Carrying out content marketing endeavors without a strategy is a haphazard approach, like a ship setting sail without a rudder.
The fact that content marketing produces three times as many leads as traditional marketing at a cost that’s over 60 percent less expensive, should strongly reinforce how a content marketing strategy is imperative.
Content marketing is a broad term that means different things to different people. The absence of a content marketing strategy typically results in over emphasizing on the content proper in a vacuum, without focusing on overarching objectives – a common mistake.
Content marketing strategies should define the primary needs of your business, and your customers’ needs, as well as provide a comprehensive plan for how those needs will be addressed with content.
There are no ‘cookie-cutter’ methods for developing a content marketing strategy, and they vary from company to company. However, they should be comprised of some key elements.
Key Elements for Content Marketing Strategies
For starters, there needs to be clear business objectives for content initiatives, including the value that will be delivered to distinct audience personas. Developing audience personas requires keen focus, is challenging, but necessary. An effective approach is to concentrate on a single audience persona, starting with one that incorporates your very best customers. These customers will represent your target audience persona. Once this audience persona is complete, it can be utilized to develop varying audience personas.
Scrutinizing the specific types of content that will help individuals within each different persona throughout their buyer’s’ journey is the next step in developing your strategy.
What’s Your Story?
Part of your strategy should pertain to how your content marketing will typify concepts and messaging that will be conveyed about your brand, and how your messaging contrasts from what’s communicated by competitors.
This is all about your brand’s story, what your brand represents, and your plans for creating experiences for your audience personas and engaging them in dialogues. Over time, effective storytelling should result in developing solid relationships with a community of loyal customers and brand advocates.
Naturally, there shouldn’t be singularity in your use of channels for telling the stories about your brand. Different platforms should be utilized differently based on the goals set for each one, yet how the interconnection between them needs to be defined.
Sharing Your Strategy
With combatting silos within large organizations in mind, it’s advantageous to share a summarized version of your documented content marketing strategy interdepartmentally to make all personnel aware of primary content objectives. In addition, this can help generate “buy in” for content marketing initiatives from the executive team.
Sharing the entire documented strategy is a best practice for small organizations and those new to the content marketing game to keep everyone in sync.
While the key business objectives for content initiatives should remain consistent, periodic updates to some parts of your content marketing strategy will help keep content marketing on track. Reviewing platforms, subject matter, and processes on an as needed basis is advisable as your content marketing endeavors advance and expand, and as changes occur within your industry niche.