Content Marketing: Developing an Effective Strategy
Content marketing as an internet marketing strategy has never been more used in recent times.
It opens a new world to online marketing and brings new insights to content creation.
Have you ever heard the phrase “content is king”?
Oh Yes! I bet you have.
This is no exaggeration as in the world wide web, search engines are constantly crawling and indexing websites for unique contents.
Do you want to key into content marketing for your business?
Do you have questions as to how to go about content marketing?
Is content marketing a field of digital marketing that you would love to specialize in?
Do you want to create a marketing strategy and don’t know how to?
Look no further, because we will discuss in details how to create an effective content marketing strategy, and show you core areas to focus on.
What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing in clear terms simply deals with the act of developing content for the purpose of using it to market a particular product or service or generally provide information.
Content generation is wide and vast and isn’t streamlined to just creating blog post contents but is all-encompassing.
From email newsletters to video contents and infographics, down to writing blog posts and creating captions for social media channels.
In order to effectively incorporate this field of marketing into your business, you need to have a clear understanding of the following:
- What are your company’s goals?
- Who is your target audience?
- What content marketing type do you want to use?
- How do you wish to promote your content?
To have a clear understanding of the points highlighted above, We’ll dive into talking about the strategies in details.
Before we proceed, it’s important to reiterate again that consistency is key in implementing any content marketing strategy.
Content Strategy One: Know your Target Audience
In internet marketing, and generally marketing your products and services to people, you should know that your content isn’t for everyone.
Similarly, having an idea of who your target audience is, and who your customers are, gives you an idea of what content marketing type to use, in order to effectively reach them.
Realistically, you cannot have clients or potential customers on the internet and go about doing “word of mouth”, even though that is an effective strategy on its own.
If you own an e-commerce store, your clients are most likely online, and on the internet.
Therefore it’s advisable to run paid ads or actively work on getting organic traffic to your store through search engine optimization and social media marketing.
To help you understand how to identify your target audience, make sure to answer the following questions:
- Demographics: gender, age, ethnic group, job, income.
- Psychographics: values, beliefs, habits, hobbies and more.
- Challenges: what struggles are they facing every day?
- Pain Points: what is happening in their life that your organization can fix?
- What Drives Them To Purchase Your Product: what do they need to see from you that would convince them to buy from you?
- Where Do They Find Their Information: internet, social media, commercials, word of mouth, etc.
- What Type of Content Do They Prefer: blogs, e-books, infographics, videos, social media posts, etc.
- How do you help them: what contents or resources can you provide to help your audience and convince them to buy.
Furthermore, identifying who your content should be targeting will help you determine what type of topics, ideas and keywords you should cover.
Content Marketing Strategy Two: Segment Your Target Audience
Segmentation gives you the ability to streamline and group your target audience into specialized groups or categories.
Hence, it is advisable to segment your audience based on the product or service that you offer.
The saying that “not every customer is your customer” holds in this regard as, different people would view the services you provide, but would not convert to customers.
Again, segmentation is crucial and cannot be over-emphasized.
For instance, some of the readers of your blog posts are buyers, but others are not.
So in as much as you want your contents to be as helpful and insightful as possible, bear in mind to drop a subtle call to action (CTA) from time to time.
As discussed in the first strategy, after knowing your target audience, it is important to segment them based on their personas.
Remember, a buyer persona is a fully fleshed-out profile of one segment of your audience.
Similarly, segmenting your audience enables you to develop contents that speak to each category of your audience.
A perfect example of a segmented audience list is a segmented email list.
A segmented email list has been researched to bring in the most click-through rates and increased traffic to a website or blog.
Content Strategy Three: Set Realistic Goals
It is absurd to think of starting up a business, without clear thought out goals and visions.
It is like the proverbial “pouring water into a basket”.
This is so because without setting key business goals, you tend to lose focus, and take on tasks that may not be essentially profitable.
Hence, it is advisable to utilize the life-long lesson of setting realistic goals using the SMART acronym.
- S: Specific
- M: Measurable
- A: Achievable
- R: Realistic
- T: Time-bound
Moreover, it is important to set smart goals to clarify your ideas, focus your efforts and use time and resources to create something worthwhile.
The SMART acronym can be applicable when setting goals for your content marketing strategy. Remember to be clear and specific on what you want; start off with small numbers and scale up with time.
In addition to setting SMART goals, measure and track your progress as much as possible, and specify a time to have reached a certain margin.
Also, consistently create a marketing strategy that would help you reach your content goals.
Content Marketing Strategy Four: Create Tailored Contents
One of the perks of creating tailored contents as much as possible is so that there is something for almost everyone that visits your website or blog.
If you own a full-service digital marketing agency, creating contents around web design and development, for example, isn’t far fetched as an idea of web development is a complementary skill for SEO.
Therefore, it is advisable that your contents speak to the needs and values of your target audience.
Also, it is important to create tailored contents that satisfy the needs of your segmented audience.
For example, millennials; born between the year 1981-1996 (23-38 years old) would most likely constitute a large chunk of your target audience so its wisdom to tailor your contents to what they want to read or search for.
In addition to the above, a trick to creating specialized contents is having a clear idea of what your audience is searching for.
To help with this, there are several tools to use, some of which include:
- Google Trends
- Google search console
- Keywords Everywhere
- Keywords planner
And a host of others.
Furthermore, a wise thing to do after finding out your target audience and what there are searching for is to determine your content types. Contents maybe:
- Blog posts
- Social media posts
- Visual contents (infographics)
- Case studies
- Email newsletters
The take home is that there is so much content that you can develop. So why not make flexibility and creativity your watchword?
Content Strategy Five: Content Creation Process
After pondering on the kind of contents to develop, and the type of information you want to pass across with your contents.
It is imperative to build a content creation process that works effectively for your content type.
Also, your content creation process should be a series of steps that need to be taken before your content is ready to be moved on to editors and designers.
Therefore, the steps for your content marketing creation process may be as follows:
- Step One: Come up with a topic
- Step Two: Choose a publish date
- Step Three: Research keywords
- Step Four: Create an outline
- Step Five: Approve outline
- Step Six: Write a draft
- Step Seven: Revise draft
- Step Eight: Send to editor
After coming up with the above, your draft content can then proceed to the editing team, which takes on the following editorial process:
- Step One: Edit content
- Step Two: Send content back to the writer for revisions
- Step Three: Send content to in-house designers
- Step Four: Design creatives for the content
- Step Five: Approve design
- Step Six: Publish content
- Step Eight: Analyze traffic
The content creation process for any marketing plan isn’t a walk in the park.
It requires proper research and market surveys to know to your target audience.
Also, it requires proper planning, team-work and timely execution.
That is why a key content marketing strategy is to organize your content marketing team and stipulate their roles.
The positions of a content creation team include, but are not limited to the following:
- Marketing strategists
- Content writers
- Content promoters (Social media specialists/ Ads specialists)
- Content Analysts.
Furthermore, in any content marketing strategy, it is advisable to incorporate a content marketing system (CMS) and relevant tools to use.
However, a widely used CMS is WordPress which today stands as one of the most effective platforms for publishing blog posts contents and written contents in general.
Also, noteworthy is the creation of a content calendar to guide and direct content plans, and give a sense of direction as to what is to be developed.
We reiterate again that “Content is King” and to make your contents stay relevant, you have to be on top of your game.
We want to read all of your content marketing ideas.
Have you developed a content marketing strategy before?
If yes, share with us in the comments!