For any organization to start a new process, there is typically a lot of red tape. Proposing a new Content Marketing Strategy can be a difficult undertaking and be presented with a lot of push back due to a lack of understanding around the topic.
Before a content marketing strategy can even be approached, I highly recommend getting company buy-in first. All too often, companies will start a content marketing campaign, not see the results they want in the first two weeks, then can the campaign prior to any real results being seen. The best way to get your company on board is to look at the numbers that justify the cost of content marketing over other marketing channels. Kapost and Eloqua provide an excellent infographic that shows a side-by-side comparison for mid and large-sized companies’ paid search vs. content marketing costs.
2. Research, Research, Research
The most essential part to any content marketing campaign is the upfront leg work with research. What should you research? Well, here is a quick list:
- Strengths and weaknesses of their products versus yours
- What are their offers, specials or promotions?
- What channels are they utilizing for communicating with customers?
- Identify the keywords they are utilizing
- Are they running any paid search campaigns and for what keywords?
- Look at their negative and positive reviews, what are customers saying?
Essentially, you want to know as much about your competitors as possible. Why? Well, it’s likely they have found some sort of success in running their promotions. When you’re able to see what is and isn’t working with a customer base that is similar, if not identical to yours, you are more likely to be successful with your marketing.
- Build a buyer persona and identify your target audience. Where are they? What are they doing? What are they buying? What are their fears?
- Identify trigger words for your customers. What will entice them to engage?
- Develop your marketing funnel based on your understanding of your target audience
- Identify what tools you will use for management customers with a great CRM
- Identify which channels your consumers are primarily in and what marketing campaigns work successfully in those channels
Having a consistent message, voice and positioning around your company and product will directly reflect on the success of your campaign. Your buyer persona should always be referred to on every business decision and marketing component moving forward.
- Determine if there are any changes, events, announcements coming out that could impact your product or company
- Who is talking about your industry? Find all influencers and find out what they are saying about you, your competitors and the industry as a whole
3. Identify Your Content Marketing Purpose
Before you get started on making content, you first need to know what purpose you are looking to achieve. This can vary by company and your content, messaging, key performance indicators, and success all hinge on what your company wants to get out of content marketing.
Most companies want to build awareness of their product or company amongst customers and potential customers. They want to become a household name and top of mind. Building an awareness campaign typically will result in more broad statements and a high frequency of releasing content.
Conversely, having a more robust purpose will serve your company better and result in a better ROI long term. At the end of the day, my opinion is that all companies eventually want to get money from their customers. Call me crazy. Having a content marketing campaign that includes an awareness component, but also provides engaging content that sparks conversation, will enable multiple touch points with your customers, guide them through the marketing funnel and achieve results. By achieving company buy-in, doing your research and identifying a purpose, your content marketing will start off on the right foot. In turn your campaigns will increase traffic, engagement and conversions directly and the positive results will wear on that red tape that once was.