Content marketing is a strategy followed by nearly 91% of B2B companies and 86% of B2C companies today. This is one of the most effective methods of attracting new customers or retaining existing ones. But, there is no secret: like any strategy, you need a clear action plan to implement it! In this article, wewill see how to set up an effective Content Marketing strategy in 7 steps!
What is content marketing?
Before getting into the heart of the matter, it is important to understand what “Content Marketing” means and what marketing techniques it refers to. Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and delivering valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience – and ultimately drive profitable customer action.
In other words, it’s about developing impactful and informative content for your audience to attract them to your website and create a desire to buy. This goes against traditional advertising, which is nowadays considered obsolete and very intrusive for consumers.
A content marketing strategy must be able to differentiate you from your competitors and help you convey your story, your brand image, your added value, etc. For it to be effective, it must be implemented in a consistent and rigorous manner. To help you, here are 7 steps to follow if you want your strategy to be successful!
1) Determine your goals
Before embarking on such a strategy, you need to be clear about your objectives: it is necessary to define them beforehand to know which direction you want to take. Be specific: what will content marketing do for you? It is also imperative to set KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) to make sure you know how you will measure your success.
- New prospects? How much is it?
- A better relationship with your existing customers? How will you measure it?
- An increase in your turnover? By how much?
- A better customer experience? Which grade is satisfactory?
Whatever your goals, make sure they are realistic and align with your company’s vision and long-term missions. To keep yourself focused, set 3 to 5 clear goals and write them down!
2) Establish your audience
Now that your objectives are clearly defined, it is time to study your audience: who are you addressing? This is an essential step for your content marketing because it will allow you to know how to direct your content and what type of support you will use. If you want to attract a specific segment of the population, you need to know their interests, likes and dislikes. This will help you know what topics you can communicate about and how you can do it.
To facilitate this step, you can establish a persona of your typical customer. Make it as accurate as possible with demographic information such as age, gender, location and income. Don’t forget to include your audience’s favorite hobbies, concerns or motivations!
You can use statistical data from your different social networks or Google Analytics, to establish a persona as detailed as possible. If you do keyword research, you can also determine what your audience is looking for online.
3) Define what makes you different from others
It is possible to communicate on many different aspects. That’s why you need to be very clear with the information and the feeling you want to convey to your audience. Your content must in any case be informative, punchy and fun. But, you must set yourselves axes of communication which will make it possible to distinguish you from the competition. To do this, first look at what your main competitors are doing: What is their way of communicating? What else can you bring? Where is your added value?
Now that you know what is being done, you also need to have in mind your offer and the need you are addressing. It is imperative to start from there: your service/product meets a need and/or facilitates the life of your customers. You can therefore play on its usefulness. Then, define your little extra: Motivate customers? Inspire them? Educate and entertain them? Or create a sense of belonging? Create emotion? One tip is to write down all the brand messages your company uses; then take your top 3 competitors and cross off your list all the messages they also use. All you’ll be left with is a set of branded messages that are completely unique!
Once you know the tone you want to set for your content and the feeling you want to convey, you’re most of the way there! Never forget these elements when creating content as part of your content marketing strategy.
4) Develop your content marketing topics and channels
The next step is to think about the platforms on which you will publish your content and the methods you will use to promote it. You’ll also need to think about the type of content you want to use. To do this, put yourself in the shoes of your target audience and ask yourself what content will attract them the most. For example, would white papers and blog posts be appropriate for your audience, or would videos and infographics be more appropriate?
Don’t forget that the supports should also be related to what you noted earlier about your little extra. For example, if your goal is to evoke emotion, you can bet on videos that will play on the feelings of your audience! In most cases, it is recommended to follow a multi-channel strategy: a mix of several different media allows to reach more prospects and therefore potential customers.
5) Plan your resources
You’ve had a lot of ideas in your strategy thinking, but now it’s time to see if they are feasible with the resources you have.
To begin with you need to decide whether you are going to produce your content in-house or outsource the content creation. You’ll also need to designate someone to manage your content marketing campaign: this is a time-consuming role because you need to be responsive to the comments and questions your content generates. It is therefore an investment to be taken into account.
Be careful to define all these variables beforehand, so that your content marketing campaign does not take away from other important tasks in your business.
6) Create a content marketing calendar
This is the last step before you start creating your content and posting it, you are almost there!
To avoid getting lost in your strategy, you need to establish a timeline. All content publications can be referenced there: this way, you know when to post, on which channel (social network, website, etc.), and which topic to cover, etc. You are organized and know what direction to take with this strategy.
In your calendar, you must show :
- First, recurring posts(example: you post a #MondayMotivation every Monday).
- Then the key dates of the sector, on which you can communicate.
- Then major events (national, international) in general, if they are relevant to your content.
- Finally, leave space for your more spontaneous or news-related publications.
If your calendar is well developed, you should have an overview of your long-term strategy (e.g. the next 6 months, with new product/service releases, highlights, etc.).
7) Measure your performance
Finally, you need to measure the effectiveness of your content marketing strategy, thanks to the KPIs you defined at the outset. The objective is to monitor the success of your campaign and to refine your strategy based on the results obtained (if necessary). Your content marketing strategy is constantly evolving. So you need to be flexible, but most importantly, you need to consider the results and adapt quickly!
You now have all the information you need to create your content marketing strategy. If you want to start this strategy on Linkedin now, you need to know how its algorithm works.