How To Plan A Content Marketing Strategy

October 8, 2018 by in category SEO tagged as , with 0 and 0
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Having a proper content marketing strategy can dramatically improve your content marketing performance, especially in two key areas: cost-efficiency and reliability.

Content marketing can be really expensive when not managed well, and you might not make any money on your investment if you are not careful. Also, even after all your efforts, you might not get the desired results. Having a proper strategy might help to tackle these issues.

Below, we will discuss six of the most important steps you should take when developing a content marketing strategy. Let us begin with the first one.

1. Define Realistic Goals

Having the proper goals can make or break any marketing efforts. The main thing to consider here is that your goal(s) should be as specific as possible while also being realistic enough to achieve.

While there are certainly benefits of having huge, massive goals, if they are not realistic enough to achieve, they might affect the morale of your marketing team in the long run. You can strategize around this by breaking down the big goal(s) into smaller, achievable milestones and work with local SEO expert on achieving them.

Here are some examples of common content marketing goals:

Inbound Traffic

You can develop contents with the specific goal to attract users that are looking for specific information or solutions. The KPIs for this goal should be the number of visitors, returning visitors, dwell time on your site, the number of generated leads, and to some extent, conversion rate.

Brand Awareness and Reputation

The quality of your contents, the information they provide, and their relevance will determine how your audience perceives your business. The main KPI here is social shares, both in quality (shares from brands that matter) and quantity.

Lead and Customer Nurturing

By regularly publishing contents, you can amplify your prospects’ interests to your products. Also, you can maintain or even improve your existing customers’ loyalty. The KPIs you should focus here is churn rate, upsell/cross-sell revenue, and the number of repeat customers.

 

Improving Conversion Rate

Arguably, this one should always be the ultimate goal not only for content marketing, but for the whole marketing activities. Informational contents like case studies and whitepapers can often help in encouraging conversions.

2. Targeting The Right Audience

Finding the right audience for your business and truly understand their needs are the most important factors to successful marketing strategy.

The most common (and effective) method to find the right target audience is to develop a buyer persona, which is an ideal, fictional model of your customer. Check out this guide by HubSpot on how to develop a buyer persona.

Also, you can learn a lot about your ideal customers from your competitors. Chances are, the audience of your closest competitors might also be your ideal audience. So, do your competitive analysis homework.

Gather as much information as you can, and specific to content marketing, your goal here is to figure out their needs, their problems, and how you can provide solutions in the form of your contents. Actively interact with your existing customers and leads. You can interview them in person, over the phone, and make full use of online forms.

3. Finding The Right Media

Choose the right content types and distribution channels according to your target audience. Video and live-streaming contents might be where everyone is these days, but doesn’t necessarily mean they are the right contents for your audience.

Your audience’s needs and preferences should be your number one consideration here. Yet, there are at least a couple of other considerations:

Your Message & Goal

A certain message or goal might be more effective when delivered in a specific form over the other types. Also, your content type(s) should be aligned with your goal. For example, if your goal is to bring more information regarding your products, consider releasing white papers or video tutorials, depending on your audience’s preference.

Budget

Different content types will require different amount of investments. For example, a high-quality video will generally cost more than a blog post. Remember that you should also focus on consistency in regularly publishing contents, so manage your budget accordingly.

4. Have a Content Calendar

Developing a proper content calendar is highly essential to your content marketing success. The purpose of a content calendar is to manage what (topics), where (channels), and when (to publish) of your content marketing details.

Ideally, you should have a 6 to 12-months worth of editorial calendar. Try to at least start with a 3-month calendar.

There are two main aspects of developing an editorial calendar: finding, and listing the topic ideas, and planning where and when you will publish them.

There are many different tools available that can help you in this process:

  • Keyword research tools like Google’s Keyword Planner tool, SEMRush, and Moz’s Explorer among others
  • Use Feedly to keep track of trending topics in your industry
  • The handy HubSpot’s Blog Idea Generator Tool
  • The powerful BuzzSumo to analyze and generate topics

5. Promoting Your Content

Promoting your content is just as, if not more important than the content development process. It’s no use to have a very well-made content nobody is reading. So, while content promotion is a pretty broad subject on its own, here are some pointers to get you started:

  • Use a social media promotion schedule. Understand your audience’s behavior and promote on the most effective times
  • Guest posting still works, focus on building reputation and relationships, and not solely focus on backlinks
  • If your budget allows, consider an influencer marketing campaign
  • Paid advertising is highly relevant nowadays. Again, if your budget allows, consider investing in Google Adwords or Facebook Ads

6. Track Your Progress

The hard fact is: no matter how well you plan and execute your content marketing, there is always a chance it will fail. So, We should always monitor our progress, track the right metrics, and adjust your tactic when it’s necessary.

This guide by Digital Marketing Institute listed some of the most important metrics in content marketing, and remember, the key is to always adapt.

Bottom Line

There are a lot of factors to consider besides the actual content creation process. The first thing you should consider is to establish clear, realistic goals. Also, make sure to always monitor your progress. A good marketer should know when to adjust your strategy and when to endure. Having a clear strategy planned ahead will help you in assessing all the different situations accordingly.

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