Everything You Need To Know About Content Marketing Strategy
One of the most frequently asked questions from an agency like us, is how to develop a content marketing strategy and plan. Some people think we stick to special tricks and overly exaggerated “secret sources of content marketing.”
In fact, there is no secret to formulating a content marketing strategy. Instead, we refer to the proven 7-step framework and add a lot of meaningful time and effort while working.
These seven key steps provide a typical framework for long-term success. Summarized here, you can also develop your own content marketing strategy and plan for the next step.
WHY CONTENT MARKETING IS IMPORTANT?
Before going directly to these steps, we want to emphasize that a content marketing strategy is not “worth it” rather is a basic requirement for success.
In fact, the Content Marketing Institute confirms this fact with annual benchmarks, budgets, and year-over-year trend reports.
By 2021, 57% of content marketers still say they don’t have a documented content strategy, but those who have a content marketing strategy always believe their efforts are more successful than those who don’t.
Additionally, the pandemic has made it even more important to update content marketing strategies. 70% of strategic content marketers report that the pandemic has affected their content marketing strategies in a moderate to significant way.
These facts and figures also reflect what we see every day at P9, which will shape the content marketing strategies for the brands we’ve partnered with. Therefore, we have put together this guide which has outlined the methodology for creating a content marketing strategy.
CONTENT STRATEGY IN JUST 7 STAIRS!
To help you start improving your content work, here is an overview of each of the seven steps in creating a content marketing strategy:
DOCUMENT YOUR GOALS
It is easy to fall into the what, where, and how of content marketing, but we often miss the most important part: why.
Then why do you do content marketing? Is it to create potential customers? Build relationships? Improve your customer experience?
Whatever your content marketing goals are, make sure they are sustainable over the long term and are really aligned with your organization’s overall goals, mission, and vision. Stick to the document no more than three to five business goals to keep your strategy focused and clear.
Remember: Creating content for content’s sake is never your goal.
DETERMINE YOUR ‘ONE THING’
A huge amount of content, more and more content is released every day.
What would you like to create in your content marketing program to make your organization stand out? In other words, what is the heart of your content program?
Does it help disproportionately?
Does it curate utility?
To get motivation and inspiration?
Or to educate and entertain?
The only proper response to all of the above is YES! Otherwise, there is a risk of offering more of the same and contributing to its huge content overload.
Quick Tip- Write down all of the branding messages your business uses. Then get rid of those which your competitors are using too. What you will be left with is a very unique set of brand messages that can help you clarify your “one thing”.
Remember: Give yourself the space and mental support to make your story bigger.
MEASURE YOUR CONTENT MARKETING
If you want to track content, do something trackable and figure out how you’ll prove it’s working before you create it.
Disclaimer: Be careful with frivolous indicators that don’t say much.
Instead, to understand whether your content is actually performing as it is intended, we need to look at actions, not just eyes.
This is where the 4 types of content marketing metrics come in:
Consumption metrics: This is one of the best and easiest to get started with. Basically, what did the audience do with the content?
Think about actions: views, downloads, plays, hits, etc.
Lead generation metrics: The ultimate goal for most organizations; How many leads come from content?
Sales metrics: Do we make money with this content?
Remember: The plural of “anecdote” is not “data”.
IDENTIFY YOUR TOP 5 AUDIENCES
Relevance magically creates time and attention.
To stay relevant, we need to understand the audience we’re talking to and targeting, and there are several versions of what this looks like
Audience: A high-level collection of similarly motivated individuals with a common interest or agenda.
(Purchasers who buy the same product.)
Segmentation: An intersection of objects or lists in which individuals (or companies) share one or more common characteristics or can be grouped by a common characteristic.
(Parents working from home)
Persona: Fictitious, detailed, but the data-formatted job description of the goals and behaviors of a hypothetical group of users.
Whichever audience definition you use or seek to guide your content marketing efforts, be sure to focus only on your top 5 audiences and consider their psychology, not just their demographics. Also consider replacing stock photos with icons or icons to avoid getting stuck in your audience’s appearance or stereotyping their age, race, or gender.
Remember: You are not your audience. Focus on their needs and motivations, not yours!
RESEARCH YOUR AUDIENCE’S NEEDS
Whatever approach you used to rank and define your customers from step 4, get to know them using the 5x5x5 method.
5x5x5 engage your top 5 audiences, check their top 5 questions at each of the 5 key stages of the marketing funnel to understand their wants, needs, and expectations, so you can create content that satisfies everyone.
If you do the maths, you’ll notice that this method generates 125 content creation questions. But don’t worry, once you narrow down 125 questions to unique questions and remove any duplicate or near-match questions, you’ll usually only have about 5,060 unique questions.
And you probably already have content that answers some of their questions, so start by looking for obvious gaps in your content.
Once you have this list, you’ll understand your audience a lot better, as well as position your content to help them.
Remember: Your content should answer their questions, not just meet your business goals.
CREATE MORE CONTENT WITH “LESS”
When it comes to content, most people think the solution is to create more. However, as we saw in step 2, there is too much content and we don’t want to add our content to the top of the already huge pile. Plus, you’ve probably already created a lot of content at this point, which means it’s time to remix and refresh our content before you even think about creating another.
Reuse or repurpose: Write a new life for the content, give it a quick remix. This could include updating some of the content that is always relevant with new information, converting the infographic into an animated video, or re-posting the content for users to display.
Curated Content: Why reinvent the wheel when there’s already so much quality content? Curate content from trusted sources, but be sure to credit it when it’s due and include your own take on the content.
User-Generated Content (UGC): Reach your customers or social community for more ideas and content.
Atomization: Take one giant piece of content and break it down into eight smaller pieces. This is a proven P9 favorite.
Only after identifying gaps in your content or remixing, refreshing, and perfecting your content, you should move on to creating new content.
Remember: Content is not free. Maximize what you have, then create a new one only if needed.
CREATE A CALENDAR
Get started with your show Carnival – Add a carnival show (Also known as continuous or contents to be added at least 2 times a month)) first, write on your calendar and be sure to pay attention to key dates or important events.
Add Your Unique Specials – Pay attention to your quarterly content commitments or one-time specials, how it overlaps or complements your carnival program.
Use a regularly scheduled program to finish it.
Last but not least, add your regularly scheduled program. These should help fill any gaps in pacing and keep the content consistent.
No place to put some good ideas on the calendar now? Add it to the repository. Make it a storage solution for your great ideas, and check back often.
Remember: A content calendar is part of a content marketing strategy, but it is never a substitute.