When you go grocery shopping, you make a list. When you’ve got a busy week, you make a to-do list. When you go on a road trip, you bring a map or a GPS. So why would you have content marketing without a content marketing strategy?
Without a content marketing strategy, it is much easier to get distracted or lost somewhere in all of your efforts. But, with strategy drawn out, written down, and instilled in your practices, success is easier to pinpoint. And content marketing that converts prospects into customers must be calculated and focused to ensure success.
So where do you begin? This is a question that everyone who has been successful with content marketing has asked. Now, though there aren’t any universal templates that will guarantee success, as every company will have a different content marketing strategy, there are a few commonalities amongst the most successful strategies.
Let’s start by asking ourselves and our teams a few questions. The first is the most important: Why am I engaging in content marketing? Or, reworded: What will my content marketing do?
The internet is already full of content on almost every topic imaginable. What will make your content stand out in the crowd? The best way to answer this question is to consider who your audience is; to consider what your leads and customers want to know.
The following will outline the steps you need to take in creating a great content marketing strategy that will attract your ideal prospects.
Your Goals are just that: What you want to accomplish. Are you trying to nurture your leads through the buyer’s journey? Are you creating content to retain and keep your customers’ attention? Are you trying to increase your number of qualified leads?
Sit down with your team and jot down some goals on paper. Keep them up somewhere in the office; it helps your focus when you see your goals every day.
Your Mission Statement, on the other hand, states how your content will benefit your audience, what content you will deliver for them, and who exactly they are.
By writing these parts of your strategy down, you can constantly remind yourself why you’re creating the content that you’re creating. This daily practice helps keep your content marketing efforts focused and on point while allowing you to gauge your progress.
Another important part of successful content marketing strategies is Your Channel Plan. So you’ve got some great content: awesome blogs, some eBooks, and even some videos. How will you distribute these to your audience?
In a channel plan, you can lay out how you will deliver your content, including channels like email or your company’s Twitter or LinkedIn accounts. Do some research about your prospect’s watering holes and base your channel plan around them. Identifying where your prospects go for informatio will help guide what information you put in front of them.
Lastly, Your Evaluation is crucial. What metrics will you use to evaluate how successful your efforts have been? Number of new leads? Number of eBook downloads? By measuring your progress, you will be able to tell if you are on course to meeting your goals, or if you need to adjust other parts of your strategy.
For data-drive Marketers, this is the best part. Analyzing the data behind conversions and click through rates help guide future marketing efforts. But don’t forget to include Sales in on this–they too can benefit from knowing what types of content are being consumer by their prospects.
Although your goals and mission statements remain relatively constant, the other aspects of your content marketing strategy are likely to change. By listening to your audience and understanding their needs and behaviors, such as what channels they typically use and what questions they regularly ask your sales team, your strategy can be flexible and adaptable.
Just like your shopping list changes when you see that there’s a special on that new craft beer you’ve been wanting to try, your content marketing strategy should be adaptable based on your customers’ needs.
Content marketing is just one way to attract and engage with prospects. Identify 29 more in this amazing LeadGen eBook–start your download by clicking below.