Content Marketing has become one of the greatest marketing buzzwords in use today. Everyone seems to be jumping on the content marketing bandwagon; but very few are thinking through all the aspects of content marketing and this is what makes content marketing fall short of its promised mark. The following will outline the six aspects of content marketing that need to at the very least, be thought through to ensure that you have a holistic approach to content marketing planning! A content marketing approach still requires a business case to motivate to the business that a content marketing strategy is a definite strategic route for your business with tangible business results.
Arguably the best and most complicated place to start when undertaking a content marketing strategy. For a content strategy to work you need to understand more about your audience than just their demographic information. Granted understanding that they are typically males living within a certain area of an age rage between 35 and 45 who all have tertiary education does help; but it tells you nothing of their needs, wants, fears and challenges. This information will unlock the most pivotal component of your content strategy and that is giving them information that they want and need!
You need to be able to understand who within your organisation can be used as a subject matter expert. Simply palming off content creation to an employee is not going to cut it. You have to be able to align the needs and wants of your audience with your internal resources who are not only able, but willing to help ensure that you win business through your content strategy.
This is not necessarily the behaviour of your content specialists within your organisation (although that is also important) this is rather the behaviours of your target audience. Where do they spend their time online? Where do they research solutions for their problems? And most importantly where do they fit into the buying decision or buying process of their organisation? This is critically important as you need to align your content to the audience as well as their role in the buying process.
Linked very closely to behaviour is channel. Where is your audience spending their time? Will mobile content be a primary driver for you, or will purely desktop content suffice? The trick here is that the channel also needs to take into account what kind of content is best suited for the different channels. For instance; content that is highly driven towards converting a visitor to a lead is not well suited as an infographic which is generally more informational; where a ROI calculator inspires more action from your audience.
This is where the business case for content marketing strategy comes alive! You need to be very clear and specific about how you are going to measure the effects of your content efforts to ensure that you are able to show a positive ROI. There needs to be some lead scoring and a concrete way of tracking and scoring each person within your content funnel.
Your content strategy is only as good as your last piece of content. Be sure to incorporate everything that you have learnt about your audience as well as the way in which they consume your content. Be sure to test using AB Tests and ensure that the user experience is never forgotten! Always be looking to improve your content marketing strategy by taking note of what has and hasn’t worked and then adapt your strategy!
By following these six steps in your content marketing strategy you are not necessarily guaranteed that your strategy will succeed; but you are taking some definite steps to make sure it doesn’t fail!
3 Content Marketers you NEED to follow:
— HubSpot (@HubSpot) May 17, 2013
— Jeff Bullas (@jeffbullas) May 17, 2013
— Michael Brenner (@BrennerMichael) May 16, 2013