According to insightful research by SEMrush, 84% of businesses have a well-defined content marketing strategy. In addition, 70% believe that their current content marketing success is far more successful than the previous year.
What’s the underlying reason? The Covid-19 pandemic taught businesses the importance of adapting to their customer’s changing needs to succeed. In fact, more than 90% of marketers changed their content marketing strategies within the last year.
Read our in-depth guide on how to create a killer content marketing strategy to set yourself up for business success:
What is a Content Strategy?
A content strategy refers to a well-defined plan involving content, such as audio, written, or visual, to achieve your overall business goals.
An effective content strategy helps you attract buyers at every funnel stage and keeps them engaged beyond the first purchase.
To develop your content strategy, you need to consider the following essential questions:
- What is your target audience?
- Who will be reading your content?
- What problem will your product/service solve?
- How can you stand out from your competitors?
- What content formats will you prioritize?
- Which channels will you use to publish your content?
- How will you manage content creation and publications?
What are Marketing Goals?
Marketing goals refer to a group of well-defined and growth-driven objectives and milestones that businesses aim to achieve.
A marketing goal also offers marketers clarity on areas to focus on and essential and unnecessary regions. For instance, a digital marketing campaign may have numerous marketing goals like increasing email subscribers, website traffic, social media traction, etc.
Setting marketing goals can also provide insight to your company. Research reveals that marketers who set goals are comparatively 376% more successful. Adding a digital campaign as part of your content marketing success plan will help boost your brand’s visibility, increase sales, and even add new customers.
Important Marketing Goals
Common marketing goals include:
Increasing brand awareness is a popular marketing professional goal, and it helps ensure customers think of your product/service before your competitors.
Brand awareness refers to how well a viewer knows your product’s name, image, qualities, and benefits. If buyers associate positive experiences with your brand, they are more likely to return, support, and share your content.
To boost brand awareness, you need to establish your brand’s tone and personality. After that, you must connect with them on different social media platforms.
Here’s how you can boost your brand awareness:
- Creating polls
- Sharing attention-grabbing articles
- Posting your company’s values, vision, and mission on social media channels
- Sponsoring or participating in relevant events
- Sharing free e-books, templates, and guides
- Creating referral programs
Valuable leads are potential customers. So, once you determine the type of customer who is most likely to become a customer, start collecting their contact information and hand it over to your sales team.
You can generate leads through the following ways:
- Social media posts or comments
- Website forms and pop-up chats
- Webinars or events
- Promotions, coupons, or free samples
- Targeted content
Boost Customer Value
Customer value is how much worth a product/service is to a customer compared to competitors. If buyers believe that your brand offers them valuable service, chances are, they’ll become loyal customers and refer you to their family members and friends.
An effective way of boosting customer value is by providing unmatched quality and competitively priced products/services. In addition, focus on providing excellent customer service, an exciting and informative newsletter, and fun incentives for new arrivals.
You may measure the increase in customer values by monitoring customer habits and metrics. Identify the content, posts, and promotions that garner the most engagement and sales. This way, you can figure out which ones are most valuable to buyers.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a valuable digital marketing tool that helps companies boost web traffic and brand awareness.
The better your SEO efforts, the more customers you can reach. You can improve your on-site and off-site SEO by:
- Creating compelling metadata
- Consistently producing informative, refreshing, and captivating content
- Optimizing your website for search engines
- Identifying and addressing site and URL issues
- Building links and slugs
You can measure your SEO efforts by monitoring your website and content’s ranking in search engine results.
Why is a Content Marketing Strategy Important?
Let’s discuss the top seven reasons your content marketing strategy is essential:
Boost Brand Awareness
Content marketing is a unique and effective way of building brand awareness. Through your content strategy, you won’t only rank on page one. Instead, your content will appear everywhere prospective customers look for your product.
To successfully boost brand awareness through your strategy, you need to write about topics that engage your customers. This way, they’ll begin to associate your informative content with your brand.
The type and quality of your content can influence conversions. It also helps your audience connect with you and offers them the necessary information to make educated purchasing decisions.
In addition, if you’re publishing blog posts to drive traffic, consider using original graphics instead of stock images. Why? Because research reveals that stock photos are less effective in meeting your marketing goals.
Moreover, ensure your content always includes an attention-grabbing CTA that motivates your readers to take desired actions.
Generate More and Better Leads
Content marketing is an effective way of generating leads. When viewers read your content, they’re more likely to purchase from you.
By adding compelling calls-to-action (CTA), you can generate new leads to boost sales. CTAs may appear anywhere within your content, such as the bottom-of-post, side panel, or inline.
The more engaging a visitor finds your content, the more likely they will move onto your landing page.
Increase Brand Trust
One incredible benefit of content marketing is that it helps increase your reputation and brand trust.
Building trust with leads and customers is crucial in today’s competitive and oversaturated digital marketplace. Fostering trust helps you establish a positive brand reputation and expand customer outreach.
Once customers read your content, they’ll start developing an opinion of your brand. So, you must curate engaging, valuable, and informative content.
Enhance Traction on Social Media
It’s one thing to boost your followers across social media channels, but it’s another thing to curate trendy content. You need to benefit from your content marketing strategy if your business page doesn’t experience much traction despite having a considerable following.
Quality and informative content is an effective way of gaining traction on social media. After that, consider tracking the performance of your content campaign.
Position Yourself as an Industry Expert
Customers want to know whether they’re dealing with industry experts with intensive knowledge about the ins and outs of the market.
Content marketing offers you the perfect opportunity to demonstrate your expertise in your field. To achieve this, you need to provide readers with valuable knowledge that encourages them to make educated buying decisions. Providing information that is relevant to your product will help make your content marketing a successful strategy.
You may show off your industry knowledge by publishing:
- Blog posts
- White papers
- Social media posts
- Other pieces of content
This way, customers will remember you when purchasing a relevant product/service.
Stand Out from Your Competitors
To stand out in today’s busy marketplace, you need to learn how to differentiate yourself from your competitors.
Luckily, content marketing offers you the perfect opportunity to shine from others in your industry.
What are the Essential Elements of a Marketing Strategy?
Creating an effective content marketing strategy requires you to integrate the following four core elements:
- Brand positioning
- Media value proposition
- Business case
- Strategic plan
Here we discuss why these elements are critical and how you should implement them:
Positioning Your Brand
A well-defined product positioning is critical for ensuring a consistent user experience and building the ideal brand image. Once you answer the following questions, you’ll be ready to brainstorm your current position in the market:
- Who are your current and prospective buyers?
- What kind of customer experience does your audience desire?
- How competitive is your industry?
- How are your top competitors marketing their brands and products/services?
- What is your USP?
- “Customer pain points” that your product/service answer?
- What makes your product/service a better choice over competitors?
- How can you highlight your brand’s personality?
Owned Media Value Proposition
Establish yourself as an industry expert by identifying your owned media value proposition. Ask yourself, ‘what unique value does your content provider to your audience?’ and ‘how do you stand out from other content creators?’
Conduct an in-depth analysis of your audience to identify their favorite resources and the type of content they are seeking. After that, research your competitor’s content strategy to spot your editorial niche.
To develop your media, you need to consider all publishers in your industry. It means going beyond business rivals and analyzing content publishers, online magazines, influencers’ video channels, and other unbranded media.
To drive success, you need to provide value to your readers. Not just this, but your content marketing strategy should focus on moving your business forward.
To achieve this, you need to identify your business goals and figure out ways your content marketing will bring you closer to your plans. In addition, you need to determine how many resources you’ll have to invest in getting your desired results.
Your strategic plan includes your goals and how you can hit each of them. It will help you plan each content strategy step and decide who you want to reach.
In addition, you can find out how you should deliver your content, how you will achieve your plans, and measure your target results.
Step-by-Step Guide to Creating a Strategic Content Marketing Approach
Here’s an in-depth guide you can follow to boost customer outreach and brand awareness:
Define Your Goals
Start creating your content marketing strategy by defining your goals and mission statement. Your mission statement helps you pinpoint what is essential to your brand and create content. It enables you to stay on track with where you are in meeting your goals.
To outline your mission statement and goals, you need to consider developing a content marketing plan. In addition, you need to ask yourself why you want to produce content or a content marketing strategy.
Your content marketing mission statement should include:
- Your target audience
- The content you’ll use to connect with them
- What benefits they’ll get from your content
Once you create your mission statement, you can choose your goals:
- Boosting Sales – By getting high-quality leads that help you reach your revenue goals
- Gaining Increased Traffic – By boosting brand awareness which provides you with better possibilities for meeting your other goals
- SEO Success – To increase traffic
- Improve Revenue – Through your content marketing strategy
- Reduce Marketing Costs – By making your content more compelling
- Social Media Engagement – By which you can improve traffic and authority
Audit Your Existing Content
Content isn’t something that exists on your website; it’s a valuable asset that attracts, informs, converts, and retains viewers. But with approximately 1.9 billion websites and 70 million blog posts published monthly, it’s easy to drown in the competition.
A content audit is a fantastic way of standing out in the sea of blogs. Start by collecting your existing content and then analyze data sets. This way, you can measure how the performance of your current content.
In addition, you can answer the following questions:
- What kind of content attracts prospective?
- What types of content bring the most engagement?
- How can you improve your current content?
Conduct Persona Research
To develop a successful content marketing plan, you need to define your target audience. Your buyer persona is essential for businesses that are new to marketing.
By determining your target audience, you can curate valuable and relevant content that they’ll want to read.
If you’re an experienced marketer, you may want to target a new group of people or expand your existing target market. You may even want to keep the same target audience or revisit audience parameters. Adding a new target market to your content marketing success goal will help increase sales of the company.
Establish Your KPIs
To achieve your content marketing goals, you need to make them measurable and specific. For this reason, you need to set Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
Your KPIs help you determine what goals you have achieved by providing milestones. Typically, they include what you plan to tackle in sales, traffic, revenue, SEO, and even social media metrics.
Common KPIs include:
- Get more signups to ensure you’re getting more high-quality leads
- Hit a particular revenue target within a month or year
- Boost search rankings of critical pages to boost traffic
- Gain new email subscribers
- Acquire a particular number of shares, comments, and mentions for your crucial content
If you find KIPs too technical or limiting, you can try OKRs (Objective and Key Results):
- Set each goal as a critical challenge
- Define 2 to 3 key results
- Measure your goals by using a progress indicator of 0 to 100%
- Adjust a plan with time if it becomes relevant
- Asses goals according to new conditions
- Make your goals transparent and collaborative
Determine Your Competitors
It’s always a wise idea to identify what your top competitors are doing. This way, you can understand the level of your competitors and include it in your content marketing success campaign.
You can learn what they are talking about, how saturated your niche’s content is, and what works for them through competitor analysis. Your competitors should:
- Have website metrics better than you
- Be a similar size as you
- Focus on content marketing
After you identify your top performers in your niche, conduct more in-depth to determine:
- Check the keywords they’re aiming for
- Go through their best performing content in SERPs
- Analyze their engaging content
- Identify their off-site efforts
- Study their blog posts
Identify Your Best Content Channels
As you work through your content marketing process, you’ll start to understand where you can meet your customers. Start by looking at your web analytics, such as Google Analytics. View your Google Analytics by following these steps:
- Click on Acquisition
- Select Social
- And click overview
You may even use Buzzsumo, Tableau Public, or other analytic tools. Once you go through your content analysis, you can determine which networks to target to boost social media and content engagement.
Create a Content Calendar
There’s a lot of prep work in developing a content marketing success plan. With the research you’ve conducted above, you’ll get a rough idea of what type of blog posts you should create.
For instance, your viewers may appreciate how-to’s, whereas a competitor’s audience may enjoy blogs.
Create your content calendar by brainstorming titles of potential articles. Then pick a particular title and start researching to find out:
- What’s already out there
- How you can add value by creating new content
For this, you need to do an intensive Google search, analyze top content, and determine ways you can improve existing content. In addition, conduct keyword research to make a list of key terms to improve search ranking. These are just some key areas you need to make your content marketing success goals come true.
Publish and Promote Content
Now it’s time to brainstorm and create your content. For this, you need to think about how you can reflect your brand’s personality.
You may want to go for a casual tone or prefer a super-professional. In addition, you’ll have to balance between showing your expertise and appearing patronizing.
Once you publish your content, you’ll need to promote it through various channels, such as:
- Send weekly or monthly newsletters
- Promote it on different social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, etc.
- Post on forums and third-party channels like Reddit, Quora, and so on
- Promote it via blogger outreach
Lastly, you need to assess the performance and success of your content marketing strategy. To achieve this, you need to analyze your KPIs or OKRs and determine whether you’re hitting your targets by:
- Checking Google Analytics and analyzing your content performance
- Measuring social sharing activity with Socialays, Buzzsumo, or other analytic tools
- Using analytic conversion tools to assess how well your marketing campaign is performing
How Does Socialays Help You Tackle Your Content Marketing Goals?
Socialays is a state-of-the-art AI-based social media assistant boasting excellent features that help you hit your content marketing success plan. Use this innovative tool to benefit from the following benefits:
- Its revolutionary ‘Sentiment Analyzes’ and ‘Emotion Analyzes’ features effectively categorize comments and messages into nine different emotion categories. You can then create meaningful connections with your viewers
- With this cutting-edge technology, you can get auto notifications about the latest mentions and comments from your audience. Thus, you can effectively improve turnaround times
- The tool enables you to add custom filters like auto-restricting, auto-blocking and hiding hate speech to create a fun and positive customer experience
How Can You Score Your Content to Set Yourself Up for Business Success?
Often content creators find it impossible to quantify what strategy addresses their content and audience needs.
Scoring your content helps you objectify a process and use the same recipe to create successful and relevant content. Here’s how you can score your content:
– Establish a Scoring Criteria- Establish a foundation for your key engagement metrics by developing an effective and valuable content scoring system. By establishing a “score criteria” you will be able to determine what metrics are important or have an effect on your campaign.
– Curate a Killer Campaign- Once you’ve successfully identified which metrics have the most significant impact on your content, you need to create an attention-grabbing campaign
– Monitor Content Performance- Measure how your content is performing. As a particular content asset meets your metrics, add them to your campaign. This will help you measure your campaign performance and decide later on if it’s a success or needs revision.
– Identify What Performs- After segregating your high-performing content, you can focus on further analyzing your content’s performance. This way, you can discover patterns within your content that can make them stand out and thus boost your campaign.
– Revamp and Repeat- Although performance patterns are constantly changing, you can follow this process to score your content and make wise business decisions
The Bottom Line
Remember that the complexity of curating a content marketing strategy largely depends on your marketing budget, your marketing goals, and the size of your organization. As such, with a well-thought-out and well-defined content marketing plan, you can attract leads, boost conversions, and enhance customer outreach.
Socialays can help you with your content marketing success plan. Start a free trial to learn more about Socialays, your AI social media assistant!