Your content marketing strategy isn’t to be confused with your content strategy or your content plan. You’ll often find these terms used interchangeably, when in fact, the three are separate and necessary assets for any marketing plan.
Your content marketing strategy is the reason why you’re creating content, the audience you’re helping, and how you’ll help them in ways your competition cannot. Typically, this involves using content marketing to build their audience, so they can either lower costs, earn more revenue, or reach better customers.
Your content strategy is broader in scope. It digs into the creation and publication of the useful and usable content. You’ll determine the titles and types of content, and where you’ll publish them. Some will be published on your website, while others will go to different websites where your audience is likely to be browsing.
Your content plan is the tactical document that outlines exactly how you’ll execute your content strategy and who will be handling all the tasks.
Your content marketing strategy must come before you build your content plan. It is the marketing plan for you content, so it needs to include key topic areas you’ll cover, the content assets you’ll create, when and how you’ll share your content, and any specific calls to action to include.
With that said, let’s focus on what to include in your content marketing strategy.
Why You Should Invest in Content Marketing
Content marketing generates more than three times the leads for your business as outbound marketing, but costs 62% less. Not only this, but a content marketing strategy can also affect other marketing activities you’re already using. For instance, ongoing content strategy can help you build more organic search traffic, which increases the chance your company will show up in the search results for users in your target demographics. And, having a content strategy in place can give you content to fuel social media syndication efforts. You’ll have updates to share on social media, and content you can add to your email marketing campaigns. You can use your best content for a landing page, to increase conversions for a paid advertising campaign.
Content marketing isn’t limited to just blog posts. You can use it with a number of different assets, including everything from white papers to video, audio, infographics, and more.
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The Business Goals You Hope to Achieve with Content Marketing
Think about the goals you have for your content marketing. Do you want to increase your customer base as a whole? Boost average order value? Improve the quality of your customer base? Reduce marketing costs? What is the unique value you’re aiming to provide with your content? Think about your business model, and consider both opportunities and obstacles you may run into as you execute the plan.
Your Buyer Personas and Customer Journeys
Here you discuss the specifics of the audiences you’re creating the content for. You’ll detail who they are, what they need, and what their content engagement cycle may look like. It’s also a good idea to map out the content you can deliver throughout their buyer journey, so you can help move them closer to their goals.
Your Brand Story
Think about the messages you want to share and how your messages are different from what the competition is saying. Also note speculations about how you believe the landscape will evolve after sharing the messaging with your audience.
Here, outline the platforms you’ll use to tell your brand story. Outline your goals, objectives, criteria, and processes for each one. Then, consider how you’ll connect them to keep a seamless customer experience and cohesive brand conversation in place. If you have no idea where to start, think about the channels your target audience is using to connect with the brands they love – even if they are your competition.
If you find yourself struggling to find the time to build a complete content marketing strategy, you can simplify the process with a one-page plan. This plan includes a laser-focus on the goals your company aims to accomplish within the next year, how you measure progress toward those objectives, what the content marketing will do during the next year (build brand awareness, introduce a new product, and so on), and the metrics you’ll measure to determine how successful the content marketing is. And if even that’s still too much for you because you need to handle other things in your business, you can reach out to us here at SEO Inc., to get some guidance.