There’s a good reason why so many marketers refer to content as king.
Content marketing is one of the most effective marketing strategies ever created. The main reason is that the content you create can actually provide value to your target audience.
This value comes in the form of education, information, and entertainment.
Solving a problem or answering a question with your content can really help your customers. This is exactly why online consumers constantly demand and expect fresh and high-quality content from businesses and brands.
However, developing a content marketing strategy isn’t as simple as many people believe it to be. You can’t create any type of content and hope for the best.
The fact of the matter is that aside from quality, your content must be highly relevant to your audience. Otherwise, it won’t have the necessary impact you want it to have.
With that in mind, here are a few ways to develop your content marketing strategy, plus bonus examples.
- 1. Determine your business goals
Every content marketing strategy must have a purpose. This will allow you to plan each step of the marketing campaign accordingly.
By defining your business goals, you’ll be able to determine what type of content to create, where to publish it, how often you should produce new content, and so on.
You see, choosing the right type of content and content format is the key to encouraging your audience to take the desired action. That’s why you can leverage content marketing to achieve any number of things.
Here are a few examples of common goals content marketing can help you with:
- Boosting sales
- Improving conversion rates
- Reaching a broader audience
- Improving brand awareness
- Improving SEO (Search Engine Optimization) rankings
- Establishing a strong social media presence
- Building exposure
- Product promotions
- Improving online visibility
Therefore, ask yourself: “What do I want to achieve with my content marketing strategy?” and go from there. It becomes much easier to create an actual content marketing strategy when you know what you want to do with it.
- 2. Conduct market research
You usually hear startups conducting market research to determine the demand for the new products they’ve come up with. But market research is so much more than that.
It can provide you with crucial information that will help you develop your content marketing strategy. Such information is not just vital for the success of your campaigns, but for the success of your business or any other endeavor you’re involved with.
Here are just a few things market research can tell you:
- Who your target audience is
- The type of content your audience prefers
- Your audience’s pain points and common problems
- Where your audience prefers to consume content, i.e., their preferred channels
- What content strategies your competitors use
Market research can also help you craft buyer personas and truly understand the buyer’s journey. This will help you determine which content is best suited for every step of that journey and how to use content to nurture leads.
Research is an essential step of every marketing campaign, content or otherwise.
- #1. The ideal example of a content marketing strategy
A company develops a series of products designed for a specific niche audience. It hired the top social media marketing agencies that offers creative branding services, and have a uniquely crafted brand for which it wants to build more awareness.
The company uses social media to publish content about itself, its core mission, and brand promise. After building a substantial social following, the company proceeds to lead audience members to their website and blog.
Once there, additional blog posts, videos, and articles await and clearly describe the company’s products and how these products can help their customers.
After generating enough qualified leads, the company proceeds to offer a free eBook to anyone who subscribes to their email newsletter. The company uses its email list to nurture leads and improve conversions.
- 3. Use different content formats
As you can see in the example above, content marketing is about using different content formats to keep your target audience engaged. If you rely solely on one format, your audience might lose interest along the way.
However, if you mix things up a little bit, you might get surprising and more viable results. Choosing different formats is also a great way to come up with fresh content, even if you run out of topic ideas.
Look at it this way. Are all members of your target audience interested in reading articles? If not, would they prefer to watch or rather listen than read? If so, then why not turn old articles into videos or podcasts?
Just like that, you have the means to reuse old content and give it a fresh new look while you work on coming up with something original.
Here are some other content formats you can use to improve the effectiveness of your content marketing strategies.
- Case studies
- #2. Content marketing strategy example
You’ve probably heard of Buffer. This company develops a social media app that helps you track and improve your social media marketing performance. The secret to their success is in their open blog project.
In fact, Buffer provides numerous articles and blog posts that help people solve problems and address common pain points related to social media and beyond. They don’t just explain how to do something; they actually tell you how they do it as well.
Buffer’s customers get incredible value from not just their app but also from their content.
- 4. Choose the right channels
Where and when you publish your content matters the most. Your target audience may seem scattered all over the Internet, but they do gather somewhere to consume content. You just have to find a channel they prefer.
Your website and blog are the perfect places to start. If your audience finds your content useful, informative, and valuable, they will flock to you for more.
Social media platforms are also a good place to share and publish your content.
After all, social media networks have around 3.96 billion active users and that number is expected to reach 4.41 billion by 2025. Still, your own website or blog allows you to keep things organized and categorized.
Using social media, email and similar channels for content promotion is good, but you don’t have a lot of control over those channels like you have over your blog.
Meeting your audience’s needs is vital, but you shouldn’t shy away from trying to steer them in the direction you want.
- Closing words
Creating an ideal content marketing strategy can be challenging. However, it’s not that difficult to do once you know what your audience wants.
Aligning your goals with the needs of your audience becomes much simpler with well-developed content that will help both sides get what they want.
It’s important to focus on what type of content to use and where so that you can maximize the effectiveness of your marketing efforts.
Sophie Douglas is a digital marketing specialist and a journalist based in Columbus, state of Ohio.
Her characters are passionate, innovative, and ambitious.
Before becoming a writer for DigitalStrategyOne, she was writing short stories, screenplays, and directing short films.