Content marketing is a great way of promoting a business. Be it for lead generation, or be it for brand awareness, content always helps. Also, content marketing generates over three times as many leads as outbound marketing and costs 62% less. No wonder why marketers are always up finding new ways and ideas for promoting content.
But is it being done right? Around 70% B2B companies declared that they still don’t have a content marketing strategy. While only 36 percent of the companies said that their content marketing strategy was working effectively for them, 49 percent said their strategies were moderately effective.
The point here is that a good content marketing strategy can take you places. To achieve your marketing goals, you can really develop and use a content marketing strategy which would work efficiently for your business.
Below here are tips and tricks for you to learn how to achieve your marketing goals using content marketing.
How to achieve your marketing goals with a content strategy?
More than 63% B2B companies do not have a documented content strategy. It’s obvious that the companies with a defined strategy will have better chances of succeeding. Without a strategy success or failure is all about luck anyway.
This just means either you win, or you put all your efforts to waste. Your campaigns might fail even after having a strategy, but then even then you would have documented data, and you will be able to analyze where it all actually failed.
If you don’t document your content strategy, it will always be difficult to analyze failures and successes. This explains why it is crucial to have a well defined content strategy. The steps below will help you create a content strategy to achieve your marketing goals.
Steps for creating a content marketing strategy to achieve your marketing goals
1. Set your goals
How can you achieve a goal, if you don’t have a goal?
The first step which comes in when you are to create a content marketing strategy for achieving your marketing goals is, defining your marketing goals.
Generally these goals include Improving revenue, making more sales, getting more web traffic, increasing brand awareness, SEO success, reducing marketing costs, improving social media engagement etc.
You can decide your respective goals for your business. Then to achieve a particular goal, you will need to create a content marketing strategy. And this article will help you with that.
But first setting up a goal is a task in itself. How to actually do it? Optinmonster.com has declared a general form for deciding a business goal. Have a look at that below. It might be of help to you.
“We provide [target audience] with [type of content] to help them [business goals].”
Try using this formula for your audience, type of content and maybe it helps you decide your correct business goal?
Once after you have decided your marketing goals, it is time to move further.
2. Define for yourself your Key Performance Indicators
The next thing you need to do in order to develop a content strategy for achieving your marketing goals is decide some numbers.
It is a good idea to decide what your marketing goals are going to be. But while you talk of those goals, what exact figure do you want to achieve?
A KPI (Key performance indicator) is the same.
This will include numbers. As you might want to make a certain amount of ads revenue in the coming quarter, or you might want to attain a certain number of blog subscribers by the end of this year, or improve the search rankings for some important keywords which your website is to target.
Also, you can prepare for yourself a strategy for your marketing expenditure. This will help you track the amount of money spent on different campaigns, for different goals.
All of this might seem hectic and unimportant in the beginning, when you want to take a look at your losses and profits, this data will be quite helpful.
3. Know your audience
The next step down the lane is to know more about your audience. To deliver the best to your audience, so they engage with your content more than ever, you need to know about your audience.
This will help you achieve all your marketing goals. But first you need to know what you really need to do, and how exactly can you track your viewers or readers accessing your content.
Knowing your audience here basically means that you learn about the visitors. You need to know where they are coming from, how better are they engaging at what time, which hour of the day sees the highest user count for different pages on your website.
While talking about monitoring your users’ activities on your website, there is so much that you need to observe. Below here is a descriptive list for what all you can monitor to know the best about your users.
Whatever your niche is, it is always important to know which physical locations your visitors are coming from. This can help you a lot to serve your users with better content.
For example, a major share of your traffic might be coming from a state which has a different native language. For their interest, you can start providing your content in their language as well.
This will obviously get you some good trust among your readers in that particular area. And sales are, where trust is.
Another factor which you need to notice is the age of your users. If most of your users fall under the age group from 15-19, you know what your writing style should be. This will also decide the type of content that you should be publishing on your blog or content marketing platform.
Knowing about your visitors’ gender is another great way of modifying your content. If all your readers are males, you need to publish more content relating to your niche, which you know would interest your old readers and attract new visitors.
Also, if you feel that your blog or website should have more female users, you can start publishing content which attracts more females to your blog. The same goes with attracting more male readers as well.
The selection of the desired gender for your blog will be based on what your product is, or content is about.
- User interest
This one again is one of the most valued factors which needs to be considered when you try to know your audience.
You can use Google analytics to know about user interest as well. All you need to do is go to Audience > Interests > Overview. There you can find the market segment which your visitors fit into.
This is going to be a great help for you to publish more content relating to your users’ interests.
Monitoring the user interest in Google analytics is a fantastic way of digging more topics for publishing new and useful content.
4. Figure out the current status
No matter how far you have to go, the process becomes easier when you know where you stand right now. Generally, businesses already have some content published under their name on their social media and on their blog.
If you have such content, the first thing you need to do is figure out how helpful that is for you. If it is not helpful, you should try to look for ways in which you can make use of it. And if there is no content, you can simply skip this step.
But, how can you find out how useful your content is? Well, for that you need to run a content audit on your website. Read below to know how.
- List up all your content on a piece of paper or in an excel sheet, whichever is more comfortable to you
- Assess the usefulness and success of all this content
- Identify where you lacked in making the best out of that content
Also, we suggest you compare your content with your competitor’s. This is a good way to know what can work for you, as it is working for your competitor.
5. Know which content channels perform the best for you
Taking a look at your popular content channels, you will get to know which other websites your audience is most active on. These websites will generally include social networks.
Analyzing this will give you a good sense of where you have a good hand on your audience. Then you can focus on expanding on the same network, to get better response and more fans there. This is way better and easier than starting from zero on some other social network or forum.
To find out where your audience is coming from and hanging out the most, you can simply open Google analytics, and go to Acquisition > Social > Overview. This will also let you know where your content is being shared the most.
There are a few websites which can provide you with the same information. Buzzsumo is one such website. It’s widely popular among content creators.
6. Pick your content type
The next thing you need to do is pick a content type for your website.
The idea of building a multi-niche website or blog might seem appealing to many. The truth is, it isn’t as effective as a niche website or blog would be. This is what makes us believe that relevancy of content on a blog is something which search engines take seriously.
For that reason, choosing a niche for your content, and then sticking to it will always be better than exploring and expressing everything with the same website.
Apart from the niche, picking your content type refers to deciding the writing style for the content on your blog. Now, that will depend on who your audience is. If you are targeting working professionals, you might have to use a formal language.
Targeting millenials on the other hand might make you curl your tongue so you are read and understood.
7. Know what you have and what you need
Whenever you are working towards creating a content strategy, after deciding what you need to do, you need to know what you need to have. Every project requires resources.
For your project to work you will need humans, softwares, tools etc.
Finding out what you actually need, and how you are going to use that resource is an important part of creating a content strategy. Also, you will need to decide what you workflow has to look like.
Talking of the content workflow, for a typical blog post, you can consider the following pattern
- Create an outline and get it approved
- Write the post
- Create accompanying images
- Send the post to the editor
- Make any changes
That is how a typical blog post can be planned and designed. Also if something else works better for you, it is best to stick to that. After deciding your content type and your content workflow, the th next thing you need to do is create a content calendar.
8. Create a content calendar
All of this might seem like a lot of planning, we assure it’s all very important. Lack of planning is one of the most common marketing mistakes which marketers commit.
It is very important to plan your campaign well. This will give you a better idea about when you should be posting more content, and which content piece should go live today, or tomorrow, or the day after.
Creating a content calendar basically means that you are planning the dates for publishing your content. So, to implement it you can obviously either write all the content at the same time, and then schedule it for later, or just start writing on the day when you have to publish it.
A great way of creating a content calendar is by using your Google calendar and simply putting the due dates for each piece of content in it.
You can also set a reminder so it reminds you whenever the due date for a piece of content is approaching.
9. Create your epic content
Content creation is a task which needs a lot of homework. To be able to write an in-depth informative article, you need to know everything about what you are writing. This takes research and patience.
Instructions here are for writing a blog post, but will help you write any piece of content with ease.
Now, after you have created the content calendar, the next thing you need to do is pick a title from that, and start with your research.
Before you start writing your content, the first thing you need to know is what all about that topic has already been published on the web. After that, you need to see how you can help your readers with your content.
This can include adding information which is not present on other blogs. This will obviously include research which most probably your competitors either neglected, or didn’t make efforts for. So, you know your efforts will attract and hold more readers.
10. Distribute your content
The step after content creation is its distribution. There is no point of creating amazing content if you don’t work for making it reach your audience.
47% of content marketers accepted not being successful with their content marketing campaign, because of negligence towards content distribution. This just explains why you can’t repeat the same mistake for your content.
The internet is full of websites and people (obviously). With so many forums, social networks, and active blogs these days, information has become very fluid. You can use this for your benefit.
Be it your answers on forums, and websites like Quora and Reddit or be it about you sharing your content around the web on websites like Facebook and Twitter, at the end of the day, all of it counts.
You can also schedule your content to be shared in the future on various social networking websites.
11. Analyze results
After everything has been implemented, all that is left for you to do is monitor. Now you need to track your successes and failures. Keep an eye on Google Analytics, and your social media analytics tools.
Also to find out about your search engine ranking KPIs, you can use SEMRush and Ahrefs. These tools work amazingly when you want to track rankings which your website is positioned at in search results for various keywords.
At the end it’s all about success and tracking your success. This is how your ideas will improve for future campaigns.
Track your email subscribers, see how many have verified their email addresses, send verification mails to those who haven’t by now, track your rankings for various keywords, and work towards betterment in that direction too.
This is the way to scale up to your marketing goals with a content strategy.
Setting up marketing goals for your business is important. This helps you realize where you stand, and how good you can scale your success.
Using content for achieving your marketing goals is a great idea. To do the same you need to develop a strategy and go by that particularly. There are many ways in which content can work for your brand. You need to decide the content type, and prepare a strategy.
All of this might seem like too tough of a task, when you implement and results come in, you realize it is all worth the efforts.