The concept of content marketing isn't rocket science. Fundamentally, it's all about providing something of genuine value to your target audience in the hope that they take an interest in your brand. But putting a lot of time and effort into this venture is risky, and the rewards are not guaranteed.
To maximise your chances of success, you need to develop an effective content marketing strategy - a strategic roadmap on how content will attract and engage potential customers.
What Does A Content Plan Involve?
Your strategy should lay out the key needs of your business and your customers. No two strategies are the same, but they should all cover the following:
- Your goals - the purpose of your content and what you want your audience to do after engaging with your content. And what their actions will mean for your business.
- Audience archetypes and buyer's journey - characteristics that define your main target audience, and an estimate of how their needs will evolve.
- Your unique mission - what makes your company's perspectives and approaches to content unique?
The content you create might be blogs, tutorials, infographics, written/video reviews, podcasts, and any other material that your audience can consume which will add value to their lives. You can decide which of these you can create most effectively, and which will be most valuable to your existing and potential customers. Having a variety of content types will help engage the greatest possible number of people in the most effective way.
Choosing The Right Platforms
It also helps to be diverse in terms of what channels you publish on. These can include owned properties like your website/blog, and social media outlets like Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. Working out how you'll create and publish all this material can be daunting. In a content strategy, you should define who will create what, where it will be published, and when it will be done.
How To Know What's Working
Plan your content strategies from a perspective of topics, to help you easily visualise your company message and prove yourself as a market authority with time. You can measure and monitor the progress of all your hard work as you go - tools like Google Analytics and AdWords, and the built-in analytics and metrics of platforms like YouTube and Facebook, can enable you to see how your content is being consumed, and identify what is working and what isn't. Keep it measurable and always work on optimising things as you progress.
It takes time, discipline and creativity to develop a successful content marketing strategy. Your initial plan is just the foundation - as you go, you will learn more, add powerful tools and strip away what doesn't work. Follow the principles outlined in this article to get started, and you will find your way to a successful, unique content plan.