Content marketing can a puzzle. The following can help solve the mystery. When done properly, content marketing should improve brand awareness and recognition, develop lasting relationships and position your business as an industry expert.
Put content marketing strategy in perspective. What is it, and why is it significant? Your content marketing strategy is a crucial part of your existing and potential customers’ online experiences and includes planning, creation, publication and governance. According to the Content Marketing Institute, content influences almost every business strategy:
- Content marketing generates three times more leads per dollar than traditional advertising.
- Clicks from shared content are five times more likely to end in a purchase.
- People spend more than 50 percent of their time online reading content, with an additional 30 percent spent on social media.
- More than 70 percent of consumers say content marketing makes them feel closer to a brand.
Think of your content as a pyramid with five levels.
- The top level, and most valuable, includes primary and secondary research, surveys, books and courses.
- The second includes eBooks, white papers, long-form blogs and articles of more than 1,200 words.
- The third includes videos, webinars, infographics, presentations and demonstrations.
- The fourth includes worksheets, checklists, shorter blogs, case studies, reviews, testimonials, Q&A documents and curated content.
- The bottom level, and generally easiest to produce, includes social media posts.
Determine which direction to go by knowing where you are starting. In other words, audit your content. The objective is to learn what you have/need and how content is used, reused and delivered. Consider two views: an inventory (what’s there) and an assessment (what’s good). Use the “Rule of 5” for content creation. If you can think of five ways to use a piece of content, then you should consider creating it. There are many ways to repurpose content, such as turning a blog post into a series of tweets, a video and a case study. The idea is to use content in multiple ways, so you can reach who you want, while staying relevant and adding value.
Make content educational, not promotional. You can have the best advertising, the most Twitter followers and the trendiest design. But, for your messages to stick and gain momentum, you must have content they want. People will not tweet about your website or click that Facebook “Like” button if you don’t have anything worth sharing. Content is about what customers and prospects want, not about what you want. Address pain points and provide solutions.
Think lifecycle, not launch. It is crucial to have regular, ongoing maintenance of your content’s accuracy, relevance, timeliness and uniformity. Put one person in charge, and create a content calendar or plan. While no one owns the content, someone must be accountable for the day-to-day oversight of the content creation, delivery and governance – like an editor-in-chief who manages the team of reporters, writers and contributors.
With a content strategy in place, it will be treated more like a business asset and not as an afterthought. In the end, content must be:
- Sound – base your decisions on business strategies and the objectives of existing and potential customers.
- Practical – make it realistic for your business and the resources you have.
- Planned – focus on the long-term and who will manage the who, what, when, where, why and how.