Content marketing isn’t like other forms of marketing. Instead, it’s an almost separate entity. Unlike other marketing types that continuously need new audience members, content marketing gives businesses a way to have ongoing conversations with their current audience, while also cultivating relationships with new customers. How does it do that? By creating something called a “subscribed audience.”
That subscribed audience is filled with people who actively want to engage with and hear from your brand. Only content marketing has the ability to draw those people into one group. If you don’t already have a content marketing strategy, or if you want to improve the one you currently have, follow these 5 quick tips to get started.
1. Set goals
What goals do you want to reach in your content marketing efforts? How do you want your plan to affect your company’s overall growth? It’s important to ask yourself questions like these before starting any new business endeavors. Without them, your content, and thus your company’s brand, will have no direction. Ideally, you’ll want to create both long term and short term goals for your business. Doing this will put you on the road to success, as it enables you to set milestones to take you to the ultimate goal for your business. Those milestones are essentially a motivation tactic. You’re much more likely to continue pushing toward an ultimate goal when you experience small wins than if you fail to acknowledge when essential steps have been completed.
2. Know who your audience is and what they want from you
Once you finish outlining your own reasons for needing the content, it’s time to figure out what your customers need out of it. Most consumers don’t read through a blog post or watch a video for no reason. They get something out of it. Whether it’s enjoyment, an alleviation of boredom, or new insights into a topic they’re interested in, your audience will always want something from your content. Making sure you know what they desire before you start creating will only help you attract, convert, delight, and close more customers in the long run.
3. How are you different from everyone else? How will you stand out?
At least 91% of B2B businesses report using content marketing for their business, so standing out amid the noise can be difficult. To do it, you need to figure out what makes your company unique. How do you help solve your customers’ issues? What makes your content more comprehensive than others on the same topic? Why should they choose you over your competitors? Focus on answering those questions and you’ll be well on your way to creating quality content.
4. Determine what type of content you’ll create
Your next step in the process is to determine how you’ll translate your uniqueness into content. Video is great if it fits with your business model. 72% of people would rather use video to learn about a product or service. Even better, video creation doesn’t take a lot of expertise. Comprehensive guides are also an incredible content type, as they are much more likely to see high rankings on search engine results pages (SERPs) than shorter, time-sensitive blog posts. Regardless of what type of content you create, it’s important to just push the button and get started. A new study by Kapost (in collaboration with Eloqua) shows that content marketing gets an average of 3 times more leads per dollar than paid marketing.
5. Develop a strategy to promote your content
Once you know what type of content you want to create, you should also develop a plan for how you’ll get eyes on it. It’s one thing to have content, but if you aren’t actively marketing what you’ve come up with, you might as well not create it. That promotion strategy can involve anything from posts on various social media channels, to guest posts with backlinks, to paid advertisements. Nothing is off limits, so long as you pay attention to your customers’ needs and optimize your content for SEO. If you do that, you’ll be well on your way to seeing the traffic you’re looking for.
The Perfect Content Marketing Plan
When you’re planning to create a content marketing strategy, it’s important to do your research. You should also remember that no two content marketing plans are the same, which means there is no “perfect” plan. Instead, there’s only the perfect plan for your business, and even that will change as your business and audience continue to evolve. No matter how you choose to structure your plan, don’t forget how important it is to satisfy your customers’ needs as well as your own. You target audience, as well as search engines like Google, will reward you for your efforts.
Bojan Mijatovic is a digital marketer and an SEO consultant. As a keen enthusiast in new technologies and all-things-business, he likes to write about industry insights, from social media and SEO, to growth hacking and productivity. He is also an avid Formula 1 fan.