The ultimate goal of any marketing strategy should be inspiring potential customers to take action when it comes to a product or service. Traditional marketing relied on paid advertising on TV and in print. The digital era gave consumers more control over the content they chose to view, which meant that marketers needed to adjust their tactics. A content marketing strategy helps you accomplish your business's goals and meet the needs of your desired audience.
With so many different types of content marketing strategies and content marketing software available, where do you start? Let's begin with the basics and answer the question, "what is content marketing?".
What is Content Marketing? Our Content Marketing Definition
A short and sweet content marketing definition is permissive advertising. Unlike traditional marketing, where consumers have no choice about what they see, content advertising puts the power in their hands. Marketers create content that is valuable to the consumer on a consistent basis in the form of blog articles, videos, infographics, e-books, and more in order to gain and attract the attention of potential consumers.
Another good way of defining content marketing is marketing that gives consumers something of value in exchange for their time. That can include some form of entertainment or valuable information that helps them make an informed decision.
Content marketing is about more than selling customers on the benefits of your product. You're building a connection with your audience, provide information that is helpful to them, and build trust. Through a well-thought-out content marketing strategy, you'll generate better leads who are more likely to want to engage with you and develop long-term loyalty to your brand.
Why is a Content Marketing Strategy Important?
Establishing a content strategy means taking the time to transform your company's goals into content that helps you achieve them. You may want to amplify awareness around a brand to increase overall revenues. You would do that by employing content marketing tactics designed to attract more traffic to your website from specific audience segments or boost your social media profile.
None of that happens in a vacuum. Employing a content marketing strategy lets you take a more refined approach. You're talking directly to your audience, telling them how your brand connects to what's going on in their life. An important aspect of content marketing is improving the SEO to boost your content pages in SERPs in order to get more eyes on the content.
Many new businesses start off not understanding the importance of a sound content marketing strategy. They may think of it as something secondary to tasks needed to support their company's day-to-day needs. Having a content marketing strategy that consistently puts out high-quality content to potential customers increases the chances of long-term success for your company.
What are the Key Elements of a Content Marketing Strategy?
Establishing a content marketing strategy starts with covering four key elements:
- Creating a Business Case — Outline everything you want to accomplish with your content marketing strategy. That includes the goals you have for the content you create, what value it provides to consumers, and specific details of how your business model works. Don't forget to cover any roadblocks you might run into, along with potential opportunities that might present themselves as you pursue your content strategy.
- Coming up With a Plan — Your plan covers how you will accomplish the goals laid out in your business case. This is where you go through the gritty details of executing your content marketing strategy. That includes specifics on who you're targeting your content and establishing metrics that measure whether your content marketing strategy's elements are successful or need more refinement.
- Understanding Your Audience — Think through what it is your audience wants from you. Come up with personas defining the likes and needs of potential customers. Think about where they tend to congregate online and what is most important to them. That tells you the kind of content you should be coming up with and which marketing channels should receive the most focus. Some audiences are more likely to spend time on certain social media platforms while others prefer to access research reports and white papers. Knowing your audience's tendencies will help guide your content marketing plan.
- Showcasing Brand Value — Talk about what a brand brings to the marketplace, making it different from competitors. You need to let consumers know what you have to offer them and why you're the best choice for fulfilling their current needs. Include detail about your main competition and some of the content marketing strategies they use that you might want to incorporate.
How Do I Come Up With a Content Marketing Strategy?
Many businesses search for content marketing examples before they develop their own strategy. Your content marketing strategy should be built for the long-term. You need to think beyond the moment and look ahead to how you can continue meeting company goals, overcome challenges that arise, and make effective use of available resources.
1. Review Your Current Content
Start by doing an audit of the content you have that is on your website and used for marketing purposes. This is where the hard work you put into learning about your audience pays off. Your content should be aimed at answering questions they have along with anticipating their future needs. Does the content you put out now accomplish that purpose? Audit what you're putting out and replace anything that doesn't fit with any of your goals.
2. Set Content Goals
Every piece of content produced by a brand should meet a goal for your business. For example, sending emails that encourage visitors to return and pay for items in their shopping cart contributes toward driving revenue. You shouldn't generate content just because it's what everyone else is doing. If it doesn't help your business or potential customers, you shouldn't waste your time.
3. Create a Content Release Plan
Once you develop content to engage current and future customers, plan out the most influential publication timing. You may want to create blog posts to release once every week or email reminders that encourage people to take advantage of a sale that's about to end. Having a content plan helps you track what content you've produced and where there may be gaps to fill.
Get Content Marketing Examples and Strategy Guidance With Vazoola
Vazoola helps companies and brands cover their marketing strategy needs with real solutions that let brands and marketers focus on growth opportunities. Set up a consultation with Vazoola today to discuss what types of content marketing strategies and campaigns will help your business grow.