Everyone’s doing content marketing these days. So, you’d expect more people to be killing it. But research from the Content Marketing Institute shows only 30% of B2B marketers believe they’re effective at content marketing. If your content strategy marketing needs a boost, or if you haven’t tried this marketing method, read on for the vital strategic principles that underpin killer content.
Align Your Plans to Business Needs
Unless you’re clear on your overall content goal, you won’t maximise your material’s impact. Before you even think about your first blog title, ask yourself why you’re creating content. Businesses generally adopt content marketing tactics to achieve one or more of the following lucrative outcomes: increased revenue, lower costs or securing better customers.
Set out your plans with SMART marketing goals to be clear about what you want to achieve and provide measurable targets. This way, you’ll communicate clear goals for your team and demonstrate how content generates ROI for the organisation.
Plan Your Unique Brand Story Across Content Types
Of course, creating a content strategy requires content and making a plan helps you engage brain before opening mouth. Whatever content you publish will inform your core message and brand story.
Your strategy will also map out the different content types you’ll use. While these can vary in form (blogs, video, infographics, white papers etc.) they need to create a consistent persona and voice. Think of each piece of content like a different coloured thread on your content loom. The colours might vary but as you weave them together to tell your brand’s story they’ll form a complementary overall theme in line with your plan.
Captivating Content Starts with Customers
Developing the right content means reflecting customers’ needs. Get under the skin of your existing and prospective customers by creating customer personas (fictional, generalised portrayals of your preferred customers). If you know what your prospects and existing clients want and understand their behaviours and concerns, you have a strong starting point for useful content.
If you’re a regular reader of our blogs, you might have seen this graphic before. But that’s because it’s so helpful. Use your customer personas to establish preferred content types then employ the grid below to cross reference this information with where your prospect is in the sales cycle. This allows you to populate your content strategy plan with highly targeted content.
If the range of content feels a little overwhelming and you don’t know where or how to start, think blogging.
Blogs - Core Content at the Heart of Successful Strategies
If there’s one content type that outperforms the others, it's blogging. 60% of marketers say blogging is their top content creation priority because these posts help people find you from day one and they accumulate value over time.
Experience shows that at least 100 web pages help you generate good levels of organic search, push you up the Google rankings and will likely score you more sales. B2B companies that blog 11 or more times each month had almost triple the volume of traffic than those blogging once a month or less.
As the number of blog posts on your website increases, and as long as the content remains relevant, people have reason to find you. It’s a fact that the vast majority of HubSpot’s current blog leads and views come from old posts.
Fly Your Content Kite with Social Media
Great content needs planned promotion. Decide where, when, how often and the best times of day to distribute your content for maximum impact. There’s no one ‘right’ channel, although you need to place content where your audience will see it and that’s a moving target. This HubSpot graphic shows that content distribution is a broad and ever-changing church.
For maximum return on investment, get the right tools in place to create great looking content that people want to engage with. And, to post fuss free, line your content up for release using auto-schedulers to distribute across multiple platforms on chosen days and times.
From Planning to Action
Once you’ve mapped out your content marketing strategy, support it with an editorial calendar. The whole team will be able to see the key topic areas you want to cover, the types of content you’ll create, when and how it will be shared and the specific calls to action to include.
According to the Content Marketing Institute, do all of this and you’ll:
- Be more likely to consider yourself effective at content marketing
- Feel significantly less challenged
- Consider yourself to be more effective in your use of social media channels and content marketing tactics
- Be able to justify outlaying a higher percentage of your marketing budget on content marketing
There are so many good reasons to get your content strategy in shape.