A content strategy is basically creating and coming up with engaging, sustainable, and of course relevant content which is meant to target your audience or prospective clients.
Content marketing strategy, on the other hand, is the process of putting out your content to your target audience in order to promote your brand. Just like other aspects of your business, you ought to have a clearly stipulated plan which you can use for carrying out successful content marketing campaigns. A well thought out strategy indeed works to boost your business but will also be a much pocket friendlier option as you are able to decipher the pros and cons and also address the potential risks you can encounter in the future.
Why do you really need a content marketing strategy?
The one question many of business owners ask themselves is, ‘must I really have a content marketing strategy?’ While some people and blogs will attach different answers to the question, the one answer that truly stands out is ‘You should have had it like yesterday!’ Companies that have content marketing strategy are reportedly doing much better in terms of:
- creating brand awareness,
- generating high-quality leads,
- Attracting more traffic to the website.
- engaging more with the audience,
- Diverting traffic to product/service pages from the blog post
- reducing the bounce rate.
An effective content marketing strategy is based on the understanding of the business and the wants of its customers. You need to analyze different trends and opportunities in the current times and predict which content will solve the problems of your target audience at that particular time.
Budget Allocation For Content Creation
Marketing needs capital to ensure that the process is effective. It is so hard to find a marketing platform which won’t require you to spend money in order to market your content. After all, you spend money to make money. calculate the total cost of the entire process and allocate funds to it accordingly. Allocating funds in advance will help you avoid certain financial difficulties in the future.
Furthermore, this will also ensure that you get to account better on how your finances are and will be spent giving you a clear picture of how to allocate sufficient budget to effective content creation. You must consider the cost of hiring:
- a suitable content writer in your niche is more expensive but the content he/she produces will be well researched.
- A native speaker, to ensure there are no grammatical mistakes
- Hiring a fulltime content writer would cost you more than hiring a part-time or a freelance content writer.
You can easily find proficient freelance content writers from websites like Fiverr, Freelance. If you are looking for local content writers in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, then Bawabba is a great platform to find freelance content writers in UAE at an affordable price.
Try to create a database of content writers you have worked with before. Keep a record of their contact details and niche, the level of expertise and the cost per 1000 words. This will help you order your articles quickly in th future. Working with freelancers can slash your cost of content to $50 for highly professional, well-researched articles from the experts.
What are the steps to create a content marketing strategy?
Content marketing is not an easy task and needs one to have a clearly formulated plan before going for it. The risk of failure is high if you do not have a good strategy in place. Here are some steps you can follow for successful content marketing for your company.
1. Have your brand goals clearly spelt out
Everything that is bound to succeed always begins with a goal. Firstly, ascertain what you wish to achieve? Why do you want to start marketing your content? How will you measure success? Is it based on app downloads, product purchases or social engagements? Ask yourself these and other questions as you prepare to set your goals.
2. Identify your key performance indicators
Key performance indicators will help you better understand your goals and check if they are attainable or measurable. This provides you with milestones you can refer to in order to assess your progress towards your target or whether you have attained your goals or not.
3. Conduct research on your target group
The biggest mistake people make in any marketing strategy is advertising or reaching out to the wrong people, or the right people but in the wrong way. Conduct your research on your audience and get to understand their problems and apprehensions better. Figure out their interests and how they perceive different data. Your content will be directed by the needs of your audience.
4. Analyze your current content
This largely applies to companies which have already done content marketing in the past. Therefore, it is always a good idea to start by analyzing your current content. Go back to the drawing board and check whether your previous content has been successful or has been a failure in achieving your goals. If it needs to be adjusted, always be ready for changes and go with the current trends. However, if something is not working, it is better to adjust and change it or do away with it for good. You may also repost your old blog posts, with updated content. I never delete my old posts. Instead, I redirect them to the new blog post, to retain the link juice and authority. Fresh content is always appreciated by Google and people likewise.
5. Come up with content ideas with keyword research
You probably have a lot of ideas you would want to use to boost your company. Sit down with your team, or yourself, and brainstorm on the different ideas you all have. For instance, try and come up with something which is relevant to your target audience and is also based on their needs. Focus on keywords people are searching for, on Google. What would your audience be searching for when they want to reach you? Will, whatever you come up with be relevant enough to appear on their search results?
The best tools for keyword research is the “Google Keyword Planner” used by SEO companies worldwide. Alternatively, you may also install a google chrome extension “Keywords Everywhere”. You may also use other popular SEO tools to find out which keywords your competitors are ranking for, for example, MOZ and Semrush.
Here is a screenshot of how the chrome extension Keywords everywhere displays the results. It will show you the traffic volume per month, cost per click(CBC), and the level of competition.
6. Increase your Click Through Rate
You could have highly valuable content on your website but if you do a lousy job selecting the right title for your content then people will not click on it. In order to maximize the number of clicks, you could use the following tips:
- Use a title grader to assess the quality of your title e.g. Blog Post title grader.
- Add an odd number to the title
- Clearly, state the benefit of reading the article
- Address a problem in the title
- Offer a solution to a common problem
- Add useful words e.g. Checklist (highly recommended), Cheat Sheet, Template, Swipe File, Examples
7. Decide on the type of content you want to create
One benefit of knowing your audience is that it gives you clues about what type of content will appeal to them. People of different demographics tend to respond differently to different ways of passing messages. All the different content types;
- blogs, etc.
Secondly, all types of content have the same end goal, and that is to clearly pass a message. Consequently, you may be able to predict how your target audience will react to your content. I would highly recommend adding videos to your article, have an expert talk about the same topic. It could be the owner of the company on the camera or even an employee who is confident and is able to keep the audience engaged for at least the first 10 seconds. The person on the camera must be certain and convinced himself about the solution he is offering. Viewers can detect uncertainty, lack of professionalism and honesty. I prefer having people with a high-energy level on camera who are absolutely sure about what they are talking about. Such people are good at captivating the interest of the viewers with their body language, gestures and tonality. Salespeople often do a brilliant job when it comes to shooting video content.
The video length may vary depending on the length of the article. You may consider splitting the long video into short clips of 60 seconds for social media. As longer videos are usually skipped. You may upload the longer version of the video to YouTube.
8. Select The Right Channels of distribution
While there are many avenues one can use to distribute their content, not all will work for your brand. The channel you use will greatly be determined by your target audience as well. If it is a group of young people, social media is our best shot! Whichever other media you wish to use; whether emails, websites, social media ads, print media, etc. always consider whether it will really reach your target audience. If you are into B2B, where you are selling to other businesses then LinkedIn would prove to be most effective.
9. Prepare a content calendar
It is advised that you prepare a monthly or even a quarterly content calendar to make sure it is ready and posted on time. Having a clear set time for your content distribution is key. Every successful marketer will always tell you that content doesn’t just get distributed anyhow, but is usually a very calculated move. Set the perfect timelines for the distribution of the content and wait for it. Be in no hurry, unless otherwise.
10. Distribute the content
All aspects considered, now is your chance to show the world your content. Use your specified channels and if possible, have a very strong marketing strategy to ensure that the content reaches a bigger number of your target audience. You can distribute content through paid or organic mode. Paid is extremely effective in reaching large volumes of highly targeted people through Facebook, Instagram, Google and YouTube. The organic reach is limited unless you have a large fan following and your followers engage well with your content.
11. Analyze the results
Never lose track of how your content is performing. Be it daily, weekly or quarterly, depending on the type of content it is and also the channels used, track and see how it has performed. This can aid you to know whether it worked or not, and also whether you need to revisit your contents. You can use Facebook Insights, Facebook Analytics, Google Analytics, Google Search Console to analyze the performance of your content. You may also set up automated email reports in Google Analytics.
12. Capture Leads
Content is not used for creating brand awareness. It must be effectively used throughout the sales funnel. You can use content for capturing leads on your website and even social media.
Facebook, allows you to add a lead generation form to your page. You can also allow website visitors to download your articles in exchange for their contact details. You may also run Facebook ads offering a FREE report when then they sign up on your website. You can be as creative as you want. The sky is the limit.
Your content will not go viral unless it is shared. The best people to share your article would be your friends, family, colleagues and business partners. You may also consider collaborating with industry experts to share your articles in exchange for featuring them in your article. You may take their views and opinions on the selected topic and quote them in the article. They would be pleased to share it on their social media, once the content has been published. Additionally, you can tag the same people, so you can extend your reach to their friends.
My all-time favourite platform for finding industry experts is LinkedIn. You can add connections in the relevant field, and later message them asking for their opinions. Quoting industry experts also increases the credibility of the content.
Content marketing is a never ending process so after a successful strategy, repeat the same process again! Always learn to be patient, take your time, and above all; be creative every time.