Content marketing has been around for more than a century now. It all started in 1895 when John Deere released its quarterly magazine ‘The Furrow’. This wasn’t a catalogue of the company’s products, but talked about agricultural tips and tricks that resonated with its readers. Cut to the present day when the Internet has given us an opportunity to advertise our business to countless potential customers through the various types of content marketing as we know it today.
With the evolution of technology, new forms of content are making their way to the market. An estimated 3.8 billion users access the Internet from their mobile phones, and this makes it easier for businesses to reach more people than ever before.
Additionally, a robust content marketing strategy has become the foundation for modern business growth. In fact, as per a HubSpot survey, 70% of marketers are actively investing in content marketing.
What is the relevance of a content marketing strategy?
Content marketing is all about the creation and distribution of high-quality content for people to help them form an opinion about your brand. If you are a small business looking to promote your brand, creating unique content is of paramount importance.
Content marketing costs about 60% less than any form of traditional marketing while generating fives times as many leads. Developing a concrete content marketing strategy can unlock new opportunities to gain momentum in the market. For small businesses, content marketing online has become an effective way of competing with larger competitors without having to spend too much on marketing collateral. In fact, customized content is gaining massive popularity, where brands can showcase their unique values and grab the attention of prospects on the Internet. Modern marketing is quick and a content marketing strategy is the compass that can help your business navigate a sea of information.
7-step guide to creating a content marketing strategy
We have curated a comprehensive seven-step guide to kickstarting your content marketing strategy. Here’s what you should consider if you want to make the most of your content promotion online.
- Define your mission and objectives
Content marketing is all about developing a relationship with readers and viewers. When starting out with a content marketing strategy, it is important to define your goals clearly. Extensive research can help you understand the expectations of Internet users. By analysing the trends on the Internet, you can design and develop content that appeals to your target audiences.
While preparing a content marketing strategy, it’s important to set clear objectives and achieve the best results within a dedicated time frame. The purpose of a content plan is to ensure that you stick to a consistent and seamless delivery of content in order to engage with Internet users.
Some examples of setting objectives include:
- picking a brand tone and identity;
- choosing the ideal promotional channels to reach your targets;
- dedicating an ad budget to online promotions;
- deciding on how frequently you must post on social media;
- choosing the right kind of content for each promotional channel;
- creating a plan to generate leads and track their progress; and
- analysing market data to draft a compelling content plan.
When you have clearly defined objectives, you can set up a content marketing strategy that works for your business.
- Identify the performance metrics of your content
An important aspect of content creation is the ability to assess the performance of your content. Especially when promoting content online, it becomes much easier to track the performance of your content and decide what works for your viewers. Keeping tabs on the reaction to your content is necessary in order to build a relationship with the market. Various businesses have various needs and the Internet can simplify the performance of your content with statistics.
Some factors that indicate the performance of your content are:
- Unique page views
- Click-through rate of your ads
- Shares on social media
- Comments on your post
- Net revenue generated
- Conversion rate of online campaigns
- Average time users spend on your website
With a clear idea of how to assess the performance of your content, you can distribute the right material to the ideal persona of your viewership.
- Pick the right channels for content promotion
One of the most fundamental aspects of a content marketing strategy is picking the correct channels to start advertising. While Facebook has more than four billion users, this market is a go-to option for almost every business. Instagram, on the other hand, is a platform known for businesses keen on photo-sharing and product displays. Pinterest is another photo-sharing platform with a focus on infographics, memes and visually stunning graphics. Each platform has a unique identity that influences the type of content that works well for its users. Other platforms like LinkedIn, YouTube and Google+ also offer access to a vast user base. To ensure that your business delivers the best experiences to viewers, it is important to choose the right promotional channels. This can save time and costs by delivering quality content to ideal customers.
Understanding your target audiences is vital to picking the correct channel to promote your branded content online.
- Make a schedule that works
Consistency is the key in content marketing. When you develop a content marketing strategy, it must align your objectives with the pattern of consumption among your audiences. You must know the most active time of your audiences. You must know which days are likely to work for contest ideas and what types of videos ensure splendid engagement. Social media analytics, ad performances and blog views are all great insights into developing a schedule that works for you and your audiences. Additionally, making a schedule gets everything more organized. When you deliver consistent, quality content to viewers, the credibility of your business skyrockets. A schedule for all your content promotions online can save time and costs and boost the efficiency of your content marketing strategy.
- Focus on distributing quality content
Once you have a clear idea of how to approach your goals in content promotion, it’s time to develop the best content. After identifying the types of content your team will work with, you can dedicate time and energy to bringing the best quality. The internet is filled with information. To stand out from the competition, your content should be good enough to inspire viewers to take action. Use video marketing, interactive polls and creative visuals, and engage with your audience on social media to further your relationship with the market. When your content promises quality, more users will depend on your business as a source of information.
The most important aspect of content marketing is to generate reactions and interact with people in a way that showcases your brand in the best light. Your goal as a business is to advertise your product and services while providing value to the people who come in contact with your content.
- Track the results of your content plan
Once you get going with the distribution of content on social media, websites or email, you gain a clearer idea of what works well. Understanding how people respond and react to your online campaigns is fundamental to your success. Utilise every opportunity to collect data about your viewers, customers and their experiences. Facebook analytics, Google analytics, YouTube analytics, website analytics and blog subscribers are all a great way of tracking results of your content performance. There are many free tools that businesses can use to determine the click-through rate, with webinar registrations and viewer retention being among numerous other metrics. For each piece of content that goes online, your business should track the results. That’s how you continue to improve your content for consumers.
- Refine your plan and repeat your winning tactics
Content marketing is focused on creating better experiences for users. Your content should be engaging, informational and easily understood by people. To ensure that your business delivers the right message, it is important to analyse the response to your publications. By striving to make each interaction with the market engaging, businesses can deliver a content marketing strategy that works best. After all, you are advertising for goodwill, credibility, engagement, publicity and conversions. To guarantee conversions, your content should inspire people to take action. Refine your approach with every credible insight you gain from promoting your content on various online platforms. As time progresses, you will have an arsenal of high-performance strategies that will win the hearts of your customers. In today’s world, content is quality and quality is enhanced through enough research and analysis.