A phrase which is commonly used in today’s digital marketing world is that – “Content is king”. Today marketing has moved from being a push activity to one of engagement and sharing of useful information to show how you could help to solve your target audience’s pain points and challenges. Research today shows that there are over 600 million blogs featured on over 1.7 billion websites – so how do you achieve cut through in such a cluttered environment? How do you achieve your business objectives and how does this help you achieve your business goals?
What is Content Marketing?
According to the Content Marketing Institute, content marketing is:
“ . . . a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
So what kind of content could you share to engage with your target audience and help promote your business? A couple of examples to show how this could work:
- As a nutritionist, you might share recipes or information about the nutrition value in food.
- If you are a florist, you may focus on flowers of the month or arranging tips.
- A financial advisor, you might share an e-book outlining the implications of the budget changes.
Why do I need a content strategy?
Simply a good content strategy and plan will help you to more effectively engage with your target audience. Once you understand their pain points, then you can share content which will help to solve their challenges; a content strategy will keep you on track and ensure you do this in a coordinated way.
So, how do I write a Content Marketing Strategy?
- Establish your objectives and goals. As with all good marketing we need to start by defining our objectives and goals. What do we want our marketing to achieve? We need to define our SMART (specific, Measured, Achievable, Relevant and Timed) objectives With this in mind we can then start to tailor our marketing content towards achieving these goals. eg: Our SMART goals might be “To increase revenue generated by £10k per year by obtaining 5 new clients, by June 2021.”
- Who is your target audience? This understanding is a critical point for all good marketing. The first stage to achieving this is to visualise the audience. Defining the demographic can be relatively straightforward but it is the golden nuggets of insights and understanding the challenges and needs states which makes all of the difference. Once you have visualised the audience, you may then wish validate this understand through customer research.
- What are your content channels? When you are drafting your content strategy, thinking about how you are going to get your content to your audience is really important. If for example you were a cake maker or photographer then Instagram is going to be a really important tool for you to engage with vs perhaps Twitter. It is always better to work with one social media channel, well before expanding out to others.
- What are your performance metrics? Take some time to think about what your call to action would be as a result of reading or engaging with your content. What performance metrics would you have? You might consider likes, comments and shares for social media; for email you may review open and click through rates for example.
- Content plan. Once you have worked through some of the pre-thinking we note above, then you need to start to build a plan. Think about frequency, budget you would put to the work and how it all ties in together.
- Track the results. As you are generating content then it is important to track the results, simply do more of what works and less of what does not. We note some simple ways of assessing this above.
- Test and refine. As with all good marketing, continually review what is working and not working. Build on the activity which is. Think about testing different creative executions or subject lines to understand which resonates best with your audience.
At time of writing, we find ourselves in very unusual times and the plan we had put together earlier on in the year is likely not to be as relevant today or still make sense. If you would like some help in planning your content strategy and plan for the next 90-days please do get in touch.