As a tech marketer, you have a lot on your plate to reach your customers and future prospects. Having a content marketing strategy is something that should always be top of mind. If there's no strategy, your content could end up being ineffective. You're consistently pushing content to grab and keep attention, so you want to keep all of that organized and effective.
So what makes a content marketing strategy effective?
Well, your content (duh) but also other steps that help you create and push out that content.
Without content, your marketing strategies would be boring and ineffective. Even in everyday life, we experience content. We all use various platforms to stream and share information and all of those involve us either taking in or posting content (yes your social media status can be considered content), without those it’s just people floating around cyberspace staring at a bunch of ones and zeros.
Your content could be the deciding factor that pushes your buyers into the next stage of their journey. They find your content as a way to engage with your company, stay informed on the company or industry, help with their purchase decisions, and even be entertained on occasion. Who knows, your content could even turn them into promoters of your company.
In a nutshell, content marketing helps to build trust, authority and brand awareness—all the things you need to build a long-term strategy for your business. And, it’s as logical as planning, creating and distributing your content.
Plan Plan Plan
The content marketing strategy you create should be something that your audience wants to read, use and keep the content you’re handing to them through their journey. Other companies are fighting for the same attention as you, so you need to have a strategy that helps you focus on the buyer and stand out. With that said, you’ll need to think about what types of information will help your buyers most.
- Do they need more education?
- Are they looking for a great deal?
- Do they feel they can trust you?
- Do they even know you exist?
Here are some steps you can take to plan content that will resonate with buyers throughout their journey.
Define the purpose of your content
Before you start to actually create your content, you’ll want to figure out what you want your content to do:
- Attract visitors to your website?
- Convert visitors to leads?
- Close deals?
- Delight customers or prospective customers?
Content that is valuable to your readers will help you rank higher in the search engine results page, as well as build brand awareness and credibility. Consider using an action-oriented call-to-action to give your eager buyers an opportunity to convert and make your content more valuable to them.
Determine the format of your content
Once you have found a purpose for your content, it is important to find a format for sharing it that fits for you and your reader. Are they visual learners? Do they like to read? Are they short on time because of higher priorities? Here are just some types of content that you can consider following those questions:
- Case studies
Each different type of content performs better during different stages of the buyer’s journey. For content that is more detailed and took more effort to create, consider gating that content. That way you aren’t giving away your most valuable work for free and get something in return (like their contact information). Plus, if they find this information as highly praised as you, they’ll have no problem with that exchange.
Determine the topic of your content
Now that you have found the proper ways to reach your readers with your content, it’s time to find the topics that will spark interest and be useful in the purchase decision. Keep in mind that your ultimate goal is to solve your prospect’s problem or fulfill a need, not promote your business.
It’s also important to find your buyer’s interests and topics they’re talking about when finding your content topics. Keyword research, social networks, industry news, goals and challenges of your buyer personas, and many other sources are simple steps in the direction to finding the perfect topic.
Create Create Create
You’ve successfully planned and defined your content, now it’s time to start creating it! As you write your content, keep in mind all the different aspects that go into helping you find the right angle to reach your reader.
Know the importance of storytelling
Your company has a story to tell, the information you’re providing. What do you stand for? What message do you support? This means you don’t just reiterate who your company is and their history, but instead, you give your readers information they're looking for their decision process.
Know the needs and wants
Use the research you’ve gathered to find who you’re talking to. ALWAYS focus your content on your reader and their needs. Ask yourself, what would my buyer want?
Less is more
Your reader is just as busy as you are, so keep your information short and sweet. But also make sure it still brings value to them too.
Education over promotion
Your reader found you to learn about the different options they have to solving their problem. Use the opportunity to educate them about what they’re looking for and that will help them build trust with you if they choose to work with you.
Distribute the Content
Of course, once you’ve created great content, it’s useless unless you choose the right channels and times to post it for your reader. Whether it’s blogs, emails, search engine marketing, or even social media, you need to find the platform that best fits your content and that the reader you want to reach uses. Along with that, you have to make sure you are giving them that content during the right stage of their journey.
Content marketing strategy is crucial to the success of lead generation and your marketing goals. Content is king and can make or break the effectiveness of your strategy. All of this helps you to ensure you’ll get the right message to your readers at the right time. Otherwise, you’ll do the opposite and possibly drive your readers away from your company.
Keep in mind, you’re not the first company to create content for marketing strategies, and you won’t be the last. So, it’s important to stay with your strategy and do some digging into your buyers to better understand them.