Engaging, high-quality content is always in demand, no matter what industry you’re in. Your content is what draws prospects in and gives you a chance to showcase what you have to offer. But coming up with an efficient strategy can be a challenge. Read on to learn how to craft a content marketing strategy that works for your business.
Why Strategy is Essential
While great content is an important part of any marketing efforts, content marketing without a clear strategy in place is a shot in the dark. But the truth is, the majority of B2B marketers struggle with strategy creation. Creating a strong plan will help give you a leg up on the competition, and let you know exactly what’s working in terms of marketing efforts. There are a few easy steps you can take to help point you in the right direction.
Step One: Define Your Goals
The first step in creating a great strategy is knowing what you want to get out of it in the long run. Here are some things you can achieve with excellent content marketing:
- Increase awareness of your brand and products
- Generate more leads
- Get potential customers to engage with your content
- Retain loyal customers and introduce them to new products
In the end, content marketing is all about influencing the actions that your audience takes, and ultimately changing their behavior to benefit you. Base your calls to action around the behavior you want your audience to take, and make sure that these CTAs are clear and well defined so that you’re pushing potential customers in the right direction. Once you have a goal, it will help all the steps fall into place.
Step Two: Know Your Audience
To craft a great strategy, it’s necessary to know exactly who it’s for. Knowing your audience means knowing their problems and questions, their needs and wants, and their desires. You’ll want your content to show them how your product or service can provide them with the answers and solutions they are looking for. In other words, the more useful your content, the better.
It’s also important to know how your audience accesses your content. Do they use mobile devices or desktops? When is the best time to reach your audience with your posts? What social media platforms do they frequent (LinkedIn is often a big one)? You can use all this information to create a content delivery strategy – you’ll learn when to post, where to post, and how to promote your content so that it reaches the widest possible audience.
You can also take into account which types of content work best – videos, infographics, webinars, or text are all important elements to incorporate. Videos and webinars are a great way to show off products or give demonstrations. In fact, 97% of marketers note that video has increased understanding of their product or service among viewers.
To get to know your audience better, put yourself out there. Ask what your prospects need and want, build relationships with them, and communicate with them regularly. Take feedback into account, make changes, and stay on top of industry trends. Make sure to listen to your customers, and keep your finger on the pulse.
Step Three: Focus on The Journey
Each time a potential customer begins to consider making a purchase, the buyer’s journey starts. It may take a few interactions with your brand to get the customers to take the next steps, so be persistent by offering help, advice, and service. The Rule of Seven tells us that normally, a B2B prospect needs to have at least seven interactions with you and your brand before they are familiarized with your paid products or services.
This means you should focus your content creation on informing, building trust, and establishing yourself as an authority in your industry. The more opportunity you have to do this, the more likely it is that a prospect will take the leap and become a paying customer. Remember, your prospects want success, so helping them to succeed at their jobs will help you reach your goals as well.
After a prospect becomes aware of your brand, they will evaluate and compare you to others, so give them the chance to check out your product or service in order to help them see how you’re a step above your competition. Demos, coupons, and consultations can all help them make that final, important decision to choose you when buying.
Step Four: Use What You’ve Learned
After you set your goals, get to know your audience, and consider the buyer journey, you can start to craft an effective strategy that incorporates all these elements. This means you can create effective content, and promote it in all the right places. Don’t feel scared to try something new, as long as you have reasoning to back it up. Split testing may help in this instance. Use split testing to see what kinds of promoted content work the best or try targeting two different demographics.
To get great ideas for your content, pay attention to what people are talking about on social media channels. This will give you an unlimited stream of content that will remain relevant to your audience.
Step Five: Track Your Results
Tracking your results is an important step towards knowing if your strategy is achieving its goals. Use tools like Google Analytics to see how people flow through your website, and see if your visitors are taking the actions you desire. And if you aren’t seeing the numbers you were hoping for, it’s alright. You may not get it quite right on the first try, but if you take a close look at what’s happening behind the scenes, you’ll be able to revise your strategy until you get it down to a science.
Time To Take Action!
Now that you have a place to get started, it’s time to hone your content marketing skills and build your best strategy. And if you would like more tips on how to stay ahead of the content marketing curve, contact us.