These days everything is posted online. It is easy to find out who is the best of the best in any field, whether it be by scoping out Instagram photos or reading business reviews by credited journalists. With everything being online, it is only reasonable that someone somewhere has looked into your business’ online presence and deemed whether it is worthy of a client’s time by just a few scroll throughs. That is why it is so important that what you are posting – whether it be on your business’ blog or even your Twitter account – showcase your company as the best a client can get. In order to wow clients, you must create spectacular marketing content to keep them clicking and coming back for me. But with a world of information out there, it can be tricky to decide how to best market your business. That is why you should come up with a specialized content marketing strategy that fits your business’ needs. Obviously, this is not a one size fits all situation. But keep in mind these key elements and you will be sure to figure out the perfect strategy for your business no matter the size.
What is Content Marketing?
Before you can create a strategy to effectively reel clients in, you need a firm grasp on content marketing’s definition. Content marketing is the creation of any online material, be it a video, photo or blog post, that peaks the viewer’s interest in learning more about your business and services. It is everything you do online in order to show why someone should be interested in what you do.
Social media is a huge component of content marketing. Every Tweet, photo or like your business composes should be geared toward convincing clients that you are the best of what is out there. For example, using professional quality editing software to fix up the photos your company posts online shows a client that you care about your image and how it is viewed online. The use of such software would be a tactic for how your company uses content marketing.
Why is Content Marketing Important?
So the “what” in this scenario is easily explainable, but what about the “why?” Why should you be concerned with your online content and a strategy for bettering it? While it seems like a question with many parts, the answer is simple. Your business should care because the world is watching. According to Google Search statistics, people utilize Google searches over three and a half billion times per day. Roughly, that is about 40,000 search queries every second. People are looking up what you have online. You need to be concerned about how the information you have posted is being perceived.
Know your Goals
Before you even put a pen to paper, you need to decide what you want to be accomplished through content marketing. Is it more clicks to your website? Is it better user engagement? As stated before, each strategy is different. Not one will be identical to another because of the difference in goals. However, knowing your goals is the only way your business will be able to see success.
The perfect place to start is by writing a mission statement. A mission statement is a statement of purpose that you are trying to accomplish through content marketing. Mission statements help keep your efforts on track throughout all stages. It is easier to stay focused if you have a set standard to keep coming back to. There are a few components to a mission statement:
1. Audience – How will your strategy attract the audience you desire?
2. Content – What type of content do you need to focus on in order to attract your audience?
3. Benefit – How will sticking to your strategy benefit both you and your clients?
Once you know which direction you need to move, figuring out the next step will practically write itself.
Typical goals of content marketing are:
- Improving revenue
- Attracting website traffic
- Gaining influence
- Acquiring your client’s trust
Measure your Content Marketing
Once you get started, you need a way to determine whether or not the path you have set is successful. You want to create something that is trackable. In other words, you have quantitative evidence that what you are doing is working. Just like in every step of this process, your measurement will be unique to you and your business.
There are a couple ways you could choose to measure your content marketing:
Consumption metrics measure how many people have seen the content you are producing. This way of tracking answers the most basic content questions and provides you with a broad overview of how your strategy is working toward your overall goal.
Conversation metrics measures how many people and how often are people talking about your business. The overall goal of a content marketing strategy is to create buzz for your business, so high evidence of engagement is a sure way to know that you are on track.
Sharing metrics, much like the previous two, is all in the name. This way deals with tracking how is the piece resonating with the audience, and how often is the audience sharing it with others. Sharing metrics is a good way to measure your goals if you are looking for your business’ content to widen its viewership.
Sales metrics proves whether or not you are making money based on the strategy you are currently on. This metric is the one that may not fit for the majority of businesses based on what type of business you have. But for those who need a content marketing strategy to boost revenue, these numbers do not lie.
Identify your Audience
It is important to consider the type of people you want responding to your content. In order for your marketing strategy to be relevant, you need to understand whom you are talking to and whom you are targeting. There are three different versions that you could focus on reaching.
A group of people with a common interest or agenda is your overall audience. Otherwise known as the average client you work with day in and day out.
A list of people created by individuals that share one or more common traits and can be grouped by said traits. These are people that may not all look the same but share a common element.
A fictional “person” created by market research and data that represents a larger target audience. Most groups can be filtered into a persona. Personas can look like a very diverse pool from the outside but are always linked together through a common element.
All of these ways should give you information on your audience’s
But what is really important in knowing your audience is knowing their interests. This information can be acquired through Google Analytics. In order to access this information go to:
Audience > Interests > Overview
From there, you will be able to identify the market segments your web visitors fall into.
Similarly, social media websites can offer you a set of similar data. Facebook is a great example. Your business can acquire demographic information on your followers through Facebook Page Insights. When accessed, you will be given a percentage of how many women and how many men visit your webpage. This information is useful when wanting to know they type of person most drawn to your business.
Similarly, Twitter analytics can be used to track the demographic data on your Twitter followers. They offer a bit more advanced of a system. Twitter tracks your followers based on their top language, gender, top interest, age, and income.
Look for Feedback
People love giving their opinion. And when on a trial run, this is good news for your business. This step can only be enacted after a wide range of time enacting your content marketing strategy, and said time can only be determined by accessing what is best for your business. Once you think you are ready to see how your audience is reacting to the new way of utilizing content, ask away. Consumer feedback is important for a multitude of reasons:
Understanding your Audience
You already have the data that says who is responding to your content, now you want to know why those people are responding they way that they are. By gathering customer feedback it makes it easier to filter your audience into those you are reading your content and those who are not. Ask both sides about their content preferences, if they like what you are putting out and how they would take it from here. By asking them about their responses, you are able to build a more accurate profile of who your followers are beyond just a percentage on a page.
You may think the content you have newly created is straightforward and neat, but your audience may say otherwise. If you ask them how they are interpreting what you are putting out, you may find that it is viewed in a different light than you intended. From there, you can make the appropriate changes so that your content is viewed how you wish it to be viewed. And who knows? Maybe your audience will pick up on other elements that you did not intent but are positive attributes of your company. You will not know unless you ask.
Create Better Content
Maybe the above situation is not accurate and your audience is not reacting positively to what you have created through your content marketing strategy. Ask you audience about how they want to interact with your content. This will be beneficial in creating more content down the road that you can be sure will resonate with those clicking on the content.
Find the Right Medium
Social media is a particular practice for each business. While it is good to have multiple active profiles, having everything for your business may be more work than profit. Ask your audience where they engaged with your content and where they would like to see future content posted.
Create a Content Marketing Calendar
Spacing out your content is an important part of a marketing strategy because it shows long-term goals as well as next steps in the process. It is also a good way to get ahead of your work. There are many systems you can use to tack your content. Choosing one depends on your business and your overall goal. Some examples of software include:
- Google Calendar
Any of the above programs are golden in making sure what needs to get done will get done. Having future content scheduled out beforehand will prevent future headaches when the work seems to pile up. Everything will already be laid out; all you would need to do would be to post.
Creating a Content Strategy Overview
Whether your goal is to grow user engagement or increase sales, none of it can be accomplished without a solid content marketing strategy. Every strategy is unique to every business and geared toward a set mission statement. There is not one set way to create a content marketing strategy which makes adding needed adjustments along the way possible. The strategy you create should work best for you. By knowing your goals, measuring your content, knowing your audience, looking for feedback and creating a content calendar, you can help your business take the next steps in proving to future clients that you are the best in the business. People are already using search engines like Google to find information on your business. You need to make sure what they are finding is the best that it can be. A content marketing strategy is the key to making your business well known and gathering a list of clients who will come back time and time again.