Even if saying so out loud may earn you a few eye rolls from the professionals, content is and always will be king. That’s why it’s vital to have a strong content marketing strategy working for you. When it comes to effective search engine optimization, content is the absolute number one method for converting visits into action.
Unfortunately, even if 76% of B2C marketers are implementing a strategy, only 37% consider their content marketing effective. Is your current strategy falling a little flat? Maybe it’s time to head back to the drawing board.
Developing a Content Marketing Strategy
Creating an exceptional content marketing plan doesn’t happen overnight. Even killer content can die before it reaches a wide audience if you haven’t created a solid strategy to follow. Here’s what you need to do:
1. Document your strategy: It may seem simple, but you’d be surprised how often a content marketing strategy goes undocumented. Simply putting your plan “on paper” makes you more likely to complete goals, justify a budget, and consider the overall strategy less challenging.
2. Define goals and limitations: Blindly charging headfirst into content marketing without setting goals and outlining limitations is counterproductive. What do you want to accomplish with your content (page visits, sales, sign-ups)? What obstacles could stand in the way of completing your goals, and how can you work around your limitations? What’s it going to cost, and what kind of budget do you have?
3. Segment target audience personas: “I want to target everyone.” While ambitious, this go-to response is not an acceptable answer to the question “Who is your target audience?” Simply put, it’s impossible to reach and convert everyone on the planet, and it’s your job to determine who you’re going to target. Age range, gender, income, and a whole spectrum of demographics can be segmented into different audience groups that you can target with different pieces of your content marketing strategy, but you’ve got to identify them. Who are you trying to reach and why?
4. Create a channel plan: There was a time when a tweet would circle the globe and be seen by just about everyone using Twitter. Times have changed, and countless content channels are now available for digital marketing and strategic planning. Determining which channel to send content through (Facebook, a blog, a white paper, an e-mail, a TV commercial, a big ol’ billboard) can be just as important as the message you’re trying to send. Companies are taking advantage of different services left and right to break up content, send coupons, and test channels for viability. It’s important to define which channels will work best for your content.
Implementing a Content Marketing Strategy
Fortunately, implementing your content marketing strategy can be a breeze once you’ve got a solid plan outlined and documented. An exceptional editorial calendar is a good place to start. Sometimes, it’s as easy as pulling down the wall calendar and filling in the blanks, but it’s helpful to have a release schedule that complements your marketing strategy. Will you post a new blog every Tuesday and Thursday? Do your mailers get sent out every other week? How often do you update your Facebook page?
When and how you implement your content marketing strategy is part of the game, and it’s beneficial when all departments involved know what’s going on. Share your plan, test and tweak your content, and continue to refine your strategy.