Content marketing is the superhero of digital and the only way for businesses to survive the tough competition, is to focus on creating a robust inbound strategy. But isn’t that what every business out there is doing now?
More and more content is going online today. No matter what your niche or industry is, there are always at least a hundred content pieces to take away your target reader’s attention. Yes, the publishers with bigger marketing budgets always get the biggest piece of the cake.
That’s exactly why some businesses still think content marketing is one of their biggest growth challenges.
But as content marketers working across different industries, we think not.
Here’s why you don’t have to complicate your content marketing strategy so much!
It all starts with a ‘why’
Starting with a ‘why’ helps you identify the goals you are trying to achieve from content marketing. Understand why you want to contribute more content to the internet that is already overflowing with it. The answer to the why should be a list of your business goals that will get achieved from the content pieces you create.
If we ask you to pick up your laptop and move it 5 inches to the right, you’re going to want to know ‘why’ right?
But make sure that you don’t go overboard with the goals you set. Be practical and break down your business goals into months of running your content marketing strategy. Keeping it realistic will help you remain focused and consistent at your efforts – be it branding, brand awareness, to get more subscribers, promote products, etc.
Moves to the ‘who’
Once you have the ‘why’ in place, focus on defining the ‘who’. Like marketing and sales experts say, “not everyone is your customer”.
You need to define who your ideal readers are – where they come from, what they do, what challenges they are facing, what will they achieve from your content pieces and how you can convert them at a later stage into customers or subscribers.
Yes, dig deeper to define the reader personas – put in as much effort as you did while creating the user personas for your marketing and sales campaigns. Here’s a piece that will help you define your readers:
- The 6 key steps to identifying your target audience
- The beginner’s guide to creating marketing personas
The more defined your readers are, the better is the engagement and conversions from your content pieces. Because..
And then the ‘what’
You know what you want to achieve from content marketing and who your target audience is. Now it is all about defining what you want to create for them.
This is the step where you start defining the topics and conversations you want to contribute to as a brand, the type of content you can create or curate based on the resources available to you and what your audience wants to read, and how frequently can you keep up with it.
The ‘what’ is actually your documented content marketing strategy. It might take you a while to get a well defined content calendar in place, but don’t skip the step or you’ll have your readers skipping you!
Here are a few posts that will help you create a content marketing strategy:
- How to create a content marketing strategy from scratch in 12 steps
- The 6 core elements of a successful content marketing strategy
Defining the ‘how’
Content marketing isn’t just about writing a blog and publishing it on your site. It isn’t about creating an in-depth ebook to showcase on your website. It is all about ‘how’ you reach out to your target audience with the content piece you have created.
From social media to online communities and more, list down the channels your audience is actively engaging with conversations on. Identify the platforms that are relevant to your business and make it a point to syndicate all your content on these channels.
The only things you need to keep in mind when defining the ‘how’ are your marketing resources and how you can stay at the top of your audience’s mind consistently.
After that, it’s keeping up with the numbers!
Analytics is an important aspect of content marketing. If you have analytics in place right from the beginning, you will be able to track reader interests and conversions, enabling you to optimize your inbound strategies further.
But those who begin without analytics, often end up complicating campaign optimization at a later stage. And no, who wants to deal with various calculations when there are so many competitors to keep an eye on!
Yes, creating a content marketing strategy is as simple as answering : why, who, what and how.
If you’re able to clear your mind, focus on the consumer market and your business goals simultaneously, you’ll get the answers you need for creating a strategy that actually works.
Do you think content marketing is a necessary evil, but too complicated to get into?