Whether or not you understand marketing, we can’t deny that the digital space is evolving faster than ever thanks to the capabilities of technology and social media. If this is the case, does it mean that consumer behaviour is also moving just as fast?
100 percent. People are constantly having to get updated, stay informed, learn and practice the never-ending changes to a platform’s features, algorithms, products and services.
It’s become more and more challenging to reach your target audience, engage them and keep them interested. There is SO MUCH content, apps, and tech out there, that people are getting easily distracted. Unless you’re a business with high budgets to create expensive ads and invest into big advertising campaigns, it can be really difficult to gain the attention and traction you need. Where does this leave the rest of us if you’re not a brand like McDonald’s, Red Bull or Apple?
Don’t surrender to the bout from the big guys.
You too can achieve success in reaching your content objectives… as long as you’ve got a well-planned content marketing strategy.
What is a content marketing strategy anyway?
A content marketing strategy is the planning for the creation, delivery and governance of useful, usable content and optimising to ensure your target audience is engaged through the correct marketing channels.
People generally don’t realise but content also includes website development, user research, user experience, SEO, events and creating content for the right channel to the right audience.
Ultimately, content marketing is all about creating content that will build a database by helping people solve problems and make better decisions depending on the stage through the funnel and the experience with the brand and how you leverage your existing owned channels to drive action.
To develop a content marketing strategy that works for you, below is a step-by-step guide to get you started.
Creating & Accountability
1. Planning Your Content - Many businesses make the mistake of creating content without taking the time to plan for the content. It’s more common for people to have a knee-jerk reaction to an executive's combusting idea than to sit down and discuss in detail what the content is, why it’s needed, who it’s for and what success looks like.
We’ve said this before and we’ll keep saying it until the end of time - it’s not about you, it’s about your customers and what their needs are! Concentrate on your key audiences and map out the type of content you need to create and address the problems and topics that will help you speak directly to them. Remember that your goal is to develop real purpose (the why) and inspire action.
2. Creating & Accountability - This is the stage you need to appoint specific tasks and responsibilities to specific personnel to create the content required. Sharing the content will ensure that individuals in your team do not burn out. Collaborative action is powerful as it enables your team to develop your brand voice that is representative of a meaningful and diverse background.
3. Distribution - If you are creating content and not thinking about how it will be seen, STOP. Stop wasting your time, your resources, and your money. For the content to have any chance of providing you with a return, you need to have a clear roadmap of where the content will live and how it will be seen. Whether it be an organic or paid approach, as long as you have a strong understanding of your key audience’s user journey and behaviour, it will be a lot easier for you to reach them.
4. Measuring - To really understand if your content is performing within the guides of your objectives, distinguish which metrics would suit your content type. When you get the results, analyse, assess and optimise your content to improve it and get it closer to the result you desire. Be consistent in tracking the results and implement changes for more effective engagement.
Once you’ve answered all the questions from our Content Plan Google Sheet, consolidate and summarise your responses in a strategy document to share with your team. Ensure that everyone from executives to your copywriters understands the real purpose and who the audience is. Gaining buy-in early on from everyone in the business will not only help with central alignment but it will also increase your chances of great success.
The strategy document should detail your business problems around brand awareness, engagement, reaching your prospects, your USP and the solution for each.
Describe how the content you create will acquire new customers and retain existing customers.
Once the strategy is locked and loaded, create a content schedule. Make it interactive, clear, concise and colourful. This should be accessible to anyone involved in the content production listing the personnel responsible for each task, the deadline, and the date it needs to go live.
Remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Neither will your content empire. Patience, practice and ongoing commitment and consistency will pay to be worth every penny.