Whether it is a big brand like Coca-Cola, Apple, or Dominos, or a small brand like you or me, why do companies love content marketing so much?
Any idea? No?
Okay. Let me tell you…
Content marketing is not just creating content and it is more than advertising. It is all about showing your customers who you are and how you are better than your competitors.
That’s the reason 42.5% companies are hiring more content marketing executives for their content marketing teams in 2016.
Despite the multiple benefits of content marketing, 70% of marketers lack a consistent and documented content marketing strategy.
Content marketing strategies don’t build themselves. They need proper planning, clear vision, future-centric goals, enough time and money, and a focused execution.
Read my earlier guide on 5 Benefits of Content Marketing for Business Growth
6 Key Elements of a Strong Content Marketing Strategy:
1. Understand your audience better than them
Content marketing is all about educating, entertaining, and providing value to your customers in order to gain their trust and respect. It isn’t only about selling your products.
Before you create any type of content, make sure you know who your customers are and what they want from you.
To better understand your clients, you need to develop a buyer persona.
- What is a buyer persona?
A buyer persona is market researched data about your prospective clients’ purchasing behaviors. It helps you to create better content that your audiences are more likely to take an interest in.
This is a buyer persona:
Here are some questions you should ask yourself before creating a buyer persona:
- Who are your ideal prospects and clients?
- What makes them purchase a product or service?
- What are their pain points and how can you solve them?
- What gaps of information do they have and how can your content can fill them?
A buyer persona plays an important role in making content marketing campaigns successful. 56% of companies have generated qualified leads using a buyer persona.
(Even though buyer personas are valuable, 85% of companies aren’t doing in-depth research about their prospective clients.)
2. Think about your customer
To provide a high-quality content marketing service to your clients, it is essential that you think about your clients. What do your clients know? And what do you need to tell them?
You might do some research to find out what is out there and what is missing.
Here are some steps you can follow:
- Dig deeper on your website analytics – Your visitors always leave some useful clues about their needs and desires. Figure out those needs by looking at your analytics’ metrics such as:
- keyword performance
- internal search data
- user behavior
- bounce rates
- Search them on social media platforms – Search and collect data about your prospects on all social media sites, blogs, and forums. This is where they are hanging out and discussing their problems. There are multiple tools available which you can use to collect data about the conversations people are having about your company and products.
- Get involved in industry research – Many companies who perform surveys and do research about products and services often published their data. You can buy relevant researched data about your products and use them to gain valuable insight.
- Survey your customers – No one can tell you more about your service and product than your existing customers. Ask them specific questions about what they like and dislike, along with improvements they would suggest.
Using the above-mentioned tactics will provide you with a better understanding of your clients’ needs and requirements.
3. Determine the right content formula
Content marketing is all about providing solutions for specific problems that matter to your current and future customers.
Your content should have value and a clear message that makes your clients feel confident about taking the next steps with your company. If is doesn’t provide this message to them, your content strategy will fail.
Here is a three step formula which can help you to uncover an optimum content plan:
- Create content that your audience wants – Many companies make a silly content marketing mistake; they focus on their marketing messages and forget about customers. They don’t try to find out what their clients need. Always keep your customers in mind when creating content.
- Define the content distribution channels for your clients – Before you do anything, sit and think what types of content your clients like (e.g. video, infographics, visuals, etc.). Also, think about where should you share your content to get a maximum reach to your customers.
- Curate content as well as content creation – If you invest all of your time in creating original content, it likely won’t be enough for your audience. It would be nice if you curate other useful content from the web as well.
Add other information, links, and resources in your content and provide them with proper credit. This will increase customer affinity and loyalty.
4. Create an editorial calendar
A solid content marketing strategy wouldn’t be complete without an editorial calendar.
Every successful content marketing campaign needs an editorial calendar that describes every step required in content creation.
An editorial calendar encourages you to be more consistent and successful at publishing the content you want and producing the outcomes you need.
Your editorial calendar should have the following items:
- The date your content will be published.
- The title of the content that will be published.
- The author of the content.
- The owner of the content who will be responsible for publication and promotion.
- The current status of the content.
Editorial calendars can be useful for multiple content marketing tasks rather than simply tracking your content marketing team’s workflow and publishing.
5. Develop SEO friendly content
The success of online companies depends upon how easily users find them in search engines by searching for key phrases regarding their services and products.
If the content on your website is missing those key phrases, it will be hard for users to find your website and even harder for them to convert into customers.
In addition to being successful online, you have to create content that serves both the search engines and your visitors.
Here are some useful tips to creating SEO friendly content:
- Target at least one keyword per page – If you want your page to be easily found by your users, target one keyword per page. It will be hard for you optimize your content if you target multiple keywords.
- Include the main keyword in your web copy – A user who lands on your website through a search engine looks for the keyword that they were searching for in the search engine. To make a good impression, you must use that keyword on your webpage.
- Use the exact term – Google has become more intelligent than before; they can smell the false pages. But Google still ranks those pages which match the user’s exact query.
- Avoid too much keyword optimization – Remember you are writing for humans, not for machines. If you only focus on ranking and forget users, it will end up hurting your ranking. Google is committed to providing a great user experience to its users, and it hates false content.
- Provide quality over quantity – Don’t only focus on creating a lot of content. Focus on creating quality content. Quality content ranks better in search results.
6. Get maximum benefits from your content
Creating a lot of content is required to boost up your content marketing campaign. But, creating quality content in huge amounts isn’t always easy.
This is especially true when you are working alone or have fewer resources than big brands.
So what do you do?
- Content repurposing.
It is the way to transform a single blog post into multiple other content forms such as infographics, SlideShares, podcast, video, etc.
Why should you use content repurposing?
- Content repurposing is good for SEO.
- It helps to get new clients by targeting a new medium.
- It improves conversion rate.
- It improves website ranking in search results.
These benefits are why 60% of marketers reuse their content 2 -5 times.
What type of content should you recycle?
Here are 5 content repurposing practices you need to follow:
- Repurpose your best performing content.
- Break big blog posts into multiple small posts.
- Compile your blog posts and turn them into an Ebook.
- Convert text content into images such as slides or infographics.
- Convert text content into video.
Content repurposing will ensure you get all you can from your content
A successful content marketing campaign establishes a long-term, healthy relationship with existing and future clients by regularly delivering high-quality, relevant, and valuable information.
By applying the above-mentioned content marketing tips, you can build an impressive content marketing strategy that will make your business successful.
Now it’s your turn. Which content marketing tips are you going to use? Let me know in the comments!