Benjamin Franklin’s famous quote “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail” is never more relevant than when preparing a successful content marketing strategy for your organisation.
A content marketing strategy is an extension of your company’s overall marketing strategy. Your brand positioning, competitors, sales goals, buyer personas and the like should already be covered in the main marketing strategy document. The content marketing strategy should focus on how your content marketing activities, such as e-newsletters, e-books, blog writing and social media, fit into the big picture. It’s vital to document your content marketing strategy, to ensure everyone in your team is on the same page and that content marketing activities run according to plan.
Here are some of the basic elements to include in your content marketing strategy document.
1. What are your goals?
First and foremost, your team (including your freelance article writers) need to have a thorough understanding of your company’s goals and what you hope to achieve from content marketing. More sale conversions? Higher website traffic? Increased subscriptions? Put together a content marketing mission statement, which should be referred back to frequently as a pulse check to ensure that everything is on track.
2. What is your brand positioning?
What makes you unique? Have a think about how your organisation fits within the industry among competitors and what sets you apart. Keep this in mind when creating copy because this will be highly influential over whether your audience follows your social media posts or subscribe to your e-newsletters rather your competitors.
3. How will you measure your results?
This point should be reflective of your goals outlined above. You need have trackable goals in place in order to assess results – i.e. 500 e-newsletter subscribers by 30 June and/or an increase in sales by 20%.
4. Who is your audience?
Try to put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Where do they live? What is their income? What are their needs? How do they use social media and how often? Creating buyer personas will help you to understand what a typical customer of your organisation looks like. You might even want to give the personas names and frequently ask your team “What would Mary think of that story?” or ”How would Bob respond to that question?”
5. What type of content will you produce and how will it be distributed?
The type of content you create and where you publish it needs to reflect your audience and how they consume content online. Will you post blog articles on your website once or twice a week, or will twice a month suit your audience? Do you need a regular monthly e-newsletter, or do your clients prefer to stay informed via social media updates?
Make sure you keep the buyer personas in mind when deciding on the type and frequency of content, and assess which topics will be of interest to your target market. It’s all about finding a nice balance between keeping your audience informed, and bombarding them with too much information too often! You also need to decide whether your team will produce all of the content, or whether you will be outsourcing in order to reach your content marketing goals. Regardless of what you choose to do, you’ll need a system of quality control and pre-publishing approvals in place, to ensure your content meets your set deadlines and is accurate and engaging.
Now that you have a better idea of what elements should be covered in your content strategy document, it’s time to get started on putting the template together. We’ve created a content marketing strategy template checklist, which you can download here, to ensure that you don’t miss anything. And if you’d like to talk to a content marketing strategist for some expert assistance, or you need content writing services, contact us.