At this point, you probably know that having an online presence is very important for your brand, right? But maybe you still don’t know where to start building a unique strategy, and that’s exactly why we are here! To help and guide you on your journey to craft a Content Marketing strategy from scratch. Follow along with this content to learn the step-by-step to craft your Content Marketing strategy. Here’s a sneak peek of what we’re talking about today:
First things first. Let’s understand what is Content Marketing so we can craft your strategy together. According to the Content Marketing Institute (CMI), “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, to make it simple, a Content Marketing strategy means that you need to create a series of content to solve the problems that your specific audience may have, therefore helping and creating a relationship with them, to hopefully evolve to doing business together in the future.
Even though Content Marketing is not the only way that brands can craft their Digital Marketing strategies, this is a technique that is very commonly used because it enables customizations in the entire path. You can create several different types of content, using different channels, media, and even language, in order to engage with different people, no matter how much they know about your solution or how ready they are to buy from you. Besides that, it also encourages the conversation between the brand and the potential customer, in a way that both can get value from the relationship. Companies that use Content Marketing as the main focus of their online efforts, usually have positive results in creating brand awareness, educating audiences, and building credibility and trust, according to 2020 B2B Content Marketing Research conducted by CMI. When you create a Content Marketing strategy for your company, you have in your hands some great tools to measure the success of the tactics used. So, you can — and should — constantly re-evaluate the effectiveness of the strategy and make adjustments as needed, improving on the go.
Now that you better understand what is Content Marketing and why this strategy is so used around the market, it’s time to learn how to craft your Content Marketing strategy!
There are 9 steps that you should follow through to have the best possible outcomes with your Content Marketing efforts. Let’s dig in?
The first step is related to understanding who is your audience and your potential buyers. No marketing strategy ever will be successful if the brand doesn’t fully know and document its persona.
Some years ago, it was very common to use the concept of Target Audience, which consists of demographic data of the audience, like gender, age, localization, and income. Currently, we use a new concept, called Buyer Personas, which gives the marketers a lot more information to create better and more customized content to attract the right people.
It’s very important to highlight that the persona should not be created from what the marketer thinks the target is, but instead, made based on market research and customer data.
One brand can have multiple personas in their strategy, but we strongly suggest that you start by only one, your bigger potential revenue conversion, so you can learn how to create a strategy around it first — and then create the secondary personas.
Once you have the persona mapped, you need to understand what’s the usual process that they go through when they are looking for solutions similar to yours.
For the customer journey representation, it is very common to think of it as a funnel that is broader at the top and narrow at the end. To make it simple to understand the analogy, we usually segment the funnel into 3 main sections:
For the analogy here, you should think that the funnel is your blog or whatever content hub that you have. You should create content for all the different stages so every person that is interested in your niche can find useful resources, regardless of the stage of the funnel they are in.
If you are wondering how your content is going to stand out in the midst of all content that is currently live on the internet, the answer to this question is: positioning your brand.
A very important part of creating and nurturing a conversation with your audience is adding unique touches to your communication. What are the core values of your brand? How does your company help the customers in a different way than the competition? Use these unique characteristics to make your content and create an identity exclusive to your brand, so your audience will relate to you.
Before officially starting any tactics, you need to set the goals you will aim for. This step is crucial to the success of your Content Marketing strategy because otherwise you will be only creating some content without a guideline and won’t know if that’s good, if your audience is enjoying it, or even if it’s being effective to your strategy.
Strive for creating SMART goals, which consists of Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound goals. With all these parameters it’s possible to break down the main goal into pieces and then understand where you can improve your strategy to get even better results.
At this point, you are almost starting the action part itself. Since one of the most important keys for success with Content Marketing is doing it consistently, you need to organize all the ideas and information that you will share with your audience into one system that can be used year-round. To Content Marketing strategies, this system commonly is the Editorial Calendar.
Considering all the different questions that your audience may have around your niche, and also the different stages of the customer journey, it’s easy to see that you need a solid plan to build a consistent Content Marketing strategy. So, use the Editorial Calendar to organize which types of content you and your team should create for each step of the funnel, who should create the content and when it needs to be published.
To diversify the format of the content you create and scale your production up, you can easily repurpose some existing content into several different resources.
Interactive content is a great way to do that. For example, with one simple static ebook, you can adapt that information to create an interactive infographic, an assessment, or even an interactive ebook. This tactic can be very useful to fill up your editorial calendar with the knowledge and information that you already have while creating different approaches to get your message across to your audience.
Creating content — like most things in life — can be optimized with some processes and workflows. Since this is a process that usually involves a lot of people executing a lot of different jobs in the system, it’s very important to have a certain level of control, to ensure that the final product is up to what was initially planned. It’s important to establish clear guidelines for each of the production steps, like SEO planning, writing, reviewing, designing, and whatever other steps you need to produce content. But, if this is your first time building a content production workflow, don’t worry! There are a lot of tools available to help you create your workflow according to your business’ specific needs.
With the pieces of content in hands, it’s time to put it live on the world! Remember that one of the first steps on this journey was to find out details about your persona? In this specific step, you should get back to that initial research and figure out which are the best channels to use to reach your audience. Are they people that heavily use social media? So, that’s where your company should be promoting your content. Do they read the news constantly? Maybe you should look up options for PR promotions on those portals.
The possibilities here are endless! There are not best channels or types of content to attract every single person. You should create a unique strategy to reach your specific persona, according to their habits and preferences.
Although this is the last step on our guide to crafting a Content Marketing strategy, this should be seen as a way to start over the content production cycle. Even with all of these previous work, Digital Marketing strategies still need some tests and variations to find the best formula to reach the goals. If you managed to set SMART goals on step 4, now is time to reassess the metrics and see if everything went as planned. And, if you didn’t reach the goals you initially set, here is the part where you evaluate everything that was done to find the gaps in the process and improve it, trying to get better results next month.
With all these 9 steps, you should be able to start to craft your unique ContentMarketing strategy right away. And when you do it, don’t forget to comment below which step you think was harder to accomplish, so we can help you out with it!