Why Developing Your Content Marketing Strategy Should Be #1 on Your To-Do List
You have a content strategy… and a marketing strategy. But do you have a content marketing strategy?
With the ever-increasing dominance of online marketing, standing out from the crowd can be a massive challenge for your business.
Individually, quality content and marketing form the two key elements of effectively communicating with your customer. But together, their value CANNOT be ignored.
Whether it is your business’s objective to attract new customers or simply to retain old ones, developing a strong and integrated content marketing strategy is a sure way to generate sales for your business.
What is Content Marketing Strategy?
Not to be confused with content marketing (we’ll touch on this later), a content marketing strategy is a strategic and integrated approach to publishing, maintaining and distributing content that is valuable and relevant to your business’s target audience.
A well thought out content marketing strategy will encompass the characteristics of your buyer’s journey and customer persona.
Why Should You Develop a Content Marketing Strategy?
Although I must admit that even writing this article, the thought of developing 3 different strategies does seem like a little bit of overkill. But hear me out…
An effective content marketing strategy should not be entirely different from your business’s content strategy and marketing strategy.
Rather a content marketing strategy should combine the objectives of your business’s marketing strategy and apply them to the content that you are producing.
For example, your goal could be to generate more sales and maybe you have a blog. Perhaps you even produce content related to your business’s products and services. But does it target your customer’s persona? Is it relevant to their buyer’s journey?
A content marketing strategy combines all of your business’s objectives into one strategy to ensure that you are utilising your time, money and resources as efficiently and effectively as possible.
Work smarter, not harder right?
A content marketing strategy will engage your audience, generate leads for your business and improve the recognition of your brand, all whilst achieving your business’s main objectives.
The Answers to Every Question You Were Afraid to Ask About Content Marketing Strategies
What is a customer’s persona?
A customer’s persona is a generalized representation of your business’s ideal customer. This persona encompasses the geographic, demographic, psychographic and behavioural factors that all influence your target customer’s purchasing decisions. Through organizing your target market into segments, you can more accurately identify the characteristics of your potential customers. In understanding your customer’s persona, you can tailor your content and marketing to more effectively target and portray the specific features of your goods, services and brand to attract more attention and generate leads.
What is the buyer’s journey?
The buyer’s journey details the process that your customer goes through when deciding and (hopefully) purchasing your goods and services.
A buyer’s journey consists of three steps:
Step 1: Awareness
As a buyer’s journey begins, customers will only just have become aware of the fact that they have a need. In turn, these buyers will conduct a lot of research into their need and the business’s that could fulfil their requirements. In this step, it is crucial for your business to create awareness of your product, service or brand in order to capture these potential customers. How can they know they are interested in you if they don’t even know that you exist yet?
Step 2: Consideration
Once buyers have completed their research and narrowed down their options to a select few companies, they will research even more into your offering and compare it with your competitors. Integrating a marketing automation tool into your content marketing strategy will help gauge if your respective content and marketing strategies are effective at answering all of your buyer’s questions and concerns.
Research by Sirius Decisions found that 70% of the buyer’s journey is complete before a buyer EVEN reaches out to sales to make a decision, therefore, really investing in developing a strong content and marketing base for your business is vital in converting leads.
Step 3: Decision
The final decision in the buyer’s journey is based upon which offering best fits their needs, budget and time frame. Developing a collection of customer testimonials and reviews can help to bring the sale home.
What marketing objectives can be improved or achieved by using a content marketing strategy?
An effective content marketing strategy can increase the amount of traffic to your website, improve conversion rates, assist in providing quality customer service and generate and manage better quality leads.
What measures of success can we use if a content marketing strategy is not separate from the rest of the business?
A content marketing strategy should not be separate from the other departments of your business. Rather, the most effective way of implementing this strategy is through taking a business-wide approach. As a result, content does not need to be changed to meet the goals of the strategy, instead, content that is created will be created with those goals in mind. Although this is the most effective way to implement a content marketing strategy, this does present challenges when trying to determine the overall success of the strategy. The best way to compare and measure results is through KPIs that are specific to the objectives set out in your business’s strategy as well as the overall ROI that occurs.
In what areas can we use a content marketing strategy?
A content marketing strategy can be applied to virtually any areas of your business. However, specifically focusing on customer services, sales, website optimisation and increasing conversions, are all great places to start. Furthermore, as a content marketing strategy is less tangible than search engine marketing, for example, the strategic role of an integrated content and marketing strategy should be your primary focus when establishing your business’s strategy.
Our Top 10 Recommendations for Where to Start When Preparing a Content Marketing Strategy
1. Identify what content your business needs: Work out the different goals that you have for your customer’s journey, buyer’s persona and general branding purposes.
2. Develop a narrative: Create an emotional relationship with your customers by emphasising the values of your business. Link your company’s goals with the requirements of your customer’s persona.
3. Know your buyer’s journey and customer persona: Identifying and then strategically evaluating your customers will ensure that the content that you produce and the marketing that you engage in, is relevant and specific to the requirements of your buyers.
4. Plan: A content marketing strategy will not become effective overnight, nor will it be effective if it is not consistently implemented across your business. Create an inventory of content that you already have and start to plan out the content that need in need
in the future to address your goals.
5. Define your content-specific metrics: To understand the full value of using an integrated content marketing strategy, you need to establish relevant KPIs and identify previous ROIs in order to measure your success.
6. Implement automated marketing processes: Like it or not, using the right content at the right time and in the right place can often be the difference between capturing and losing a customer. Through automating some areas of your marketing process, you can keep your business at
the forefront of your customer’s mind as they pass through the buyer’s journey.
7. Create a consistent voice and tone: Ensuring that all the content that is produced for your business maintains the same tone, will create a professional and consistent image for your brand.
8. Optimise and test your current systems: Nothing is a greater turn off for customers than to see a poorly functioning and difficult to use website. Ensuring that your content does not negatively impact your business’s Google Ranking and is mobile friendly will give your content
marketing strategy the greatest chance of succeeding.
9. Evaluate the competition: As we mentioned earlier, 70% of your buyer’s journey is completed before the customer has any form of contact with your business about sales. As a result, completing a SWOT analysis related to your buyer’s journey can help provide a strong direction for
your future content and marketing development.
10. Regularly update your content: Producing new content and regularly updating existing content, will ensure that your business keeps up with the current trends.
Developing a strong, integrated content marketing strategy is vital to ensuring the strategic success of your business.
A thorough and well-executed strategy will help manage and generate leads, increase traffic, improve customer engagement and create value chains.
Furthermore, it will capture the attention of your prospective customers in the buyer’s journey by identifying and exceeding their requirements in your customer’s persona.
Whether you are looking to capture new customers or simply retain your old ones, developing a strategic and highly integrated content marketing strategy, will achieve your business’s objectives.