High-Performing Content Marketing Strategies Will Transform Your Business. Here’s How to Write One.

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Launching a marketing campaign without a solid strategy is like trying to find a destination without directions or a map to guide you. Even if you’re headed in the right direction, you could soon get lost and miss your goal.

Successful content marketing is no different. To ensure campaigns are successful for a brand, content marketing activities must be based on a well thought out content marketing strategy.

Related topics: How to improve your company’s content marketing

What content marketing is and why it matters

Content marketing has been a buzzword in the digital marketing industry for a number of years. Unlike display advertising, for example, content marketing does not bother potential customers. Instead, the content is designed to grab the audience’s attention and drive them to a brand’s website, for example.

Content marketing is a great way to generate inbound traffic and user or consumer interest by solving a problem or providing useful information. In this way, content marketing creates trust and increases the credibility of a brand.

Writing a content marketing strategy

A content marketing strategy is a long-term plan that clearly lays out how to use your content to maximize your brand’s benefit. Successful strategies involve several steps:

  • set goals
  • Creation of customer personas and buyer journeys
  • Set a budget
  • Selection of marketing channels
  • Creating, publishing and optimizing content

set goals

Like business goals and other marketing goals, the goals of a content marketing strategy must be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely. An example would be to set a goal of increasing your website traffic by 10% in 12 months.

SMART goals define your finish line. They clarify where your content marketing strategy needs to take the brand. Without clear goals, your content marketing campaigns cannot possibly be successful.

Creation of customer personas and buyer journeys

Who are you trying to reach? Creating customer personas means more than just understanding your audience demographics. As a content marketer, you need to understand your audience’s pain points, challenges, questions, and needs related to your product. Answering these questions clarifies what content your audience is looking for.

In addition to understanding your customers’ needs, it’s important to understand their decision-making process, or customer journey. Most customers go through different stages when deciding to make a purchase.

They identify a need or desire and look for solutions before purchasing a service or product. Understanding these stages will help you target prospects with the right content at the right time.

Misjudging customer personas or customer journeys may not be harmful, but it does minimize the potential impact of the content. Optimizing content delivery and customer journey stages, on the other hand, helps maximize the positive impact of content.

Also see: All About Buyer Personas: What They Are, Why You Need Them, and How to Make Them Effective

Set a budget

Content marketing campaigns are among the most cost-effective ways to connect brands with customers. However, cost-effectiveness does not mean that a budget does not have to be set and agreed as part of a content marketing strategy.

What constitutes a reasonable budget depends on several factors, including the amount of content needed, the resources required for the project, and whether the campaign requires paid media.

If a brand’s content marketing strategy can rely solely on proprietary media such as blogs, social media channels, and white papers, it will require a smaller budget than a strategy that relies on significant pay-per-click advertising or paid social media based. Using placed content services also requires a higher marketing budget than relying on your own resources.

Selection of marketing channels

Choosing marketing channels goes hand in hand with understanding customer personas and setting budgets. Since the advent of digital marketing, the number of marketing channels available to brands has skyrocketed. This increase in outlets has created both benefits and challenges for brands.

The multitude of digital marketing channels helps brands find an exact match between product and target audience. At the same time, marketers need to research each channel’s audience and stay abreast of audience changes to ensure the channel and audience are a match. Choosing digital marketing channels as part of a content marketing strategy is crucial for targeted content development and accurate budget planning.

Marketers must choose between owned, paid, organic, and earned content marketing channels. The latter isn’t necessarily a choice that marketers can make. Earned content marketing occurs when a brand’s audience shares the company’s content on its platforms. This is how content goes viral.

Choosing the right combination of organic, owned, and paid channels is critical to reaching the best possible audience. The right mix of channels also helps stretch a tight content marketing budget further and generate higher returns.

Creating, launching and optimizing content

Smart goals, well-defined customer personas, a clear budget, and appropriate marketing channels are the pillars of a powerful content marketing strategy.

Based on these pillars, the next phase in writing a content marketing strategy involves creating, launching and optimizing a brand’s content. In practice, these are three individual steps. The first step is to create high-quality content tailored to each channel.

Once the content has launched, digital marketers need to measure its performance against their predictions and each campaign’s goals. Even with the utmost planning and research, it’s normal for some content to perform better than others.

Optimizing a brand’s content marketing strategy is all about understanding what works best to achieve the goals you set at the beginning of the process. Launching content and measuring its performance will tell the content marketing team what needs to change for future campaigns. This last point is essential: content marketing strategies allow for long-term planning, but they are not static documents. They need the flexibility to allocate more resources to high-performing content while removing content that isn’t working.

See also: 5 ways to optimize your content for better Google rankings

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