“Content is king” – a slogan marketers have lived by in recent years. Whether you’re a TV celebrity, a small start-up or a multi-million dollar corporation, chances are high that you’ve heard of the importance of content marketing. And with that in mind we started to create dozens of landing pages, we filled up our websites with blog articles and pushed social media posts to our followers. But what exactly is ‘content’ or a content strategy? And how do we fit it into our bigger marketing strategy?
We can trace the beginning of content marketing back to the shift from push to pull marketing. Instead of merely selling our products, we realised we had to offer our potential customers something valuable, something that they would be interested in so we could convince them of our remarkable products and offers. And with that, we started to create content.
Content could take form in various forms, ranging from blog posts with tips and tricks, extensive guides in the form of an ebook, videos with customer testimonials, and our newsletters to keep our leads informed on our daily adventures and updates. But while pushing all of this out, we can’t forget that this all needs to lead back to our goal, our mission and to our core message. That’s why it’s important to have a clear strategy in mind. One that shapes our content, one that fits into the bigger picture. What do we want to achieve with our stories? Let us guide you through the basics of setting up a content strategy.
Developing a content strategy
A content strategy defines how we are going to plan, create and deliver our content in order to achieve our business goals. Without having this strategy in place, we don’t only risk losing our credibility, but we also might create generic content – and the internet already has enough of that. So how do we start with developing a content strategy that is coherent to your business goals? The first things we have to consider are:
What do we want to achieve?
What does our brand stand for?
Who are our customers and what are their interests?
How are we going to reach them?
Define your goal
What are we trying to do with our content marketing strategy? Are we trying to create more brand awareness? Building up authority in your industry? Trying to get more leads? It’s important to start your strategy with some clear targets in mind.
Depending on this marketing goal we might have to take a few factors into consideration. For example, if you’re focusing on getting conversions, you have to make sure your content includes clear call-to-actions. If you’re focusing on brand awareness, you might want to include branding factors such as logos.
Secondly, we need to know our business and what it stands for. What are we doing and what makes us unique? What is our tone of voice and brand story, and how do we want our audience to perceive us? A good idea here is to conduct a competitor research too, so you can define your place within the market, and see what and how you can be different than your competitors.
Know your audience
One of the most important aspects of your content marketing is knowing who you’re creating the content for. There is no point creating content that your potentials customers aren’t interested in. Make sure you know what their interest are and what they would like to hear, read or see. Creating personas helps you defining your target audience, ensuring you cater your content to their needs.
Reach your audience in the right channel
Where does your audience hang out? Do they enjoy watching funny YouTube videos? Do they like reading blog posts that they can interact with? Are they busy and do they prefer to skim through short and easy-to-digest Facebook post in their news feed? Make sure you know where to find them, so you don’t waste your energy and money on sending out content to channels none of your users are active in.
Planning your content strategy
Once you’ve thought about your goals, business and audience, it’s time to plan. Here too, we need some guidelines to keep everything together. A couple of questions you want to take into consideration:
How do we create content and a content strategy?
It’s time to start brainstorming. Be as creative as possible and try to come up with all sorts of ideas. It helps to shift your search for good content outside your marketing team as well – getting tips and ideas from other employers within your company might help you to see things from new angels.
How often do we post our content?
This doesn’t only depend on the time you have as a company, but raise the question of how often your customers want to be exposed to what you have to say.
How to schedule and monitor our content?
Working with editorials is a great way to keep track of what you want to achieve. This way you create a clear overview of the content you want to schedule, and you can ensure if it’s in line with your goals and visions. Once you have an idea of what you want to post, where and how often you can start scheduling it via certain scheduling tools available.
How can we monitor our content?
We all have to start somewhere, and we can only learn from our mistakes. Once you have your content creation going it’s important to keep track of what’s working. Keep a close eye on your analytics tools and see what your customers interact with. Take these notes with you, and adapt and change your content strategy in your search for perfection.