Content marketing, for most businesses, is a requirement these days. For content marketing to be successful, however, it takes a well-planned content strategy. But what does a successful content strategy look like? Upgrade your business or organization’s marketing by focusing on strategic planning, measuring performance, and amplifying your messaging.
Content Marketing Defined
Content marketing is a strategic marketing method based on creating and distributing consistent and valuable content to bring in a targeted audience. Ultimately, the goal of content marketing is the same as that of a traditional marketing strategy, which is to drive customer action.
In contrast to a more traditional marketing approach, content marketing can reach potential customers on a personal level. A great content piece engages customers in a product or organization. Content marketing is a strategy that focuses on building relationships with a targeted audience by consistently providing high-quality and relevant pieces. It is about storytelling, leading to a purchase or desired action. Content should entertain, educate, and help solve people’s problems.
Why Content Marketing is Important
- It can be highly targeted to a specific audience, delivering higher conversion rates.
- It is a non-salesy approach to educating potential customers.
- It helps build a sense of loyalty and community around a company.
- It helps a company or organization build relationships with customers.
Types of Content Marketing
An infographic is a visual representation of data sets or information. Infographics are composed of text, images, charts, diagrams, and graphics to present complex information in an easy-to-understand, visual manner. They are effective content marketing tools used to educate and inform an audience and build brand awareness. Many third-party sites allow you to post infographics to be easily shared as part of a company’s content marketing strategy.
Blogs are one of the most popular content formats used by marketers. Maintaining a blog is a great way to boost a company’s SEO strategy. For any given keyword or topic searched for on search engines, blog posts containing those keywords will show up, leading potential customers to your company’s website. Blogging is also important because a blog is the most frequently updated website area and helps keep readers and customers engaged.
Email newsletters have been around since the beginning of digital content marketing and continue to be an essential tool. A consistent email newsletter helps a company keep in touch with existing and potential customers and provides updates on current promotions and other timely and relevant information. The newsletter frequency should be decided as part of the overall content strategy.
Social Media Posts
Social media connects companies to potential and existing clients where they are already used to interacting – on social sites such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, and TikTok. Social media posts allow brands to demonstrate their personalities. Social sites are marketing outlets where content is produced daily. Social content informs users about products and services and directs traffic back to a brand’s website.
The popularity of video for content marketing is quickly increasing. Videos grab attention, educate, and entertain. Videos can be effective at any length and can be used and shared on any of the other content forms listed here.
Plan, Measure, and Amplify
Content strategy is essentially the plan made by a company to deliver the right kind of content in the right places at the right time. Before creating an infographic, for example, and sharing it on your social platforms, you first need to develop a plan.
A content strategy should consider the content objectives, what makes your brand stand out from the competition, who the targeted audience is, what the targeted audience needs, what value your content is offering, and how the content will be produced. You should not just be creating content for content’s sake but first asking and answering these critical questions. From here, you can consider what content types best fit your objectives and begin to work on a content schedule.
Once you have put in the time and effort to create content, it is important to measure and analyze the results of every shared piece. You need to set some KPIs or Key Performance Indicators, for example, newsletter subscriptions, social media likes or shares, website conversion rate, returning customers, website traffic numbers, etc. The exact KPIs you use to measure success depend on the content objectives.
Once you have the data from KPI measurements, analyze progress and make any content or goal changes necessary. Underperformance in one channel might indicate it is time to shift resources to another.
Created content needs to be shared and distributed. A thorough content calendar will ensure that content is posted and shared consistently and on relevant dates.
Different content channels are relevant to potential customers depending on where they are on the customer journey. Blog posts and social media platforms are great for building brand and product awareness. Videos and even podcasts are great for those aware of your brand and considering purchases. Email newsletters are solid tools for repeat customers and sealing purchasing decisions.
Content is king, but content without strategy most likely won’t rule. Successful content marketing for any business takes thoughtful research, planning, and coordination.