Every company knows the importance of content marketing. Their goal is to achieve content marketing success, they try to implement and yet fail. There are various reasons why companies fail to do best in content marketing. Before we learn how to create a great content marketing strategy, let’s first discuss these reasons. To understand this, we must know the difference between content marketing and traditional marketing.
Content Strategy Vs Marketing Strategy
Content marketing is not advertising
Many companies confuse content marketing with content advertising and end up trying to sell their product in the name of content marketing. So, the first struggle of any business is to create a truly valuable content excluding advertisements in the message. Content marketing is to connect with the people. But the counterintuitive nature makes businesses not to give away their precious time on a content without embedding some kind of sales pitch.
Content marketing is not sales
It is often noticed that whenever companies attempt content marketing, the follow the same approach they do with traditional marketing and advertising. The main advantage of content marketing is that that it allows the companies to connect with people and build a trusted relationship. Some companies simply enjoy the likes, shares and comments or their posts and consider that as success. However, it is necessary to engage through the comments.
Content marketing is a long game
Companies feel lost doing content marketing because they expect immediate hike in their sales or business. That is not the case with content marketing as it is not sales. It is actually a catalyst to the sales process which takes time in the start but eventually works out perfect later. Unlike advertisements, content marketing is not just one time content thing, but it is creating weeks and months of engaging and varied content.
To conclude this part, companies should first avoid making mistakes in understanding what content marketing is. Only then, they will be able to create a successful content marketing strategy. As per the Content Marketing Institute, having a content marketing strategy is not “nice to have”, instead it is an important part of success. 57% of content marketers still claim that they do not have a content marketing strategy. On the other hand, content marketers with a documented content marketing strategy have rated their efforts more successful than those who don’t. If you have understood the difference, then you are one step closer to content marketing success.
You are just 7 steps away to create a great content marketing strategy for your company!
What is the first step in your content marketing strategy? If your answer is “setting up goals”, you already have unlocked the first step. The next 6 steps totally depend on the first step as this step gives direction to the whole content marketing strategy.
Setting your goals
To achieve content marketing success, it is important for the company to know what, how, who, where, and why. Companies often forget to know why they are doing content marketing. Goal setting is important because it gives a specific direction to the content marketers. Example of goal settings can include: To create leads, to create brand awareness, to build relationships, to improve your customers’ experience. These goals are set keeping in mind the mission and vision of the company. Hence, they should be sustainable should benefit the company in long-term.
Structure your content
Even though there is a large glut of content that is published every day, the contents you publish on your digital channel should be focused on certain topics. How will you make sure that your content is different from others? You should decide if your content is to spread current news or facts, to create Youtility, to motivate or inspire, or to educate and entertain. It is possible to have more than 1 aim but you have to make sure that it is not derailing you from your goal.
Measuring your Content Marketing
Analysis! All your efforts in content marketing are only fruitful when you do analysis of the performance of your content. Analysis must be done for all the channels used for content marketing. Most of the times, there are different audience to target in different channels. For example, you can target professionals, Gen X, and some of the millennials through LinkedIn; whereas you can choose social media platforms like Instagram to catch attention of rest of the millennials, Gen Z, and Gen Alpha. Therefore, even strategy carries from content marketing platform to platform. You can also use metrics to understand the performance of your content.
Define your audience
This is where you are answer for whom are you creating content for. As mentioned earlier, your audience is different in every marketing channel. If your content is relevant to the audience, the content be magically grab attention and time of the people. In order to be relevant, you have to understand your audience first. It is true that you come across several types of audience, but you must focus on top 5 only. Companies often consider only the demographics of the audience, but they should also focus on the psychographics.
Read your audience
You will almost do a part of this step in the step 4 but no matter how much you do, it will advantageous if you use 5x5x5 methodology. You need to understand your audience in a way that you yourself become one of them. You should be able to read their wants, their needs, and their expectations. So how does this methodology help? It will consider top 5 of your audiences, look at their top 5 questions at each of the 5 important stages of the marketing funnel.
Manage your content
How to manage your content? Another important question. It is a common misconception that content marketers think that they should provide content as more as possible. As we talked about in the step 2, there is a glut of content out there. You will have a large amount of data for one topic from several sources or experiences. But you have to eliminate trash data and only write those that would be appreciated by the audience. The size, language difficulty, video/image, etc., depends on the audience. If you want to offer a large content to your audience, you can do atomization. Atomization is taking a huge piece of content and then breaking it done into smaller pieces of content. With this, you will have benefit of audience engagement as well. Thus, it is extremely important to manage your content and provide relatable and eye-catchy contents.
Create a content calendar
This is the last and an important step. It is necessary to have a content calendar. If posting on social media, it is better to post the content when your audience will have time and energy to view them. Organize and decide which content would be good to publish when. Random is not an option because with the help of an organized calendar, your audience will know when to expect next content from you.
Remember, there are no secrets to creating a great content marketing strategy. Although it may seem to be simple and obvious tasks to achieve it, it might be bit challenging when implementing. These 7 key steps would provide a quintessential framework for long- term content marketing success. These steps will help make a framework of a great content marketing strategy, so it is important to keep updating the strategy every time based on the analysis. The audience behaviour is volatile so you will have to redo the steps to adjust with it. Keep in mind that content marketing is not for you, it is for the audience. Follow our LinkedIn page for more insights on our content marketing strategy and join our community of young entrepreneurs to stay tuned to other various aspects of entrepreneurship.