What is content marketing strategy? Many business owners and marketing managers are still not clear what content marketing means or its importance and certain impact on their business. If you’re a business owner in 2018 and you still believe that advertisements are sufficient to convince your target customers to make a purchase, then congratulations on your mediocre status for the rest of your business life.
Many business owners and marketing managers are still not clear what content marketing means or its importance and certain impact on their business. If you’re a business owner in 2018 and you still believe that advertisements are sufficient to convince your target customers to make a purchase, then congratulations on your mediocre status for the rest of your business life.
Your target customer is a human with needs he wants to be satisfied and challenges he wants to know how to fix. In other words, he is primarily concerned with things that are directly relevant to him. He will probably make contact with your adverts only because you’ve jammed it before the face, in the most conspicuous way.
Content marketing is the opposite of advertising but serves the same traditional marketing goals.
Let’s have a look at what content marketing is and how an effective content marketing strategy can help you effectively reach your target audience.
What Is Content Marketing?
In the best practical way ever, content marketing is gaining the trust of your prospective customers by being part of their experience in their journey of solving life’s problems and challenges.
Content positions valuable and relevant information as the core of marketing.
Content Marketing Institute defines content marketing as:
‘Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.’
What Is Content Marketing Strategy?
Without a strategy, content marketing will be nothing more than churning out interesting content and hoping it attracts some audience. Like every form of marketing, content marketing is very strategic and requires effective and tactical planning. A content marketing strategy is an execution plan on how to achieve the intended marketing goals for your business.
Without a properly designed content strategy, your content marketing efforts will be missing the point. With the rising noise about content marketing, many businesses have jumped on-board, but have only succeeded in dumping in mistargeted content in the already overflowing sea of digital content.
How You Can Effectively Reach Your Audience With The Right Content
A content strategy that will hit its target audience must be tailored from the core with a deep understanding of its audience. Your audience is essentially the prospects of your business – potential customers. To rightly anticipate who the audience for your content will be, you must have a well-detailed customer persona.
Most models for content strategy start with defining your marketing goal.
However, if you stopped to think about it, the entire essence of content marketing is that it builds its base on the very needs, the pain point of the customer. It is driven by staying helpful, relevant and in every way resourceful to him.
Therefore, it would only make the most sense for your content marketing strategy
Your content marketing strategy should put your customer at the heart of all stages of decisions.
Understand Your Customer Persona
There is no other precondition for successful marketing than knowing who exactly are your customers. You must be able to describe who your business serves, how it serves him and why it does. This gives you simultaneous, knowledge of your customer’s needs and how to provide for them.
To develop and better understand your customer persona, here is a guide. Note that there could be multiple customer personas and negative customer persona.
To develop and better understand your customer persona, here is a guide.
- ANALYSE your company’s business, its unique selling point, the peculiarities of its products or services and its preferred market.
- REVIEW your business history to uncover trends in the category of leads and customers you have got.
- FEEDBACK from your sales team and ask them to make some generalizations about who your business serves better. If your business is just starting out, you can make a good observation of who the targets are for your competitors.
- OBSERVE whom your competitors target with their marketing efforts, especially If your business is just starting out.
- RESEARCH the market. If you need even more information on your market, good research is very key. You can conduct interviews or online survey to gather data that will be resourceful in helping you drilling down to who exactly your products serve best.
- CONSTRUCT a Customer Persona template from the data you have gathered and interpreted. It should include the following:
Note, however, that your business could have multiple customer personas, for the different categories of people it serves.
It is also important for you to create a negative customer persona. The negative customer is the one who will refuse and reject your product.
It is important to clearly differentiate this persona, because all your marketing will prove futile to this category, and resources wasted.
Craft Customer-Inspired Marketing Goals
Content Marketing Goals will vary greatly for different businesses, however, the most traditional of all includes:
- Brand Awareness
- Thought Leadership
- Customer Acquisition
- Website Traffic
- Customer Retention/Loyalty
- Leads Generation/Management/Nurturing
However content marketing is less tangible than other marketing approaches and can be for many reasons, this is the exact reason why you must give critical thought to the role content marketing will play in your business’ overall goal.
In determining what marketing goals to prioritize, there is no better effective means than being inspired by your market, the customer. Utilizing the knowledge you have of your customer will give you an easier time knowing what are your best marketing strategies.
As well as how to map appropriate content to your customers. Your customer’s engagement with your brand’s content is the only way you can measure the level of accomplishments of your content marketing efforts.
Ask the following questions:
- What is the current status of your audience’s relationship with your brand? (And with your competitors)
- How can you close in on the gaps identified and strengthen what is currently working?
- What content is needed to fulfill these goals?
Neil Patel explains that the key is to move the focus away from the marketer and to the person that the marketer is trying to reach. You should always start with your audience.
Develop a Well Tailored Content Plan
A content plan is a documented tactical direction on the specifics of how you will execute your strategy. Your content should be aligned to fulfill your goals. Using the antiquated and commonly used 5 Ws and H you can explore a step-by-step approach in exploring the necessary to effectively engage your target audience.
Who? Who is your content for?
The question of ‘who?’ has been adequately dealt if you have a well-detailed customer persona. The next important thing is what content is appropriate for your identified audience. It is important to remember as your audience interacts with your brand and progresses on the customer journey towards a purchase, your content for each stage should also evolve. This is what is known as content mapping.
What? What is your content about?
What will you content be about? What is the overall message in your content and how does it influence your relationship with your audience. Your content should be designed to engage and foster a relationship. Your content must also effectively communicate your brand message, it’s uniqueness, and how it solves problems for your customer. Good content should have an original voice that is unique to your brand. Storytelling is the greatest tool of content marketing, because stories are appealing and contain the human element.
Where? Where is going to be published?
Your content is useless if it is not accessible by your targeted audience. A detailed customer persona template should be able to tell you his social media behavior and preferences. Your content marketing strategy should have a plan for distributing and promoting content tactically. in such a way that your content is positioned where your customer can encounter it in the most relevant of places.
The following are established tools for optimizing your content for visibility and accessibility:
When? When will your content be published?
Getting the timing and frequency right is one of the most important things for your content marketing strategy. Your customer persona has habits that influence what times he is present online and reachable with your content. There’s a science to it and it is important that you get it right. The social behavior data you gathered is very resourceful in helping you decide the best times to publish content. However, it is important to study insights and the performance of your previous content, so you can hook on the patterns that shape your audience’s engagement with your content overtime. Your content plan should have a daily schedule for publishing content. Most importantly, the frequency is the fuel of content marketing, and consistency is key. Keep up the pace!
How? How will you create your content?
The ‘how’ of your content plan refers to the designs and formats you decide to publish your content and what tools you will use in creating them. How will you create content? How will it look like? Using a variety of content formats is highly important for better engagement. Content that is available in different formats have a better chance of appealing to different preferences across your target audience. It is also important for your content to be in a shareable form so that your audience can easily distribute in their network . This helpful for better circulation of your content. Content in the most shareable and engaging forms always perform better.
Why? Why is your content created?
Answering the ‘why’ question should review the reasons for each item in your content plan, each tactic and approach you have chosen for your content. The reasons for what content you create, the platforms, time and frequency you publish them ought should always be checked to align with the overall desired results from your marketing efforts.
How does your content plan align with the following:
- Your target audience’s attributes
- Your Budget
- Business Goals
Still not sure how an agency can help you improve your business blogging efforts? Check out our content marketing services page for a better idea of how we work with clients to drive better results through their blogs and other types of digital marketing content.