Content marketing is not an up-and-coming trend; it’s what your company needs now. Traditional marketing has been rendered almost ineffective and, in many ways, advertisements have become synonymous with spam; in fact, according to the Roper Public Affairs, 80 percent of business decision makers prefer to get company information in a series of articles versus an advertisement.
Content marketing involves educating, connecting and engaging with your audience in order to change or enhance their behavior, but to do that, you need a plan. A content strategy is preparation for content marketing. It outlines your goals, your target audience and your marketing tactics. The following are 4 must-have components for a successful content strategy.
Before creating a strategy, look at your starting point. You won’t know if your marketing has become more effective if you don’t know where you started. Check your analytics and decide where you would like to see improvement.
To determine content topics, keywords and a target audience you need to do research and ask questions:
- In the past, what content have you created or curated that has been well-received?
- What content failed to capture interest?
- Who is talking about you and what are they saying?
- What customer needs does your product or service meet?
- What industry/company barriers do you need to overcome?
Despite the misconception, social media is not the only content marketing tactic. Content marketing uses many tactics, and thus you need to provide a consistent user experience across all mediums and channels. To do this, you need a brand identity. A brand identity is more than a logo and brand colors. It is a personality. It is how your brand talks, acts and functions – no matter what tactic you are using.
While this is not a tangible component, it is arguably the most important. Many businesses fail to get results from content marketing because they give up on it too soon. Content marketing is about building relationships with customers and relationships do not happen overnight. Content marketing is also about consistency and consistency is achieved over time.
Without a strategy you are setting yourself up for failure. You can’t get where you want to go if you don’t know where you are starting from, where you want to end, or how to get there.