According to Joe Pulizzi of the Content Marketing Institute, 2014 saw a slight drop in the number of Australian marketers who consider their company effective at content marketing – down to 29% from 33% last year. However, companies with a documented content marketing strategy in place fare better, with 44% of marketers saying they are effective at content marketing. For those going it along rather than engaging a content marketing service, here are seven basic steps to creating a winning content marketing strategy for your business.
Step 1 – Determine your audience
Create a fictitious persona of the type of person you’d like to engage with. Who are they, what are their interests, what challenges do they face, what are their goals in life?
Step 2 – Set your goals
Determine what you want to achieve from your content. Perhaps you’re looking to create awareness around a certain product or increase the number of leads from your website. Your strategy will be based around these goals.
Step 3 – Determine what type of content to share
Based on your buyer persona, what type of content will address their pain points? Perhaps your customers are after an e-book on effective time management. If your goals are to increase leads to your website, you may decide to publish this e-book offer on your social media channels, so your customers have to click through to your website to download it. Remember to share knowledge generously in order to build trust and your reputation for expertise.
Step 4 – Identify your brand voice
Determine the voice you will use throughout your content. This should be aligned with your ideal buyer persona so that they build a connection with you. Will your tone be informal, personal and friendly, or professional and more formal to cater to a more executive level audience?
Step 5 – Decide on the channels
Conduct some research and determine what channels your audience prefers. At least one social media channel is essential, as social media is the key to amplifying your content.
Step 6 – Determine the frequency
Not only should the frequency at which you share your content align with your audience, but it should also align with your content creation capabilities. If you can’t maintain the pace of posting every day, don’t attempt it. The most important thing is that you keep your posting consistent, whether it’s once a week or once a month.
Step 7 – Measurement
You can’t determine your return on investment (ROI) and whether your content marketing efforts are being effective if you don’t measure them. Set yourself some KPIs and determine the metrics to be used to measure your performance. Research by the Content Marketing Institute says that 33% of those that have a documented content strategy are successful at tracking ROI.
Make getting your content marketing strategy documented one of your goals in 2015, and get help from a content marketing agency if you need it. If you don’t approach it strategically, you may just miss out on some great opportunities for your business.