Marketing is one of the broadest terms that encompass some strategies, media, and tools. Out of all the types of marketing, content marketing still stands out. Just like the last few years, 2018 is again going to be the year of content marketing. Businesses and marketers are already leaning towards the new strategies of this marketing avenue to attract organic traffic to their sites. It is not overselling when we say that marketers are right now crazy about content and content marketing. Research shows that over 67% of the B2B buyers make their decisions based on the content of a seller site and about 40% of them share the same content on social media platforms.
About 80% of all seller companies have their marketing strategies. Companies that intend to move forward by exploring new markets and garnering new clientele need to work on a strong marketing strategy. You might get the jitters if this is your first time creating content and thinking about a marketing strategy, but here are the six steps that will help you chalk out a working plan that will work in the future –
What’s your motivation?
Before you set out to create content, you need to know the reason for doing so. Do you want to capture the attention of the new audience? Do you want to relaunch your brand? Do you want to rebuild your brand image? Whichever reason drives you, always remember to create content with a purpose. Never create content for a general audience.
Here are a few things you need to find out about your audience –
- Who’s your target audience?
- What are they looking for?
- Where are they looking?
- Will you be able to provide them a unique solution?
Studying customer behavior, their conversations on social media and finding their favorite haunts will give you an idea of what kind of content to produce. Targeting your content towards particular reader groups will help your site/blog gain more organic traffic.
How to produce content that works?
Just producing great content is not enough, you need to ensure that that target audience reads it too. In fact, you can choose from blogs, infographics, podcasts, videos, images, slideshows and ebooks as the most effective forms of content.
The best way to win over your audience is to find out which content form works best for them. Demographics is one way to segment your audience and find out their preferred choice of content type. For example – the millennial crowds and the young adults prefer video content and infographics over long-form content. Do check out the most shared type of content on social media to find out what they like most!
The budget has a fair role to play in this process. Video creation, production, and editing require money. Nonetheless, if your company targets a video-savvy audience, you will need to find someone to finance your content strategy. There are several small loan companies, credit unions and online lenders who can help you. Almost all SMEs and start-ups seek help from this new-age financing companies for new projects and consolidating their old loans.
Start working on your strategy
Next, you need to find out which days are better for your content and how frequently you should publish. You need to ensure that the quality of your content remains constant. 91% of the bloggers prefer reaching out to their audience at least once a week. However, that doesn’t have to be the norm for you. You simply need to choose quality over quantity for finding a loyal and rewarding audience.
Set aside fixed hours to work on your content. Appoint specific team members and assign them to tasks that contribute to the strategy. Do not forget to include promotional time and if that boils down to 2 posts per week, that’s good enough for any startup!
What about content management?
So, you have made your commitment towards producing two quality content pieces each week, but do you have a plan? Your content needs to go out on certain days and at a certain time. You see, when it comes to content management, being predictable is good for garnering readership. Your readers need to know which day, what time and where they will find a new post.
Try a content calendar. This will help you plan a schedule. If you are using WordPress, try their editorial calendar plug-in. It is awesome, and it adds an editable calendar tab to your dashboard.
Do you have a plan for content distribution?
Not knowing which platform is the best for your content is the biggest mistake you can make during marketing. No matter where you share your content, you need your blog to grow. Now, there are two proven ways to tackle this problem –
- When you publish your content on third-party sites, use a backlink to your blog
- Promote your blog content first hand by sharing on social media platforms
The four-level approach for ideal content marketing includes –
- Your blog: Send the people to a landing page where they can hit subscribe.
- Social media: Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, provide excellent choices for content sharing.
- Search Engines: Optimize your content with trending keywords to stay visible. Pay attention to SEO strategies.
- Discussion and review sites: Quora is one of the busiest forums, so is Reddit. These sites are potential archives of backlinks for your blog. Find relevant posts and start commenting (don’t spam!)
How much will you invest in content promotion?
Marketing plans are incomplete without promotion of ready content. Email is the most efficient and cost-effective way to reach out to a potential audience. Now, you can reach out to MailChimp and its cheaper alternatives for a complete outreach plan. Advertising is, of course, more efficient, but it takes moolah! So let’s stick to email and its simpler ways for the time being.
Seeing success with content marketing isn’t tough. It’s only tough when you have to do it on a tight budget. It might take some time to perfect the strategy, but once you master the six steps, you will be the king of content!