Strategic content marketing concentrates on creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and retain a brand’s customers. This is done to drive profitable customer action.
It is an ongoing process of translating business objectives and goals into a plan to achieve those goals. Content strategy guides the creation and delivery of useful, engaging customer centric content.
It is vital for an online business to adopt strategic content marketing. Marketing strategies help businesses reach users worldwide. In doing so, they enhance the promotional impact of their products and services. There are a variety of marketing strategies available such as:
- Content Marketing
- Search Engine Optimization
- Social Media Marketing
- Email Marketing
Sometimes companies use a single marketing strategy and sometimes they may use a combination of marketing strategies. However, the decision is totally dependent upon the:
- Nature of business
- Types of products and services offered
- Industry norms
- Latest trends
- Financial budget
- Target audience
Why Choose Strategic Content Marketing For Your Business?
Strategic marketing has become an essential component of digital marketing. The main aim of strategic content marketing is to retain and attract a clearly-defined target audience by creating valuable, engaging, relevant, and consistent content. By doing so, you’ll enjoy benefits such as:
- Your website getting high ranking when you create and distribute valuable quality content that users are looking for via web search engines.
- Attracting new customers to your site should not be the sole aim for businesses. Conversion and retention are also important metrics to consider. Strategic content marketing is an amazing way to retain and engage your customers with your brand.
- Quality content compels visitors and customers to share it with others on social media. Peer to peer sharing provides you an opportunity to save marketing costs. Your customers become a voice for your brand and products. They’ll motivate their friends to visit your website and make a purchase.
- By creating quality, informative and relevant material, you motivate visitors to buy something on your website. Thus, working towards your ultimate goal of increasing revenue and profit.
Strategic marketing has the potential to transform your business massively.
How To Implement A Content Marketing Strategy:
It is important to understand that implementation is as important as devising a marketing plan.
You’ll spend both time and money on your marketing efforts. Proper execution will ensure you reap the rewards of your sacrifice. Competition online is tough and if you fail to implement your plan properly, the consequences could be harsh.
Crucial steps that you must consider while developing a content marketing strategy are:
1. Develop Your “How To” Strategy:
Everyone uses the phrase “how to” whenever we try to find a solution to a problem. Naturally, providing information that answers such questions is the most effective manner to engage and attract your audience.
Always try to create content in the “how to” style. This way you educate people about your product – why it is better, how they can best utilize it and the benefits they derive when using it.
By creating “how to” content, you’ll get a large following of people who are looking for relevant information.
And because most research begins with people typing in their questions into search engines, you’ll get a higher ranking on Google as you answer their questions.
2. Define Mission Statement & Goals:
Your mission statement and goals set out what your brand is about and what you stand for.
They also define what you want to achieve. Be stating them clearly, it helps keep you on track in creating valuable content for your users.
By concentration on creating specific content for your target audience, you’ll minimize wastage that results from marketing to masses outside your ideal customer profile.
3. Data and market research:
Customer insight is the foundation of everything else an organization does. It’s the bedrock from which all customer relationships are built. You need to understand your customers deeply if you ever hope to foster loyalty, develop long term strategic partnerships, or simply make an acceptable profit.
Without research and data, it is impossible to gain true customer insight and understanding. You have to get the core of the issue. Without this foundation, the rest of your efforts will be wasted.
Social listening, combined with 3rd party and internal analytics can be a powerful driver of profitable content ideas.
The Google Consumer Barometer is one source that can provide insights into different demographic segments and their online purchasing behavior. The OpenStrategy Research Directory is a helpful source of free tools to help you craft more effective strategies.
4. Establish KPIs:
Key performance indicators help you analyze the performance of your objectives. Always set your objectives in such a way that they are specific and measurable.
You can set different milestones in different aspects such as in terms of revenue, sales, traffic, conversions, number of purchases made, customer lifetime value etc.
5. Identify Your Target Audience:
You can’t market to a customer when you don’t know who she is.
Entrepreneurs must create an avatar of who their ideal customer is. You should know the demographics of your visitors, subscribers, and social media followers. Define and collect information such as:
- marital status
- what their problems are
- how much they are willing to pay to solve them etc.
Using tracking tools on the internet, analyze the profiles of people who are actually consuming your content. Do they fit your ideal?
If they do, you are doing a good job. Otherwise, make adjustments to your content or your products. Your copy might be attracting low demand customers or high demand customers who prefer variations of your products. Make changes based on what the data tells you.
You can use tools such as Google Analytics, Facebook Audience Insights and other Social Media analytic tools to collect this data.
6. Choose Your Best Content Platforms:
After understanding who your target audience is, you will be able to see which platforms they spend most of their time on.
Take the easiest route and target these platforms first in order to expand and reach your potential customers. These are the platforms which are going to be your main sources of your traffic.
Establish an effective online presence there through your strategic content marketing campaign.
7. Answer Your Customers’ Questions:
Customers have many questions on their minds whenever they visit a new website to buy something. The best to way to address this issue is to deal with it by providing answers to their questions even before they ask them.
You can create a “Frequently Asked Questions” page. Create genuine answers and be upfront with information. This will assuage their doubts and give them confidence in you as a seller.
By providing good customer support, your visitors will buy larger amounts and more frequently from you.
8. Use Images & Videos:
Images and videos enhance the visual appeal and understanding of your products.
Many people find consuming visual data easier than text.
Including images and videos in your content marketing strategy can greatly increase your visitor to customer conversion rate.
The user’s decision is highly dependent on your style of content. It influences them to buy your particular product or service. So speak to them in the language they can relate to; using the format that they prefer the most.
9. Identify and Allocate Resources:
You now know what type of content you are going to create, for whom it is intended, and where you are going to share it. It’s important to make sure you have everything you need to deliver on your marketing strategy.
Assign Roles. Who’s In Charge Of Production?
The first thing you must do is identify the roles and responsibilities that need to be fulfilled by whomever is in charge of “content production.” Next, you must allocate those roles and responsibilities to the appropriate members of your team.
You’ll need to think about who’s in overall charge, as well as who is responsible for delivering individual content items.
What Tools and Resources Do You Need for your Content Creation?
Next, figure out how you’re actually going to create the content. Your content producers might include – In-house creators, specialists in video creation, podcasting, or graphic design and freelancers.
One way to find great freelancers quickly is to return to your Buzzsumo search results, and see who’s written the top content. There’s no harm in approaching them to see if they’re willing to contribute to your team.
Speak to your team to identify what specialised tools they require. These are usually software or research tools. For example, a copywriter might need access to SEMrush to do SEO research or a video creator might require Adobe Premier Pro to edit videos.
10. Create a Content Calendar
It’s essential to have a content calendar to help you plan your strategy. Without one, it’s too easy to make mistakes such as publishing too much or too little at the wrong time.
As a part of your strategic content marketing strategy, you’ll need to know exactly when you want to publish your content on each of the platforms you want to use. A content calendar is one way to do this.
Another way is to use a tool like Buffer (available for free at bufferapp.com) which allows you to schedule tweets, Facebook posts and other forms of social media engagement.
The first step to finding what content to put in your calendar is to ask your customers what questions they have. Alternatively, you can find questions your customers ask by using tools such as Google Trends or Ubersuggest.
Pick questions your customers seem to be asking a lot and then think about creating a piece of content (such as a blog post) that answers those questions.
11. Conduct A/B Testing:
A/B testing is extremely crucial in improving effectiveness of your content marketing strategy. It is also called split testing.
It gives you the opportunity to study and analyze behavioral patterns of different target audiences. You need to create two versions of one piece of content with changes to a single variable.
You then send the 2 versions out to two similar audiences. Analyze the results to draw a conclusion as to which version performed better.
This gives you a clear idea as to which content is best to adopt to achieve your marketing strategy goals.
Once you have done so, you can scale your campaign to meet them faster.
9. Distribution Strategy:
Decide how often you are going to send content out. Do you post on your Facebook fanpage ever few hours or every few days? How often should you email your clients?
What type of content ratio should you use? You can follow the popular social media content 4-1-1rule.
- 4 curated pieces shared from external sources
- 1 original piece that you create yourself
- 1 piece of promotional content aimed at making sales
Good content and distribution will result in high engagement rates between your audience and your brand.
12. Measure Results
It’s time to assess the success of your content marketing strategy. To do this, you’ll go back to those KPIs you set at the start of the content strategy plan, and see what’s changed and whether you’re hitting your targets.
To do this, you can use Google analytics, Search Console, Tag manager, OptiMonster and a host of other tools for to track and analyse your data.
By tracking your progress, you’ll be able to make adjustments to your content marketing strategy at regular intervals, so it’s always current.
Hire A Strategic Content Marketing Agency:
Marketing your products and services can be a challenging task in this competitive age. Implementing your content marketing strategy requires skill and time.
Successful businesses often hire an external digital marketing agency to help with this vital endeavour because:
- They are experienced and competent in this field. Running your business requires your full attention. Instead of wasting time and money learning via trial and error, why not just leave it to the experts.
- They have relevant industry experience. So they are the best people who can advise you on the tastes and preferences of your customers.
- You can achieve your objectives faster with their help. They know which strategy is already currently working best in your sector based on your products, target audience and nature of business. This reduces your business risk.
For help with developing your strategic content marketing, contact us here.