What is content marketing?
Not sure where to start?
Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you create a successful content marketing strategy:
Define your target audience
The first step in creating a content marketing strategy is to identify your target audience. This is the group of people you want to reach with your content and who will be most interested in what you have to offer. When defining your target audience, consider factors such as their demographics, interests, pain points, and goals. This information will help you create content that speaks directly to their needs and challenges. You may have more than one target audience – think about your services, and who you work best with or where you have the most experience.
Determine your goals and objectives
The next step is to determine what you hope to achieve with your content marketing strategy. Do you want to increase brand awareness, generate leads, build customer loyalty, or all of the above?
Your goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART).
For example, a SMART goal for your content marketing strategy could be: “Increase website traffic by 10% over the next six months by producing two blog posts per week and promoting them on social media.”
Setting clear and measurable goals will help you track the success of your content marketing strategy and make data-driven decisions about how to improve it over time.
Conduct a content audit
Before you start creating new content, take a step back and assess the content you already have. This can be in the form of blog posts, videos, podcasts, infographics, and more. Evaluate the performance of each piece of content and determine which ones are most effective and which ones are not – this information will help you identify gaps in your content and determine what kind of content you should create moving forward.
- Content format: What type of content (e.g. blog posts, infographics, videos, etc.) are you currently producing?
- Content quality: Is the content high-quality and relevant to your target audience?
- Content frequency: How often are you publishing new content?
- Content performance: How well is your content performing in terms of engagement and conversions?
Identify Your Unique Value Proposition
Your unique value proposition (UVP) is what sets you apart from your competitors and why your target audience should choose you over them.
To identify your UVP, ask yourself the following questions:
- What makes your product or service unique?
- What problem does your product or service solve for your target audience?
- Why should your target audience choose your product or service over your competitors?
Once you have identified your UVP, make sure it is evident in all of your content marketing efforts. This will help you establish your brand as a thought leader in your industry and build trust and credibility with your target audience.
Choose your channels
There are many different channels you can use to distribute your content, including your website, social media, email, and more. When choosing your channels, consider your target audience, the type of content you want to produce, and your goals and objectives. For example, if your target audience is primarily active on social media, you may want to focus your efforts there. If your goal is to generate leads, you may want to use email marketing as a key channel.
- Where does your target audience spend their time online? If you’re B2B, it may be best to focus solely on LinkedIn, but if you’re a B2C business (retail, restaurant etc) then Instagram and Facebook are likely to get more traction than LinkedIn.
- What type of content do they prefer (e.g. visual, written, audio)?
It’s easier to focus on 2 or 3 channels and deliver consistently, than try and do a bit on each and dilute your time and efforts.
Create a content calendar
Once you have a clear understanding of what you want to achieve and what channels you want to use, it’s time to create a content calendar. A content calendar is a schedule that outlines the type of content you will create, when you will create it, and where you will distribute it. Having a content calendar in place will help you stay organised, ensure consistency, and make it easier to measure the success of your content marketing efforts.
For social media scheduling, we use Buffer, but there are a lot fo platforms out there that can do this for you. Some CRMs will also have this feature if you want to manage it all in one place.
Produce high-quality content
Now it’s time to start producing high-quality content that will engage and educate your target audience. When creating content, consider the following tips:
- Make sure your content is relevant and valuable to your target audience.
- Use a clear, conversational tone that is easy to understand.
- Make sure your content is visually appealing and easy to consume – less is more! Canva is a great tool, and AI tools are popping up all over the place – but it may be worth engaging with a graphic designer and copywriter to get some templates / overall steer to get you up and running with a headstart
- Make sure your content is optimised for search engines, including keywords and meta descriptions.
- Make sure your content is shareable and includes calls to action that encourage engagement and sharing. But don’t overcomplicate it – try and stick to one core message and follow through on it.
Promote your content
Once your content is created, it’s important to promote it to reach as many people as possible. Here are a few ways to promote your content:
- Share your content on your website and social media channels.
- Send an email to your subscribers promoting your latest content.
- Collaborate with influencers and other businesses in your industry to promote your content to new audiences.
- Utilise paid advertising to reach specific audience demographics.
Test, review and reimplement
Many scheduling tools have analytics and reports, and social media platforms and Google Analytics will give you granular detail. See what’s working best, build out more strands in popular content and work with your SEO partner (if you have one) to see what keywords you can move into.
Google Trends is a great platform to find topical content to hook into – but make sure it’s relevant to your business and your audience!