Are you struggling to generate leads and sales with your content? Look no further than our ultimate guide to creating a killer content marketing strategy. Our comprehensive guide will walk you through everything you need to know to develop a winning plan, from setting goals to creating killer content. Start seeing results today!
- Introduction to the fundamentals of content marketing
- Understanding your target audience and their needs
- Conducting a content audit and identifying areas for improvement
- Defining your content marketing goals and objectives
- Researching and selecting the right keywords for your content marketing strategy
- Creating a content calendar and planning your content production
- The role of different content formats in your content marketing strategy
- Optimizing your content for search engines and improving discoverability
- The importance of promoting your content and building a community around it
- Measuring and analyzing the success of your content marketing strategy and making data-driven improvements
Introduction to the fundamentals of content marketing
Several self-proclaimed gurus claim that marketing solves all business problems. There are many undereducated media buyers who want your money because their “guru” told them they could make $10k per month selling your ads on an open-source platform.
Hyper Targeting who sees your ads is possible with these platforms. The advertising platform lets you place ads in front of demographics that might be your ideal customers. This sounds like the magic pill… a panacea to your business problems, but it’s not exactly how marketing works. Most prospects won’t buy your product right away.
Marketing is about finding and understanding a market in need
According to many marketing agencies, your ideal customers are always on the platform where they are the best at buying ads. Despite the fact that Facebook has billions of users, many people ignore Facebook ads and are concerned about their privacy and data. Those who may be your ideal customers aren’t even willing to click on Facebook ads.
Communication is the key to marketing content
In marketing, communication is more important than anything else. Communication is about understanding each other, not telling the other party why you’re right. Most businesses assume marketing is about telling customers why to buy their products or services and it is, but it isn’t. You need to communicate with your customers. It’s about learning what they want.
Marketing is a process of education
You can get leads if you show your prospects the right offer, but that’s a waste if you’re not in a hot market. Entrepreneurship isn’t usually about selling revolutionary products. The heart of entrepreneurship is improving existing products and services. Finding a hot market can be challenging. When you gain your clients’ attention, you can earn their trust. Customers compete for the attention of entrepreneurs and businesses.
Understanding your target audience and their needs
A brand’s social media dashboard will tell you most of what you need to know about your target audience (and what their deal is). You don’t need expensive software or explainer videos to do this. Defining your target audience is essential to marketing, especially influencer marketing. Marketing that’s relevant requires deliberate targeting, no matter what you sell. Audience targeting begins with data, even if they are often used interchangeably.
It should go without saying, you’ll need some information about your audience to do a deep dive. There are several ways to do this, and certain questions you need to ask yourself, but finding an ethical way is crucial. LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram already provide demographic and psychographic information. Moreover, monthly subscription fees aren’t three digits. Various data sets are available on each platform, so it’s free.
Conducting a content audit and identifying areas for improvement
Analyzing engagement data for your existing content as part of a content audit will allow you to determine:
- Current trends in high-performing content.
- Improvements can be made to website pages.
- There are gaps in your site’s content.
- Future content recommendations.
- Updates to the site structure.
Five simple steps can be followed by any marketing team to conduct a content audit:
- Make an inventory of your content.
- Perform data analysis.
- Analyze your competitors.
- Take action by deciding what to do.
- Make sure your content strategy is up-to-date.
Defining your content marketing goals and objectives
There are five solid content marketing goals that any business can focus on regardless of its size or industry:
As a result, high-quality, purposeful content can demonstrate your company’s expertise to readers, leaving them wondering, “Who wrote this?” The more content your company creates that addresses your target audience’s pain points, the more likely it is that they will think of you if they need your services in the future. You can establish yourself as a thought leader among your audience by downloading our free Ultimate Guide to Content Marketing for Thought Leadership.
When readers read a brand’s content consistently, they begin to see it in a different light, not only in terms of credibility but also in terms of likability. Buffer is one such tool. Besides its loyal customers, Buffer has built a huge following with entertaining, informative content, such as “The History of To-Do Lists” or “Common Mistakes Our Brain Makes and How To Fix Them” That’s a big deal because social media tools are being developed.
Educating potential customers is one of the most effective ways to use content marketing. Identify the questions your sales team hears from clients and write them down. You’ll get ideas for articles based on those questions. They might even convince a few hesitant leads to buy. The Ultimate Guide to Content Marketing for Lead Generation explains how to use content marketing to educate prospects and convert them into customers.
You can connect with your customers by publishing an article and responding to their comments or questions. This type of engagement humanizes your company — giving it a voice, expertise, and most importantly, personality. People buy from people, not brands.
You don’t want employees who love fluff, you want them to appreciate thoughtful, honest content. You should showcase your company’s vision and culture with meaningful, no-BS content. Create content that highlights your company’s values and illustrates what it’s like to work there.
- Provide autonomy while supporting each other.
- Deliver more value by evolving.
- Respect and trust others.
All of our content embodies those values. Content marketing strategy can also be used to recruit talent.
Researching and selecting the right keywords for your content marketing strategy
Your content will gain more traffic if it appears in searches. People want to read what you want them to know, not what you want them to hear. Research keywords to improve your content. Offer content business professionals want to see.
While keyword importance has declined dramatically over the past decade, you can still tell what people care about with the right SEO tool, even if keyword research is outdated. Through content marketing strategy you can identify and sort your content into topics by researching keywords with high search volumes per month. This allows you to target keywords based on these topics.
Creating a content calendar and planning your content production
The best way to combat an issue in content marketing strategy is to create a content calendar. With it, you can coordinate content creation effectively and divide your team’s upcoming workload into clear, manageable chunks. To create your own content calendar, follow the steps below.
This question will assist you in determining the right channel and format for your future content. It is therefore important to define your goals before implementing a content calendar. Your goals determine who, where, and how often you publish content. Without a clear purpose, pushing out content will only waste your company’s resources. Expected results should be known by the person working on each project.
Calendar Template creation
There is an abundance of tools that offer calendar features on the web – you can choose the template that best suits your needs. It is important to have the option to share the content calendar since adopting new software can be time-consuming. If you plan content with the whole organization, the calendar should have a share option.
Channels you can choose from
Find out which channels your current and potential customers use. This will help you determine the kind of content you should be focusing on creating. Would you like to publish blog posts, pictures, videos, surveys, Instagram videos, etc?
Begin with the calendar year
Make a note of all the important events you want to build your content around – holidays, trade fairs, seminars, and training – whenever you plan your content. This simple step will help you determine the kind of seasonal content you’ll need in the future, and help you estimate the upcoming workload, so your team is prepared.
Create your own content
After you have jotted down all of the important dates, you can fill in the blanks with relevant content ideas. This content can include theme posts, serial posts, expert articles, and guest blogs.
Organize evergreen content:
You will always find your company and customers useful content that isn’t tied to a certain date or time. Even after the initial buzz after publishing, this kind of content is likely to continue getting clicks and visits since contemporary themes remain relevant and are constantly searched online.
Utilize previous content
Most companies already have useful content that hasn’t been tapped, like data from the CRM system and results from customer surveys.
Set a time limit and decide how often to publish
If you are able to publish new content realistically, you should choose a publishing frequency that works for you. Being aware of your own boundaries is crucial to making the calendar efficient. Too much content will hurt the content. However, there should be enough content to drive traffic to your website and provide value to your customers on a regular basis.
Plan an update and review
Planning ahead depends on multiple factors, such as your industry’s volatility, as well as some factors related to your business. There is no definitive answer to how long your content should be planned. You should note, however, that the more you plan in advance, the smoother your content flow will be. Plan the main content for the year, then plan the weekly and daily content.
Track how your content is received
Nearly everything in digital marketing can be measured. Once a company creates and shares high-quality content, it is often difficult to measure its actual impact. In your future plans, you should consider your own operations and data.
The role of different content formats in your content marketing strategy
Create videos that go deeper into the points in the post to increase your brand’s reach. You can reach more people, save time, and increase ROI by publishing stand-alone quotes on social media. You can reach more people without starting over by tailoring 10% of a base piece of content to appeal to different segments and verticals.
Determine your success metrics when choosing the right form of content marketing. A blog post and a landing page will cost more than posting a few LinkedIn posts. A properly optimized article on-page will generate organic website traffic for years to come. Content marketing formats should focus on long-term growth rather than short-term gains. Over time, you will likely see compound results. Your business can be greatly affected by this.
Optimizing your content for search engines and improving discoverability
87 percent of B2B and 86 percent of B2C companies use content marketing to market, so a robust SEO strategy takes a lot of work. In the long and short term, you’ll see your content performance improve if you master organic search.
But what good is all that content if no one finds it? With organic search, you can get your content in front of the right audience at the right time. You can optimize your content right away by following some best practices. Don’t be fooled by those peddling magic SEO bullets – it takes time and effort.
The importance of promoting your content and building a community around it
A community is a social unit in which people share common interests, goals, and attitudes and create a feeling of fellowship. Social media marketers are responsible for creating thriving communities. You need more than just a huge following to succeed. Why are communities important?
- The importance of communities lies in their engagement.
- Brands benefit from active engagement.
- Your brand will be more visible.
- Potential customers are attracted to them.
- They create an engaging environment.
- Community members will refer to your brand as responsible for their positive experiences and growth, fostering brand affinity and loyalty.
- Creating connections and inspiring others through sharing stories, communities are incubators of inspiration.
- Your followers will be more likely to trust your brand if they function as a community.
- The result is higher retention rates and more followers.
Measuring and analyzing the success of your content marketing strategy and making data-driven improvements
Choosing a frequency for data collection is the first step. CMI has found that measuring content marketing strategy’s effectiveness monthly works well, although we monitor some metrics weekly to ensure we meet monthly goals – especially those we can address right away. Continually tracking, analyzing, and reporting on performance is essential to content marketing success. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
While some vanity metrics (e.g., Twitter followers, and website traffic) are easy to track, they rarely provide insight on their own. Our social growth tracking allows us to find out where we get the most shares and chatter. It is more important to track conversions to email subscriptions, topics of interest, and registrations for CMI activities. Our bottom line benefits from knowing whether we’re meeting readers’ expectations.
Measuring what matters
Our email program, website, and social channels all grow month-to-month, so we created a KPI document years ago that allowed us to track growth. CMI re-evaluated these KPIs after a year and changed one important step: We now only track metrics that are actionable, such as email subscribers, email engagement rate, and time spent on the site.
Industry peers can help you learn
Early on, we were evaluating the growth of social followers, email subscribers, etc. But this didn’t take into account everything CMI does on each of these channels each month. And it wasn’t capturing conversions of tweets, posts, and emails delivered each month.. The CMWorld speakers and industry peers provide continuing education and advice on which activities are generating engagement, and which ones convert.
Adaptability is key
We realized we were tracking email opt-ins by source but doing nothing with them. In order to improve our email effectiveness, we fine-tuned the process to look at email deliverability, opt-outs, and completed profiles. To ensure you’re collecting the data that will address your key questions, review your metrics quarterly, bi-annually, or annually. In order to stay aligned with CMI goals, we review our metrics quarterly.
Collect data automatically
With the help of our team, we were able to automate dashboards in Google Analytics, Salesforce, and marketing automation. We can review these dashboards every week, and update our KPIs every month. Consider additional resources and team members if you need assistance evaluating your content if automated data collection isn’t available. Due to the fact that many team members touch our marketing processes, we are able to improve ownership and accountability.
Don’t rush with the analysis
Collecting data and adding it to a spreadsheet isn’t enough. You need to analyze it so you understand where improvement opportunities exist – and how to achieve them. We can use data to determine how to leverage these high-performing topics across our other content platforms and lead to conversion if, for example, data shows that all of our blog posts on content marketing strategy have high Facebook shares, LinkedIn posts, and tweets.