Consistently producing quality content and distributing it using the same approach repeatedly is not enough. Content marketing is all about evaluating your efforts and readjusting your approach when needed. Revisiting your content strategy plan often will help you not only create and deliver a powerful message, but also stay ahead of the competition.
The following steps should be an integral part of every effective content marketing strategy.
1. Define Your Goals
What do you want to achieve with your content marketing strategy? Write down your goals, both short-term and long-term. Maybe you aim to create brand awareness, attract customers, convert users, improve search rankings, or boost your revenue. Proper planning will help you determine what type of content is most suitable for each goal you want to pursue.
Your goals must be specific and measurable, and you should also set key performance indicators so you can measure your results. Your initial goals may change over time as your business evolves and grows, so it’s necessary to be flexible and revisit your list frequently.
2. Take Stock of Your Existing Content
Publishing the same type of content repeatedly won’t work; a content audit can save you a lot of time and trouble. Which formats have been the most useful and successful? Analyze and evaluate your current efforts to find out what has yielded the best results in the form of inbound links, shares, and search engine rankings.
You should also determine what isn’t working for your audience anymore and either adjust or replace it altogether. Find out if there are any information gaps you can focus on. Are there any audience questions or issues you can address with your content?
Does your content align with the intention, disposition and action of your target customer?
3. Collect and Evaluate Demographic Data
Finding your target audience takes time and a lot of research, but it’s an essential step. Collect data from your visitors, email subscribers, and social media followers regularly. Take the time to get to know your customers’ needs, problems, priorities, and questions so that you can produce valuable and relevant content for them.
You can also determine what sites they are already visiting, which content they prefer, and on which social media they share it. What’s more, your customers’ feedback can provide useful insights. Are there any areas where you can improve?
Research is also vital if you want to expand your audience and target a new market. When you have enough information, you can create a ‘buyer persona’ or a ‘reader persona’ that is your ideal reader and customer. Tools such as Google Demographics and Interests and Google Analytics are extremely useful for this process.
4. Diversify Your Content
If you have been writing blog posts for a while, you may want to start mixing things up. There are many ways you can provide valuable information for your audience. Why not create an eBook? It will provide an incentive for readers to opt in on your site or blog so that you can build an extensive email list.
Extremely shareable visual content, such as templates and infographics, can boost your site’s traffic. You should also experiment with other media, like videos and podcasts. This way, you can create highly engaging content that will help you expand your brand’s reach. You can always repurpose existing content using a new format to create even more diversity. Keep your content SEO-friendly so that you can rank better on search engines.
5. Distribute Your Content
Make sure your audience can find your content easily online. Find out your readers’ favorite social hangouts and take advantage of these media, but don’t forget to use all channels available to expand your reach. Next, you must select the most suitable content for every distribution channel.
For instance, visual content pieces are ideal for Pinterest, but you should choose Instagram to tell your brand’s story. Moreover, many tools can help you plan social media posting and content distribution more efficiently. Email marketing can be another avenue where you can share exclusive high-quality content with your subscribers.
6. Measure the Results of Your Strategy
Analyzing user feedback is essential because it can help you decide what type of content to create next. Adapt your approach after you take into account all metrics available to you to enhance your customer experience. Investigate user behavior by looking at the number of unique visitors, the number of pages per session, your bounce rate, etc.
Reader engagement is equally important: Which content is most commented on? What type of pieces do people share on social media? You should also analyze your conversion metrics to measure how many sales and how much revenue your content has created.
Planning and implementing an effective content marketing strategy isn’t always smooth sailing. Nonetheless, trial and error will help you tweak or readjust your approach, so don’t be afraid to make mistakes if you gain experience and insight. Be ready to leave behind anything that isn’t working for your business and is impeding your growth. Finally, always keep your audience in mind and try to add value to their lives with your content.