Are you wondering how to create a Content Marketing strategy to take your Digital Marketing efforts to the next level?
Well, this article may be helpful.
Content Marketing is one of the most efficient methods to attract and engage your target audience, and it doesn’t have to take a major part of your company’s budget. With a solid strategy in place, potential customers end up discovering how the products or services you offer will benefit them without being annoyed by intrusive approaches.
I mean, who likes to receive telemarketing calls out of the blue?
The benefits of Content Marketing are undeniable in the digital world, as it:
- increases your website traffic;
- drives brand engagement;
- generates brand awareness;
- educates consumers (and the market, in general);
- boosts lead generation;
- improves sales performance;
- reduces Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC);
- increases lifetime value (LTV).
So, let’s see what are the 6 steps to create a Content Marketing strategy!
1. Create a Buyer Persona
To understand this topic, we must first understand what Content Marketing is: it’s a method to engage your target audience and attract more clients based on valuable content. By publishing relevant and useful content on the right channels, you create value for your brand’s audience. This audience, in its turn, ends up creating value for the company as well.
And here comes the buyer persona part, which is crucial: you have to understand exactly who your content is talking to.
It goes beyond target audience segmentation because a buyer persona consists of a fictional character inspired by a real person and must have key attributes and particularities of your audience. When creating this persona, see some elements you should consider:
- social class;
- pain points and desires;
- current role.
Creating content focusing on a buyer persona allows you to deliver more tailored messages, solve specific problems, and build stronger connections.
2. Define Goals and Metrics
Sometimes, even if a strategy is working, it’s difficult to see concrete results right away. So, how do we know if a strategy is successful? Analyzing data may help, and this is why it’s so important to define goals and KPIs (Key Performance Indicators).
After defining your goals, you’re ready to define the indicators that will show you later on if things are going as expected or if you should deviate from the original plan to achieve better results.
With this in mind, ask yourself: What are the goals the company needs to achieve? Is it increasing sales, reducing CAC, increasing LTV, or generating value to increase brand awareness? Maybe just educating the market?
If your goal is to generate more leads, for example, it’s a good idea to monitor the conversion rate on the company’s website. Now, if you’d like to increase brand awareness, you should monitor social media platforms to see if the numbers related to comments, shares, and mentions are increasing. See? KPIs have to be directly related to your goals, this is why objectives must come first in your planning.
Always keep in mind that metrics play a fundamental role in strategic planning, and it’s recommended to establish them following the SMART model (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound).
3. Create Content Based on the Buyer’s Journey
Are you familiar with the marketing funnel? It’s directly related to the buyer’s journey, which guides the buyer persona through three different stages:
- Awareness Stage (when the persona knows the problem he or she is facing).
- Consideration Stage (when the persona acknowledges all the solutions available in the market to solve the problem).
- Decision Stage (when the persona is aware of all the providers that can offer the right solution and is ready to make a buying decision).
Each one of these stages requires different content.
Let’s see one specific example:
Is your persona in the last stage and ready to make a decision, but had problems in the past with some providers and is afraid to choose?
Seth Godin, a marketing guru, once said that “People are afraid to say yes. Yes feels riskier than no. Salespeople are in the yes business”. And why is that? Is it solely because there is money involved? Well, it may be, but it can also involve the feeling of losing, the feeling of “I bought it then and I regret it now”.
So, a good way to create valuable content to soothe this kind of fear could be publishing a blog post anticipating objections or offering a free consultation.
For each case, a different solution!
Remember that the best strategy involves creating content based on the buyer persona and on the buyer’s journey. Nowadays people can choose what materials they want to consume, and content is the foundation of your whole strategy, so make sure it’s as good as it can be.
4. Implement SEO Practices
If you’re not familiar with SEO, one thing to know is that it goes beyond keywords. It’s about applying a set of techniques that will help your content to achieve higher positions in search engines.
In short, your buyer persona needs to find your company online, and your company needs SEO to be seen.
The main point here is visibility, but not only that: you also need to deliver a good experience to the public. It can be done in different ways, such as:
- using tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console to analyze results;
- installing SEO plugins like Yoast (WordPress only) to understand how your website can rank higher in search engines and how the content can be improved;
- using strategic keywords and optimizing their use throughout the content;
- optimizing your Web pages for mobile devices;
- improving your institutional website speed;
- using strategies such as guest posting to generate even more value;
- including backlinks in your blog posts.
Follow an authentic path
A good tip is to apply your brand personality to your strategy and remain faithful to it instead of following these practices blindly. To create compelling materials, sometimes we must go beyond strict rules and follow an authentic path.
Even just hilarious and mindless content (like Wendy’s tweets) can be successful while representing a company’s brand voice.
And let’s not forget about good copy! It’s a powerful tool to differentiate your business from competitors. See 10 copywriting techniques your team could adopt to craft compelling copy, captivate the audience, make your brand stand out, and generate the best results:
- Get to know the company’s target audience.
- Define what tone and language best fit the persona.
- Create straightforward and attractive titles.
- Establish a relationship of trust between the brand and its potential clients.
- Use analogies and metaphors.
- Quote data and research.
- Anticipate objections.
- Make friends with storytelling.
- Write how you speak.
- Sell the benefits and experience.
As has been noted, if we talk about posting content on blogs, institutional websites, or professional platforms as part of a Content Marketing strategy, then we must talk about implementing SEO practices, that’s for sure.
5. Use Different Channels To Promote Your Content
According to a report published in 2020 by We Are Social in partnership with Hootsuite, there are 3.8 billion active social media users in the world. Nothing to sneeze at, right?
So, using different channels to promote your content — like blogs, social networks, institutional websites, and e-mail — should be a part of your Content Marketing strategy.
Based on the research mentioned above, some of the world’s most-used social platforms are:
See? Social media could definitely be one of your company’s best allies in this digital journey. Depending on the message your brand wants to pass along to its customers, it’s possible to create fun, creative, cool, and clever posts to amuse your followers. Brands love to use Twitter, for example, to make fun of almost anything.
Does it mean that all of the company’s digital marketing efforts should revolve around these resources? No way!
Investing in a blog is also a great idea, and blogging is crucial to that marketing funnel we saw in a previous topic. Like e-mails, blogs will be around for a while in the digital universe.
Besides social media and blog posts, remember to strengthen your strategy using other content formats, such as:
- Newsletters and/or nurturing flows (are you familiar with E-mail marketing?);
- Testimonials and/or case studies;
6. Measure the Results
Last, but not least: measuring results.
A Content Marketing strategy will help you to attract customers and generate value for them, which will create a positive perception of your brand over time. Therefore, it will also help you to drive more sales.
However, a well-thought-out strategy will demand measuring the outcomes. This will give you a clear hint of what is actually working and what could be weighing your whole plan down.
A Digital Marketing strategy is ahead of traditional strategies especially due to data traceability. We can monitor a variety of key elements, such as KPIs, results, and actions of leads, in real-time. “What is the real importance of this?”, you may be asking. Let’s see some advantages of tracking KPIs:
- enhance alignment of operations with the established strategy;
- improve decision-making based on concrete evidence;
- detect performance trends;
- uncover current and future problems;
- improve control over the whole process, from content creation to customer service;
- have a point of reference for making comparisons;
- engage employees toward meeting specific goals.
As we can see, the benefits of establishing and tracking KPIs to measure results go on and on.
In conclusion, if you want to create a Content Marketing strategy, you’ll need to devote some time to the planning stage or gather a dedicated team to do it. As we learned, it demands time, good resources, and, of course, good content.
So, besides investing in a Digital Marketing strategy, relying on good professionals is also a good idea to improve your overall results. If you need a partner to write tailored content for your company and/or clients, I’d love to chat with you!