Content Marketing Strategy
Content marketing is a very important part of acquiring new and recurring business and should be treated as such. Getting visitors to a website is one of the hardest tasks to accomplish online, sometimes even more so than actually getting sales. Businesses and brands spend countless hours trying to get the right people to visit their website in hope of converting them into a customer. This is where having an effective content marketing strategy can come into play. If done right, your website could receive high-quality and qualified visitors who are interested in your niche and have a better chance of generating you revenue. But the hard part that many people struggle with when it comes to creating a content marketing strategy is… where to start?
Content Marketing Strategy Phases
You can’t get sales without traffic.
There are many methods to generate traffic, but what works for some, doesn’t work for others. You need to test different ways of generating traffic so you can find the most effective practice to get prospects to your website.
Once you get prospects to your website you need to convert them into a lead. You need content that caters to every stage of the buying cycle so that your visitors can trust you and make an informed decision that you are who they want to do business with.
The buyer’s journey consists of multiple stages and your website’s visitors will span all of them. Your solid base of content should drive email subscriptions so you can communicate directly with them to steer them towards the last stage of the buying cycle.
That stage that we all wish we could just skip to; the money.
While you will have visitors who practically have their wallet out when they arrive on your site, they otherwise are going to need to go through at least one of the previous stages before getting here.
Your content marketing strategy must answer basic questions such as who is the most relevant audience for your content, what benefits you can bring to them and how the experience of consuming your content should be for them. But, before you can find your target audience that you’re going to tailor your content marketing strategy to, you need to identify some key areas first so that your strategy can be relevant from the start.
Your Goals and Objectives
For your content marketing strategy to make sense, you must first answer a fundamental question: why are you doing content marketing and what do you want to achieve with it?
The objectives and methods of content marketing completely determine the action plan to follow, since not all types and formats of content serve the same purposes. Therefore, having things clear from the beginning prevents us from investing time and resources in content that does not help you achieve what you want.
To address this section, our recommendation is that you focus first on identifying weak points of your company’s marketing in general.
These are some possibilities:
Is it difficult for you to penetrate a new market, launch products successfully or compete with the market leader? If the answer is yes, maybe what you need is to make your brand known to potential customers.
Brand recognition and awareness can instantly boost sales once established. This leads to more exposure, which can then create loyalty. Think of all the brands that you personally take preference over others for, regardless of the cost or hassle involved with purchasing from it.
In order to achieve this, you should look into creating a Branding Strategy for your business.
Involvement of the Audience
This can be a good focus if you want to improve the reputation of your brand as a reliable source of information or to attract influencers to become ambassadors of your brand.
Involving the audience is great because your potential customers can disassociate the feeling that you’re just a business after their money and are showing a fun and human side by interacting with them.
You can involve your website visitors by running contests, promotions, and giveaways and you could also create fun surveys and questionnaires that they can complete in exchange for a discount code.
To see if you need to work on this aspect, do not focus only on the number of total visits. Evaluate if your social media ads and search engine campaigns are working, if visitors stay long enough on your website or if they are visiting the most critical pages for conversion.
Your website should have Google Analytics integrated into it so you can see this data and optimize your site accordingly.
Lead Generation and Nurturing
Do you have problems finding or qualifying new potential customers? Do you think there is a bottleneck in your conversion funnel? Are you collecting emails so you can market to them? Do you have a live chat system on your website?
Every visitor that lands on your website presents an opportunity, no matter how big or small, to convert them into a lead.
You can offer discount codes in exchange for their email address, give out a free eBook or product guide, and having a live chat system can answer their pre-sales questions and facilitate the buying process faster.
Customer Retention and Loyalty
If you have many customer service inquiries or you have a hard time building loyalty, this may be one of your weak points. You could streamline your funnel so that your potential customers get the answers they are looking for without contacting you.
Once you are clear about what you want to work on, you can use it as a basis to define your content marketing objectives. In general, you can group them into one of these three categories:
Content that supports specific campaigns or products in order to increase conversions.
Content designed to improve the efficiency of your marketing in general (for example, reducing calls to customer service).
Content that encourages the creation of new sources of income or product lines.
How to Define Your Audience
Once you have determined your goals and objectives and you know what you want to achieve with your content marketing strategy, the next step is determine who will see it. And although we love to think that our content is universally attractive, the truth is that they work much better when they are focused on a specific niche.
To find out what your main audience is, think about the type of user you can help the most with your content.
These questions may help you discover it:
Based on the type of content you’re going to create, what type of people would be most receptive to it?
How old would they be?
Where would they live?
Would they most likely work in a specific profession?
What gender are they?
Would they likely to be single, married, or both?
Once you have identified your main audience, you will have to define it more precisely, so that all your efforts are clear about how that person is and how you can take it into account when planning and creating content.
If you’re creating video content for your website that sells luxury men’s products, what audience would you want to market that video to?
Men who are 25+, live in a specific area, and work in certain professions would seem like a logical target market.
But without knowing your audience, you could get this really wrong.
What if your target market in this example wasn’t actually the people who would be wearing your luxury men’s products, but was the wives or girlfriends who purchase these products for their partners as gifts?
You could have created the best video and marketing campaign in the world, but it was seen by the wrong people.
To achieve this, it is essential that your content marketing strategy includes a buyer persona, that is, an ideal customer profile of your brand based on their interests, objectives, challenges, circumstances, and who would be the one making the purchase. This person is essentially a robot portrait of a fictitious client based on the common characteristics of your audience. This portrait is what the majority of your clientele would fit into, but can of course vary depending on your niche and what you sell. You can start by identifying this, so you at least have what would be considered a “main” model to target.
And finally, once you know what your goals and your audience are, you are here: Define the overall mission of your content marketing strategy.
The mission is a brief statement of the unique vision of your brand’s content marketing efforts: the value it offers to users, the audience it targets, its principles and priorities.
The mission of your content marketing strategy should be able to help your entire company understand what are the key points that differentiate your content from all others competing for the attention of your audience. Defining a mission helps your team make informed decisions about content creation, as they can use it as a basis to decide which ideas and formats are best aligned with your final objectives.
Tips For an Effective Content Marketing Strategy
It’s a common misconception that content marketing is writing a blog post, sharing it on social media, and then waiting for the hordes of traffic to swarm in. A crude simplification that leaves aside the basic principles of strategy, analysis, planning, and action.
There’s so much more to content marketing than this, and the ways that you can promote your content doesn’t have to be limited to social media either. Let’s take a look at some content marketing tips that you can follow and integrate into your strategy.
Make Use of Tools and Resources
Wrike: This is a project management solution that enables you to organize all your projects and write all the updates or changes for your workers, besides controlling the time that each task and person takes. Great tool if you have a team and want to manage the workflow.
Social Pilot: This is a social media scheduler that supports all of the major networks and many more additional ones too. Scheduling content on social media can be very time consuming and quite frustrating when you have to log in and out of all the networks constantly. Use this great tool to make things easier and manage them all from the one place.
Grammar Checker: Having grammatically correct sentences in your content is essential and there’s always the chance of missing something during proofreading. Take advantage of this software to aid with spelling, punctuation, grammar, and even recommendations to rephrase sentences.
Video Creation Software: If you’re getting into video marketing then you’re going to need some good software that can produce high-quality videos for you to promote. Make use of these ones below for different styles.
Many believe that content marketing just consists of publishing articles about your niche. Of course, you have to publish on social networks as well, but you have to offer different types of content for each channel and for each audience.
Some people have a preferred social network that they frequent and each network responds differently to the same type of content.
People on Twitter may not want a link to an article and are happy with a 180-word summation while people on Facebook may want to be directed to a 2000 word blog post.
When making a publication calendar, always remember that preparing a good mixture of different types of content and that always sticking with the same content format won’t be effective forever.
Create Landing Pages
Traffic figures are always better when they have conversion rates. Getting people to read your blog or visit the store is fine, but getting them to perform an action is the ideal goal: To subscribe to the newsletter or make a purchase.
Landing pages are an essential complement to any marketing strategy. These special pages allow you to personalize the design and the texts as if they were an advertisement or a sponsored entry. They are specific and clear, with a call to action directly focused on increasing the conversion rate.
Measure Your Results
Remember, none of this is worth it if you are not measuring your results. Without numbers telling you what’s happening, the effectiveness of your strategy is only a hypothesis. Analyzing the numbers that are behind everything you have been doing is the best way to know what you’re doing right and how to do it better.
If you’ve been going hard on Twitter and getting lots of followers recently, that’s great!
But what use are they if you only sell products to the US market and all those followers are from the other side of the world and will never buy from you?
You need to know everything about everything so you know what’s working so you can scale it up, and what’s not working so you can either tweak it or cease it.
With all the time we spent creating original content, we often put aside the most important part: promotion. Social networks and email are the most obvious ways to promote your material, but paid advertising is often left out. This is no surprise, as virtually everyone wants to market their eCommerce website with the least amount of capital possible.
There are many cases of brands that have used only free channels to grow the audience organically, but this is usually the exception and not the rule. Likewise, if the time and effort devoted had a monetary equivalent, then you could say that the effort made by the brands was not free. It took time; which is money.
Investing in paid ads that help distribute content could mean a large increase in the amount of traffic, and more importantly, traffic that converts. Getting attention in the super dense and populated ecosystem that is the internet is becoming an increasingly difficult task, but taking a marketing budget to spend on ads can be a response that makes a difference.