“Content is king,” is a term you may have come across on more than one occasion if you’ve done even some passing research on content marketing. While this phrase may be a little eye roll-inducing, it’s not far from the truth. A good content marketing strategy is essential to your inbound marketing campaign; in fact, it can be argued that content is the foundation for your online marketing efforts.
What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is creating and using content, such as blog posts, eBooks, case studies, videos and more to provide valuable information or advice to your target audiences. When executed properly with a well thought out plan and strategy, it can be an incredibly effective marketing tool for your business. Here are some top reasons that you’ll want a content marketing strategy sooner rather than later:
- Content attracts visitors – Without content, there’s no real way to attract new visitors to your website unless they are already aware of your company’s existence. Google ranks websites according to the quality of the content, which they do by taking into account numerous factors, such as social signals (comments and shares), external links and more. The higher your ranking, the more traffic you’ll likely get to your site.
- Content helps improve brand exposure – In addition to boosting exposure by improving your ranking, content can be shared by readers on social media as well as linked to by other sites, exposing your brand to even more people.
- Content builds brand authority – If your content is of high quality and it’s relevant to your brand, it will help strengthen your brand authority. People will continue to visit your site to read new content, and it will be easier to build trust amongst your audience, which in turn will make it easier to capture leads and close sales.
- Content helps build your brand identity – You can tell the story of your brand through the use of content which will help consumers get to know not just what services and products your business offers, but what your business stands for and what your goals are.
- Content helps to nurture leads – Many businesses employ content marketing through the use of an email campaign. When a lead has signed up for their newsletter, they then email the lead targeted content to help nurture them through the sales funnel.
Developing a Content Marketing Strategy
Content marketing is relatively broad, which means that there are many different strategies that you can implement. Choosing what strategies to employ depends greatly on what your specific marketing goals are. Keeping this in mind, here is an outline of some of the steps that you’ll need to take to develop a successful content marketing strategy:
- Determine your marketing goal – Without specific marketing goals, you won’t know if the content you’re creating or the way you’re using it is effective or not. Are you creating content to attract more visitors to your website? Do you want to nurture prospects that have filled out a form on your website? 3-5 goals is a good starting point for a content marketing strategy.
- Identify your target audience – One of the worst mistakes you can make is to write content for the wrong audience. This will bring in visitors that have no interest in your brand, which is a waste of marketing resources. Pinpoint who your audience is and write your content with them in mind.
- Create a content plan – Using your goals and knowledge about your audience, create a content plan, such as deciding how much content to publish every week, where you should publish it and how you should promote it. We advise many of our clients to start with a list of common questions, pain points, and challenges that their customer faces when trying to identify the best content to write about.
- Use analytics to track success and patterns – Track various metrics, such as page views, call-to-action click-throughs, downloads and more to determine what works and what doesn’t.
When done right, having a content marketing strategy can be incredibly effective in achieving your marketing goals. By understanding the hows, whys, and whats, your business can be well on the way to maximizing your content as a lead generating tool.