The five steps for a content marketing strategy post is to help you get started with this program. After all, it can be one of the most straightforward tactics you can implement and integrates easily into most of your other marketing tactics.
Let’s start with the definition of Content Marketing, which is the art of socially engaging your brand with your customers and prospective customers via original content produced by you, without selling to them.
1- Center Content strategy So Your Customer Can Find You
If you are still creating the right brand message and brand position for your company, it would be best to finalize this part before embarking with your content marketing program. However, as I write this, online marketing tactics change so fast, that this may change as well.
In the meantime, start planning your content based on keywords, business goals, product launches, FAQ as well as brand image problems. For example, you can address a recurring sales objection based on an incorrect brand image through content marketing. By developing a series of blog posts that either challenge the misconception or that shows proof is a great way to help change your brand image.
To reiterate, this type of content needs to based on facts and industry insight. It is not merely a copy of your competition’s content or vague insight into the last trade show your company exhibited.
Also, there are some content basics that we, as humans, like to read. Things like content that reminds us that “time is short.” An article like an annual “what we’ve accomplished” or a personal reflection about your business’s success and failures. Content that reminds us that dreams can come true, this can be a blog post on the road to success for either you or on one of your employees.
Create a content calendar to take advantage of and leverage important dates. Take a look at the National Calendar Day site; it is a source for fun, unusual, and unique National Days, tracking nearly 1,500 National Days. Now you have no excuse! For your next trade show, make it more than, “Hey, we’re heading off to a trade show, met us there!” post.
2- Become Knowledgeable in Content Strategy
Sorry, just handing out content marketing to a junior assistant who is learning on the job will get you nowhere. Content marketing is part of your sales process, a lead generator! You don’t need to be an expert but do become knowledgeable in how content is shared, understand how your content affects SEO and social sharing.
Here is a list of the type of content your target audience may be interested in consuming:
- Case Studies
- Email Marketing
- News / Press Release
- Article Submission
- Guest Blogging
The following are under marketing tactics for a content marketing program, but I don’t agree, these are pure advertising.
- Native Advertising (although I don’t see this content strategy)
- Print Advertising
3 – Be realistic in your goal setting
You should commit to a Content Marketing program for at least six months because you need time to gather data. It is unrealistic to believe that one blog post will create tons of leads for you. Unlike media relations, where if you get written up by a third-party, you will most likely get sales leads from this write-up.
Also, clicks and opens are the typical measurements but not the only measurement for success. Instead, you need to measure sustained levels of engagement and the impact on your sales cycle.
4 – Integrate with the total marketing plan
That being said, define why you need content marketing in your marketing plan. Most importantly, this program is not free, even if you plan on using internal staff, they will still need the time to write, edit and implement the right technology, share as well as look for creative, photos and then learn what to measure, correctly.
Regarding the topic of measurement, like any marketing tactic, clicks mean nothing if it doesn’t support sales and revenues. Any content marketing plan should be designed to either shorten the sales cycle or increase lead generation. If not, then it is not worth the effort.
Should you be looking for fast results in the way of lead generation, then consider Google Adwords, a tactic that is the most cost-effective in the digital marketing mix.
5- Determine Your SALES Channels
Any content marketing plan needs a home. This means you will need to add a blog to your current website or set up a blog. Also, conduct online research to find out where your customers and prospective customers hang out. You don’t need to be on all social media platforms. Find out where your customers live online and build your community on these platforms.
Keep in mind that Social media platforms are fast-moving, what’s popular today and change tomorrow.
Finally, don’t worry, you won’t get it wrong. Content marketing is a new tactic and new for everyone else!