This article will tell you the steps you will need to follow to develop a content marketing strategy. You will also learn the difference between a content strategy and content marketing. For help developing your own content marketing strategy, contact SEO Design Chicago today.
Content Marketing Strategy
What is a content marketing strategy?
A content marketing strategy is a plan for building an audience by publishing content that educates, entertains, and inspires people to become fans or customers of a company or brand. The end goal of a content marketing strategy is to create more customers, but it is a long-term strategy to get there. Instead of directly pitching a product or service to these potential customers, you will provide them with necessary information to make them your audience first. Did you know that P&G, John Deere, and Microsoft all use content marketing strategies?
Do I really need a content marketing strategy?
Maybe you are a small business owner who doesn’t have the budget for a content marketing strategist. Or maybe you don’t think it will be worth it to spend all the time and effort developing a content marketing strategy. You aren’t alone. In 2019, more than 60 percent of content marketers still said they did not have a documented marketing strategy, according to the Content Marketing Institute.
However, every business needs a content marketing strategy. Content marketing is proven to increase sales, ultimately save costs, and cultivate loyal customers. Your business is already producing content – why wouldn’t you have a strategy for all of that content? Companies with a documented content marketing strategy are more likely to consider themselves effective at content marketing. They are also less challenged with several aspects of content marketing and consider themselves more effective at content marketing in general and on their social media channels.
What should a content marketing strategy include?
There are a few components that any content marketing strategy should include. First, come up with a business plan for your content marketing strategy. How much can you and will you spend on your campaign marketing campaign? What are your goals? What obstacles might you encounter? Especially if you are a part of a large company, this step is crucial. Others might not agree that content marketing is necessary, so be prepared.
Second, create your audience persona. This is where you describe the specific audience for whom you will be creating your content. Third, figure out your brand story. Your brand story will characterize how you present your brand or business in your content. What ideas and messages do you want to communicate to your audience? Fourth, make a channel plan. That is a list of all the platforms you will use to post your content and tell your story.
Content Strategy vs. Content Marketing
The terms content strategy and content marketing are sometimes used interchangeably. However, there is a difference between a content strategy and content marketing. What is it? Let’s define each term.
What is a content strategy?
A content strategy refers to the planning and management of all the content that you create, own, and post. Whether it’s written, visual, downloadable, on social media or your website – all of that encompasses your content. It’s important to always have a strategy for your content.
What is content marketing?
Content marketing, on the other hand, is a little more complicated. It is a type of marketing that involves the creation and sharing of different kinds of online material, like blogs or social media. It does not explicitly promote a brand, but it is intended to increase interest in its products or services.
Did you know that comic books are one of the original forms of content marketing? Comic books were developed by companies that sold action figures to help them sell the action figures. The comic books enhanced the popularity of the characters behind the action figures, and the success of the comic books themselves was just incidental.
Steps to Developing A Content Marketing Strategy
Though there is no such thing as a one size fits all content marketing strategy that will work for every business, we can still help. Here are five steps to help you develop a content marketing strategy for yourself. Whether you are starting from scratch and want to develop a brand new content marketing strategy, or your current one is not working as well as you had hoped, the steps below can help you.
Write Down Your Goals
What do you want to achieve with your content marketing strategy? Before you get started, write down your goals and be specific. Do you want to create new customers? Build relationships with potential leads? Improve your customers’ experiences? Whatever they are, make sure you know what they are and that everyone on your content marketing strategy team knows, too. That way everyone starts out on the same page.
Consider Hiring A Content Marketing Agency
Before you start working on a content marketing strategy on your own, consider hiring an agency like SEO Design Chicago to help you. An agency like ours can take on the hard work of running a campaign for you while you tend to your own business. We have experts in content creation, content marketing, and more that can handle all the aspects of a content marketing strategy for your business.
Know Your Target Audience
One of the first steps to any successful content marketing strategy is to know who your target audience is. There is one person your content marketing strategy begins with, and it isn’t you. It’s your customer. Who is your ideal customer? What is he or she about? What are their likes and dislikes? What problem do they have that you can help them fix? What do they want? Once you know as much as possible about your target audience, creating your content will be a lot easier.
Research Your Competitors
A smart step to take as part of any content marketing strategy is to research what your competitors are doing. Since you share a target audience with your competitors, you can see what is working for them and what is not. There are several online tools that let you see and measure what your competitors are doing in terms of content marketing.
Find Your Niche
What sets you apart from your competitors? What is the one thing that makes your brand or company different from all of the others? Every brand has one. Whatever that niche is for you, find it and create your content with niche that in mind.
Create Your Content with the Customer in Mind
The next step is to create your content. If you have not already employed a content marketing agency to help you, this is a step in which to consider it. Content creation should be an ongoing process and you should regularly be posting new content. If you keep your ideal customer in mind while you write and create, it should be easy. Don’t forget, you are not your customer. You want to educate your customer and enhance their understanding of your brand or industry.
Choose Your Social Media Platforms
Obviously, all of your content will live on your website. But which social media platforms will you use to promote your content? You can choose the platforms where your target audience spends most of its time. Then, choose the times that are best to post on each platform by looking at data of when your target demographic is most often online.
Create A Calendar
An important step in any content marketing strategy is to create a calendar. This will help you stay on track with creating and posting your content. It will also help you space out your posts for your audience. A calendar also keeps everyone organized, if more than one person is working on creating and posting content. One tool available for you online is Hootsuite, a social media marketing and management dashboard.
Measure If Your Strategy Is Working
Now that you have implemented the rest of your content marketing strategy, you need to make sure your hard work is, well, working. There are several tools you can use to measure your success. Google Analytics is one example, and various social media platforms also have dashboards where you can see your engagement numbers.
If you don’t immediately start seeing results from your content marketing strategy, don’t panic. Unlike pay-per-click advertising campaigns, content marketing is a long game. It might take time and regular posting of excellent content to attract your target audience and turn them into loyal customers and fans of your brand or business. But in the end, it will be worth it. Content marketing creates the most loyal customers out there. And if you still need help with your content marketing strategy, you can always reach out to the experts at SEO Design Chicago for help.
Contact SEO Design Chicago today
An expert web agency like SEO Design Chicago can help you develop your own content marketing strategy. Contact SEO Design Chicago today!