It’s 2020 and if you’re still debating whether you should create a content marketing strategy, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to scale your business. Welcome to a Simple Guide to Successful Content Marketing to Boost Your SEO Plan.
Instead of analyzing whether your business needs content marketing, you should outline a plan to harness its potential. From building brand awareness and establishing authority to driving conversions and boosting customer loyalty – content marketing offers several benefits.
However, you can’t reap these benefits by randomly publishing content without any foresight and research. It’s essential to develop a strategy that will help you create content to fulfill your marketing objectives. Moreover, a robust content marketing strategy lets you monitor your content, analyze its performance, and calculate its return on investment (ROI).
According to the Content Marketing Institute, 69% of the most successful B2B marketers in 2020 have a documented content strategy.
Image via Content Marketing Institute
Here’s a quick guide to building a powerful content marketing strategy.
1. Define SMART Goals for Content Marketing
Before you start creating and publishing high-quality content, you must have a clear idea of why you’re doing it. Do you want to drive more organic traffic to your website and convert them into subscribers? Or do you want to boost audience engagement on social media? Perhaps you’d like to win the trust of your existing customers and encourage them to promote your brand?
The ultimate objective of your content marketing strategy will influence the type of content you create. It’ll also determine the distribution channels you use and the subjects you work with. Setting the right goals also helps you monitor your campaign and measure its success.
However, you should avoid setting vague goals such as “build brand awareness”, “strengthen brand reputation”, etc. Instead, use the SMART approach to define specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound goals.
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Here are some examples of SMART content marketing goals:
- Increase email opt-ins by 50% in the next quarter
- Get 20% more likes, comments, and shares on Facebook in the next quarter
- Increase website conversions by 40% in the next six months
- Reach the top of relevant search engine results in the next year
2. Identify Your Content Marketing KPIs
Once you’ve defined your marketing objectives, it’s time to assign a key performance indicator (KPI) to each goal. A KPI is a measurable metric or milestone that lets you track your progress and determine whether a goal has been achieved. Let’s say your goal is to improve audience engagement on your website. You can use metrics such as bounce rate, time-on-page, number of comments, etc. as KPIs.
Likewise, if your objective is to increase reach on social media, the number of followers is a suitable KPI. If you achieve a certain number of followers within the set time, you’ve accomplished your goal.
3. Set Your Content Marketing Budget
Your content marketing budget influences the promotion techniques and content formats you use. It’ll also help you determine whether you can afford to outsource content creation to an agency or a freelancer. Moreover, you need to understand whether your goals are achievable with the given resources. That’s why it’s crucial to allocate a dedicated content marketing budget.
4. Build Your Content Marketing Team
Content marketing is an umbrella term that encompasses different activities like blogging, graphic designing, copywriting, etc. If you don’t have the budget to outsource these activities to an agency, you should recruit an in-house team. To begin with, you’ll likely need a designer, writer, developer, and digital marketer. Alternatively, you can use platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, etc. to hire skilled freelancers from across the globe.
5. Know Your Audience
You can’t create high-performing content marketing without knowing who it’s meant to attract. That’s why it’s important to have a deep understanding of your target audience. Don’t restrict your research to basic demographics such as age group, gender, profession, spending habits, etc. Instead, put yourself in their shoes and identify their ambitions, dreams, pain points, and struggles.
Additionally, it’s essential to delve deeper into their online behavior. What are their preferred social media platforms? What devices do they use to browse the internet? When are they most likely to be online? These factors will influence your content distribution plan.
Take a look at the analytics section of your social media profiles to identify the attributes of your existing audience. It’s also recommended that you set up Google Analytics for your website and monitor it for an insight into your visitors. Monitor the comments sections of your social media posts and blog posts to understand what your audience needs. You can also conduct audience polls on social media to identify their problems and obstacles.
Moreover, you should define individual personas for different stages of the buyer’s journey. It’s crucial because the needs and preferences of your audience will vary depending on the stage they’re in. This, in turn, will influence the topics, formats, and promotion channels you work with. It’s also recommended that you perform keyword research to identify the subjects that’ll resonate with your audience.
6. Select the Right Format
Depending on your target audience, budget, and end goals, you can work with different content formats such as:
- Blog posts
- Case studies
It’s also crucial to select a format that will resonate with your audience at a specific stage of the buyer’s journey.
Image via NewsCred Insights
7. Create, Distribute & Measure
The first step is to list content ideas and topics that address your audience’s pain points and resolve their queries. Next, assign these topics to different stages of the buyer’s journey and identify a suitable format for each topic. Thereafter, you should create a content marketing calendar outlining a publishing schedule and assign specific responsibilities to team members.
Simultaneously, identify the most effective distribution channels to promote your content. The most frequently used channels include social media, email, search engines, etc. You can also use paid advertising on search engines and social media to expand your reach.
Lastly, it’s crucial to monitor how your content is performing and determine whether you’ve achieved your goal. You can use tools like Google Analytics for this purpose.
Content marketing involves a series of steps including goal setting, research, content creation, and monitoring. A well-defined strategy helps you create high-quality content for the right purpose.
WriteForMe is creating free content marketing playbooks for companies to help pave the road for a strong content marketing strategy. So, check them out now.