testing and measuring results, you will be increasingly more effective in your content marketing as time goes on.

Your content marketing strategy is about developing a plan to create content that helps you achieve business objectives. Delivering unique and engaging content will give you the best chance to reach the most people that are interested in what you have to offer.

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