Why do businesses need a content marketing strategy? A content marketing strategy is not just “a nice to have,” it is a fundamental requirement for long-term business success. It helps you achieve goals, attract new customers, and build strong relationships with your audience. One of the most important elements of content marketing is that it positions you as a thought leader in your industry. Whenever potential customers want to learn about a product, they will trust your content about the product over your competitors because they see you as an authoritative brand.
Furthermore, creating a content marketing strategy will increase the ROI of your marketing efforts. When designing a content marketing strategy, you should define your buyer persona, or your ideal customer. Doing this gives you a clear understanding of the needs of your audience and helps you create valuable content that solves their problems. When you solve their problems before they even need to ask, that creates a recipe for success.
Content marketing involves the process of creating and distributing valuable content consistently to attract a clearly defined audience to turn them into your customers. Valuable content refers to educational information that helps your ideal audience solve their problems. Relevant content can be in many forms, including:
…and much more!
Content marketing focuses on the different stages of the buying cycle (sales funnel). The goal is to provide adequate information to help people during whichever stage of the sales funnel they are in by showing them the appropriate content to encourage them to progress further. For example, you can help interested customers conduct sufficient research on the best product for their needs by providing educational content, show them why your product is the best option in comparison with the competition and finally urge them to act by purchasing it.
A content marketing strategy helps to create authority and improves your brand awareness. When you consistently produce informational content about products and services in your industry, then prospects and competitors will consider your opinions as genuine and credible.
Take HubSpot or Neil Patel for example. If it isn’t in their blog, does it really exist in the marketing world?
Content marketing is also a form of inbound marketing, meaning attracting prospects to your products and services by creating valuable content that is tailored to meet their needs so that they contact you first. Other types of inbound marketing include organic social media marketing, and SEO. The purpose of inbound marketing is to build strong connections with people who need your products or services to solve their problems. Consequently, content marketing helps to ensure the sustainable growth of your business.
A formidable content marketing strategy positions your business for success. And consistently evaluating its progress will enable you to stay ahead of your competition by dominating your industry. Here are the steps to creating a formidable digital content marketing strategy:
Creating content for content’s sake should never be your goal. Your content marketing should have SMART goals: goals that are clearly defined, measurable and time-bound. Stating that your goal for content marketing is to build strong relationships with clients is vague. Instead, go deeper and create a specific goal such as “I want to have 10,000 active subscribers on my email list by the end of 2020”.
A buyer persona refers to the characteristics of your ideal audience. You should be able to know every detail of your ideal audience as if they were your roommates or friends. Coming up with their demographics as well as defining their buying concerns and buying motivation can help you create a highly-converting marketing strategy.
One way to create a buyer persona is to conduct surveys with your current audiences, i.e. qualitative research. You can lure them with incentives to increase the chances of them taking the surveys. You can also request to interview some of your site visitors.
Secondly, you can also create buyer personas with marketing metrics, i.e. quantitative research. For example, you might use an analytics program such as Google Analytics, which tracks all sorts of information about your website visitors, including demographics, interests, and types of content they preferred.
When deciding on the best channel to get your marketing message to potential clients, you need to consider the cost as well as your ROI. Channels such as your blog and social media channels are appropriate because you have complete control over them. You may also use paid media as social media ads and Google Adwords to get exposure. However, you should not rely solely on paid media to get the result you want. Not only is this expensive, ads are ineffective for building audiences over the long-term. Instead, your owned media (blog, website, social media channels) will bring in more traffic independently that is much more engaged with your brand, meaning they’ll be more likely to convert.
A content calendar is an essential part of content marketing strategy. A content calendar breaks down big content marketing concepts into manageable tasks. It allows you to properly plan for important content marketing events such as promotion or advertising on your website or social media channels. With a content calendar, you research SEO keywords, come up with layouts for each blog post and finally create the blog posts. You might also need to create other pieces of valuable content such as infographics and videos that go along with your blogs that help attract prospects and turn them into customers.
Evaluating the progress of your content marketing strategy is crucial, because it’s how you learn if what you’re doing is working. There are multiple digital marketing tools to monitor your progress, and Google Analytics is a must-have basic tool for every business owner. It reveals the behavior of your site traffic, including the pages they visit, how long they stay on your website, and the bounce rates. With Google Analytics, you can instantly notice which strategies are not converting and replace them with effective ones.
With information from the Google Analytics software and other digital marketing tools, you can learn the pages with high bounce rates and formulate solutions to reduce the bounce rates. You may also continue using strategies that make your site visitors stick your pages for longer periods of time. Optimizing your content helps to provide the right information to your audience and consequently helps you achieve your conversion goals.
As your content strategy begins to bring in more results, you should consider increasing your content production to keep up with the growing need for information by your audience. Scaling your content production may require you to outsource more professionals, including editors and writers. You may also have to redefine your audience and segment them based on their individual needs. At this point, personalization is crucial when addressing your audience.
Content marketing is one of the most effective, useful and authentic forms of marketing. To achieve the best results, here are a few tips to keep you on the right track.
Your content marketing strategies need to be specific if you intend to have a high return on investment (ROI). You need to define your primary content marketing goal whether you want higher website traffic, to rank for a keyword or to grow an email list and then focus on fulfilling it. The result is content that is easier to consume and your audience acting on the intended conversion goal faster. A better bang for your buck also doesn’t hurt.
Consumers are increasingly expecting video content from their favorite brands. According to a study conducted by New York Magazine, 80 percent of the participants would prefer live streaming compared to reading a blog post. The best way to use a video or live streaming content marketing strategy is to create video user Generated content featuring customers using your products. These videos act as influencers for your brand and help you attain new customers. You can use platforms such as your website, Tik Tok, Instagram, Youtube, Linkedin, and Vimeo to encourage your customers to produce user-generated content.
Conversational marketing allows you to engage with your clients in a more original and real manner. Through conversational marketing, you learn about the individual needs of each prospect, including their intended goals without them filling out a form. It’s a good idea to invest in tools that enable you to have real-time conversations with your site visitors. These tools should be able to function in the exact way the visitors expect them to. A great example is a chatbot that helps begin a conversation and then redirects to the appropriate customer service agent to answer any further questions.
Your audience doesn’t like receiving the same information that all the other consumers are getting. As the need for highly personalized content increases, so too does the demand for tools that enable personalization. Whether you are sending an email or on-site, there are ways in which you can provide content that is highly relevant to each customer.
According to Statista, the number of podcast listeners has tripled in the last decade and it is projected to continue rising. Furthermore, according to Forbes, podcast listeners are likely to complete all the episodes of their favorite shows. This report reveals that podcasts are highly engaging and can be an appropriate content marketing channel to attract potential clients.
What content marketing projects has IDI has worked on? Here are some of our top examples:
Now that you have learned about the importance of content marketing, including how to create a content marketing strategy, what are you going to do next? We are content marketing experts ourselves and we’ve got the reviews to prove it. We can help you come up with effective content marketing strategies that will help you achieve your business goals.
At IDI, our team of experts will formulate a content marketing strategy that will position your company as an authoritative brand and build strong relationships with your audience. Whether you want to increase traffic to your website, double engagement rate by site visitors or improve product sales, we can help you get there fast. Get in touch with us!
Adriana Stein is an Online Marketing Consultant based in Hamburg, Germany. Originally from the US, she is a native English speaker and specializes in helping companies with their SEO & content marketing strategies, along with graphic design, brand copy and website development.