Content marketing is an essential part of many businesses that have an online marketing presence. A study has shown that it generates over three times as many leads as typical advertising and costs 62% less. So are you ready to start?
You might have come from our page “What is Digital Marketing?” where we briefly talked about content marketing. Let’s dig a little bit deeper and define it in more detail. We’ll then go through the key steps on shaping your own content marketing strategy!
Types of Content
Before setting out with your content marketing strategy, let’s revisit the various types of content formats that exist.
Visual content is a key part of social media marketing where aesthetics make a big difference. Find the right visuals to match your company and brand to deliver a consistent message.
Examples of visual content include pictures, webinars, videos, graphic designs like charts/infographics, and even memes. The list continues! If it’s anything based on an image, it can be considered visual content.
As the name suggests this is content which you well, write. Although it may not seem as exciting as visual content, written content actually plays a big role in helping your website pages rank on Google and other search engines.
Written content is a cornerstone of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), this includes other practices like keyword research and backlinking.
Blogging is a varied field now, written content can exist in the form of reviews, articles, or listicles. Often it’s also supplemented with other content formats!
Aside from the 2 big groups, a myriad of alternative content formats exist. New forms are coming up every day, so always be open to trying out a new form of content.
Some examples which don’t fit into the above categories include audio content like podcasts, or individual research and data results. Many blogs also offer downloadable content that can vary from whitepapers to printables and templates. These are often used in exchange for subscriptions to an email list.
Hopefully, this gave you some ideas on content to include in your online marketing journey!
Setting your Content Marketing Strategy
1.Set your Goals
First, begin by setting an overarching goal for your content marketing efforts. Are you looking to raise awareness of your brand, increasing website traffic or increase sales for a particular product?
From there look at measurable Key Performance Indicators to measure your progress. For example with the website traffic, metrics like the number of returning visitors, email newsletter subscriptions, or time on site could indicate the level of engagement on your page.
2. Understand and establish your Target Audience/Target Market
Once you know what you want to achieve, you’ll have to decide on the recipients of your marketing efforts.
There are a few ways to do this, from looking at your current customers to competitor positioning. Ultimately, they should be a group that benefits from the value proposition that you offer.
Try creating a persona of your ideal customer – imagining a person with individual characteristics can make defining an audience simpler.
3. Pick your main Distribution Channels
Once you have your target audience, it’s time to get to know them better and where they hang out.
Examine which social media channels and platforms they actively use, and don’t limit yourself to Facebook or Instagram. Forums like Reddit or Q&A platforms like Quora are great places to share informative articles.
Keep a lookout as well for niche interest groups on larger platforms which are goldmines for potential customers also they have already been pre-filtered for you. They’re also a great resource for looking out for popular trends.
Consider outbound actions too, email newsletters are a good way of putting your content in front of an interested audience.
4. Create your Content
Your target audience and chosen distribution channels will shape what kind of content you choose.
To keep it short and sweet, be sure that you create meaningful and useful content for your audience. Be aware of content gaps that may exist by analyzing your competition. Buzzsumo is a helpful tool for looking at competitor’s and trending articles.
Make sure that your content formats that fit your chosen channels too; image sizes and website displays change as visitors use their smartphone or desktop. Different sites also display formats differently, so be sure to check up on the right dimensions as you craft your content.
5. Schedule your Content
Now you’ve got some material ready, you might be wondering how to get it out there. Before you hit that big button, it’s a good idea to plan out when and where.
It’s time to implement a Content/Editorial Calendar. Ideally, you should plan for the year ahead. A content calendar will help you to appropriately distribute your content across various platforms and keep you posting regularly.
With a schedule, you’ll know how to prioritize your content marketing activities and be able to allocate resources accordingly. This is especially important when you’re working in a team or small business so that everyone can keep on top of things.
6. Publish and Share
The big moment has arrived, time to get your content out there!
Of course, you’ll focus on the distribution channels you decided on earlier. Don’t forget a call-to-action to ask for engagements like hearts and shares – these can go a long way in getting your content seen.
Do keep in mind that influencers and affiliates are not just for selling products but can also be partners in distributing content.
Also, don’t neglect your network, fellow bloggers and collaborators also extend your reach.
7. Track Progress
After your content is published, take a moment, and pat yourself on the back. However, the work is just beginning!
Remember those KPIs we talked about earlier? Here’s the time to watch them and measure the impact of your content marketing efforts. Check out our article on how to measure your content marketing success to get some helpful tools.