What Content Marketing Is And How To Get It Right
There hardly is a business out there that is not making use of content marketing in one form or another. Content marketing is, at its core, about telling stories that matter to a certain group of people to create awareness of brands, products and companies. Humans are naturally attracted to those who tell better stories. That is why companies with better content strategies have better success.
What Is Content Marketing Today?
It is the same as it has always been but in a more modern package. It is a long-term strategy that is focused on building strong relationships with target audiences. You achieve this by giving them content that is of high quality and matter to them.
When customers eventually purchase from you, there is already a sense of a bond between them and you. That is what sets you apart from your competition and why good content marketing is so important.
While once-off marketing is something that won’t create a lasting impression, content marketing shows your audience that you care about them. It also shows that you are concerned with their needs and opinions. People want to feel that they matter, especially in a world where profit seems to be the most important driving force for so many companies.
Should You Use Content Marketing?
You know that many companies are making use of this marketing strategy to create brand awareness and loyalty, but do you really need it?
In all honesty, if you need to advertise and have a loyal and supporting following, you need a good content strategy. These days, no business can really afford not to make use of content marketing.
Creating engaging content is what pulls in your audience and that is what a good strategy will focus on. You can use many platforms for this and social media is a superb tool. Making use of social media content marketing is also relatively easy, once you know what to do. If you want to know more about this marketing strategy, check out our comprehensive guide on the subject.
It really doesn’t matter if you’re in the fashion industry, the literature world or in the food industry, you likely need content marketing. Without it, your company misses out on opportunities for growth that will make you sad when you start thinking about it.
How To Plan Your Content Marketing Strategy
There is a lot that goes into the planning of your content marketing strategy and we’ll dive into them here. Once you know what to do, you’ll see that it’s not that complicated or difficult.
Establish Your Company’s Goals
To start off your strategy, you need to know exactly what it is you want to achieve. This way, you’ll be able to focus on the things that matter and not get hung up on what doesn’t matter that much. In this step, you will determine your target audience and the kind of content you will be using to reach them. It is a rather simple step but is vitally important.
There are many goals that your company will want to meet. These could include improving revenue and getting more leads. Goals could also be driving traffic to your websites and getting a more loyal following on social media. Creating brand authority could also be one of your goals.
Determine Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
This plays into the previous step but can’t be defined without making clear what your goals are. In this step, you get more detailed in what you hope to achieve with your content marketing. These will be measured every so often, perhaps every six months or so.
An example of KPIs are getting a specific number of likes, follows and shares on your social media account. You could also want to get more people signed up for your emailing list and improve your webpages’ ranking. Another KPI that you could have is the desire to get more involved in your industry. For example, getting invites to key events is a great way to expand your brand’s awareness and reach. Of course, keeping tabs of expenditure is important as well. Your budget should be realistic to avoid any problems.
Get To Know Your Audience
This could easily be step one in your marketing planning. But we’ve placed it third because we feel knowing your goals is important in determining the audience you want to attract. When you have a better picture, you can market to your audience with more success.
The most effective way of determining your audience is collecting demographic data. You have to get this information about your social media followers, website visitors and email subscribers. Use analytics tools that are linked to your various platforms to get this data. Education, income, age and gender are some of the information you’ll collect.
You also need to know what your audience’s interest and views on you and your industry is. You can rope in the help of feedback results to see how users feel about your content. If you use customer feedback correctly, you’ll be able to better understand their priorities and needs.
Once you’ve determined your audience, you will use that information to build personas. This is a more detailed and in-depth look at your customers. When you create personas, you’ll look deeper and with more attention at your audience. You will learn to understand the content that speaks to them. It will be easier to determine what they care about and how to satisfy their needs.
Just keep in mind that a persona is much more than a simple list of characteristics. It is a more realistic description of a person who is representative of a segment of your audience. Of course, not everyone will be represented by the personas you create. But it makes your work easier and will result in more accurate marketing. For example, it is easier to create content for ‘25-year-old men who exercise often and own cats’ than it is for ‘young men who are fit’.
Evaluate Where You Are
You may already have some content marketing done – blog posts and content shared on your website and social media. You need to know if what you’ve been putting out there has been successful. However, if you’re starting out now and have nothing yet, skip to the next bit.
To determine the effectiveness of your existing content, you will have to do an audit. Start by making a log of all your content – posts, blogs, videos etc. Then, evaluate their usefulness. Try to identify any gaps in your content and compare what you have to what is on offer from your competition. What are they do better? What do you have that they don’t? This is a step that will keep you very busy but is really important. There are many ways that you can learn how to determine the effectiveness of your content. We suggest that you do some in-depth research about this.
Find The Most Effective Channels For Your Content Marketing
Now, you’re ready to find out just where your audience is spending their time. That’s where you want to be. Social media marketing is often described as a fine art to master and we share lots of information that can prove very useful. We suggest you study the guide we’ve created for your convenience.
Determine the best networks for your specific industry and build your content marketing plans from there. It is recommended to focus on what you’re certain will work and go from there. Don’t try to do everything at once, you’ll risk ending up with lots of content that isn’t of the best quality.
Get Actionable With Your Content Marketing
Now that you’ve done all your homework, the real work is about to start. You’ll start planning your way forward.
Decide What Types Of Content You’ll Use
You have to determine the kind of content you’ll be sharing with your audience. Planning your content goes a long way to making sure it is valuable and something that people want to see.
You will likely make use of a mixture of different types, such as text (blog posts), videos, images and perhaps even user-generated content. A good content marketing plan doesn’t limit itself to just one path.
How-to-lists, lists and entertaining copy is also part of engaging content. Share statistics and important information with your users. You’ll have learnt what matters to them so address their problems and struggles. Show them that you really are ‘in this together’. Visuals are very important in keeping people interested so make sure you offer a lot in this department.
Determine Your Resources
So now that you know the kind of content you will be creating and where you’ll share it, you can move to the next step. Your resources need to be identified – do you have a content scheduling tool? Do you have other tools that you can use to enhance your content marketing? What are the human resources that you have available? The answers to these questions will be influenced by the size of your team and company.
Now, you need to determine who will create your content. Will you be making use of in-house content creators or will you hire freelancers? Will you use professional editors for your videos and photographers for your photos?
Do you plan to have a social media manager who will be in charge of your social networks? Or will you use a team to share the responsibilities?
Use A Content Calendar
The next step in your content marketing plan is to have a content schedule or calendar. To have an effective strategy, you need to know exactly when you will be sharing your content. We suggest that you incorporate SocialPlanner in your strategy.
Here are just a few benefits to using this social content planner:
Discover Top Performing Content
One of the core features the tool offers is the ability to discover and make use of trending and top-performing content. Finding top performing content from the web and social media is so important because you’ll be able to cherry-pick the best online content directly.
SocialPlanner has powerful filters that you can use to narrow down your search to discover the most valuable content your audience would love to interact with.
You can then post whatever content you find directly to your social media accounts or export to your desktop to use with another tool or manually.
Make A Social Media Action Plan
It is also really important to have a social media action plan that you can use to help impress potential clients. In addition, you can enhance your social media marketing and streamline your busy social media schedule on the fly.
One of the best features of SocialPlanner is the user-friendly visual calendar that we offer as an integral part of our content planner. Easy to use and incredibly well-organized, this drag and drop calendar is a must for all users looking to make the most out of their social media marketing. There is much more to this tool, so we highly recommend you check it out.
Finally, you can now create content and implement your content marketing plan. This is probably the most fun part of digital marketing. Once you’ve created your killer content, you can share it on your different networks and use your scheduling tool. Use all the research you’ve done and the great information we’ve shared here.
You are now equipped with all the tools you need to create a really powerful and effective content marketing strategy. Remember to keep a close eye on your content and how it performs. The best way to truly find the best strategy that really works is by learning from your past performances. Don’t be afraid to make changes to your content strategy. Nothing is ever perfect the first time around. Most importantly, learn and adapt. People can be fickle and you have to change as their demands and needs change. Good luck!