If we were to ask you what your brand’s content marketing strategy is- what would your response be? Would you even know how to respond? In fact, a content marketing strategy is what separates companies with a plan for their audience from their less prepared competitors. A good content marketing strategy will help inspire people to take action. Having a well-tested strategy in place will allow your business to drive converting traffic that will generate increasing amounts of revenue.
It is a common mistake to confuse content marketing with content strategy. While these two concepts are certainly related, they remain separate entities that both serve a specific purpose. Content marketing is focused on creating a strategy that best works to distribute, and display your content in a way that will engage your audience and inspire them to convert. Still not sure how this differs from content strategy? We like how Content Marketing Institute puts it, as they explain that:
“The content marketer addresses the “whys,” the content strategist addresses the “hows,” and together they work out the “whats” and “wheres.” The content marketer draws the story and plans the channels that will be used to develop the customer relationship with the brand.”
If you already have a strategy in place, it’s time to ask if it’s working. At Webdirexion, we are always asking ourselves important questions to see if what we are doing is accomplishing our core missions for our brand. If your answer to our question is no, then we’re here to help. Here are several tips that will help you craft a winning content marketing strategy that will convert readers into buyers.
Figure out who your target audience is
You’ll be searching in the dark if you don’t first identify your target audience. A target audience is defined via a combination of factors such as age, location, gender, and hobbies. If you believe that your brand is targeted at everyone…we would strongly insist you take a closer look. Every brand will have a specified audience that will find your message or products more relevant to them. Once you have drafted a good picture of what your target persona looks like, you can plan your marketing strategy towards making your content appeal to that audience.
Weave your value proposition into everything you put out on the Internet
A value proposition is a short phrase or slogan that tells people what value they will receive by using your product (or service) or by viewing your content. It has to be short and easy to remember as you only have a few seconds to get your viewer’s attention. A value proposition is encapsulated by either a benefit your company can give or a value that your company stands for.
Let’s imagine that a marketing team is trying to sell its customers on a benefit. They might tell their potential customers that they can send their content through multiple social media channels. Each of those channels gives opportunities for people to share the company’s content. How can we turn this marketing team’s offering into a value proposition? They could say that they’re able to leverage social media to amplify your content towards a larger pool of potential customers.
Another example of a value proposition is State Farm in the insurance industry. Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there. That slogan helps convey the value of dependability, a definite value you want to see displayed by your insurance company. Apple has used the value proposition phrase “think different” for decades now in the tech industry. Steve Jobs was out front promoting the value that those who are crazy enough to change the world are the ones that actually do.
Your value proposition should flexibly fit across platforms
A value proposition is short so that it can be easily incorporated into various types of content. Again, part of a successful content marketing strategy involves planning how to utilize each marketing platform to your best advantage. Slogans and catch phrases should be easily portable to the different platforms you publish on. The content that you share with your users should be congruent in consistently showing off your value proposition.
Whatever you put online has to answer the question of why someone should consume your content. Why should someone subscribe to your YouTube channel or your Twitter feed? This “why” of why someone should read your content should ramp into why they should buy your product or subscribe to your service. The next time you ask yourself why someone should hire you or why they should share your content, realize that it’s going to be the same value proposition that will quickly communicate to them to either read your content or purchase your product.
Always test what works and what doesn’t
You should plan out your content campaigns by listing out your goals and objectives. You can break these out according to the type of content:
- blog posts
- white papers
- social media shares
Each of these content types should be charted according to what you think is most important. If it’s your blog posts, then perhaps you’re looking at Google Analytics for your traffic numbers or your social media accounts for the number of shares. The success of a Youtube video could be measured by the number of views or the number of comments. Find out what content helps meet your goals and objectives. Continually map out what’s worked and what hasn’t. Again, we cannot stress enough that marketing is a continually evolving process. Just because something worked before does not mean it will work now. Marketing evolves, content evolves, and your audience will even evolve. Figure out what is working to help inform your strategy, but always keep analyzing to ensure you have continued success.
If you’re stumped at where to start testing, look into your Google Analytics to see what are your top performing pages. You can set up some experiments on these pages to see how well your visitors are turning into customers. At Webdirexion we always keep this slogan in mind: always be testing. What starts out as a guess as to what will be successful can become a solid fact over time. A/B testing is a great strategy we regularly employ to determine what will be most successful on a given site. This goes for your website as well as your marketing strategy. Compare different platforms, types of content, and more, and see which performs better with your audience.
This knowledge can then be funneled further in to your specific content strategy. For example, once you get an idea of what content is popular on your blog, you can create more content using your success as a blueprint.
The goal of producing content is to get people to take action
Any content marketing strategy should fit into the larger picture of why you are producing content, which ultimately is to increase conversions. A book, a white paper, or a blog post is just another piece of content without a strategy and overall marketing plan that helps put this content into context. The videos you upload to Youtube or Instagram are too often categorized as branding exercises when no larger content strategy exists. While it’s great to see your content rank in the search engines or to see your posts promoted on the latest social media platform, these metrics should only be your priority if they are part of your overall content outreach plans.
The goal is always to get people reading your content to take action eventually. Publishing content that doesn’t inspire or persuade people to take the next step in your funnel is not going to give you ROI on your content. You don’t want to be spending your company’s time and money on things that aren’t going to bring in new customers.
Making a content marketing strategy work is easier when you break it down into parts. You first want to know who you’re targeting in your marketing campaigns. You then have to consistently drive home your value proposition no matter what content format you use. Finally, you’ve always got to measure what works and what doesn’t. These simple steps will have your content marketing strategy on firm footing as you continue to evolve your campaigns.
If you need help with your content marketing strategy, please contact us for help. At Webdirexion, we understand content marketing, and have a team of digital marketers ready to help you meet your business goals.