The phrase “content is king” was born from an essay of the same name that Bill Gates wrote in 1996 for Microsoft. In “Content is King”, Gates explained how much of the money made on the Internet would be made through content.
He was right. If you produce a substantial amount of informative and entertaining content, you will gain a large audience of loyal readers—and potential customers. These customers begin to trust your brand and come back, again and again, to spend money with you.
However, successful content marketing isn’t as easy as publishing random niche-related articles haphazardly. As with any form of marketing, you need a content marketing strategy to maximize the potential of online content. So in this post, we will explore 7 tips you can use to create a successful content marketing strategy.
1. Set Missions and Goals
Before you can write content, you need to have a defined mission statement and goals for it.
Your content mission statement simply explains who the content is for and why you’re creating it for them. It summarizes why your content exists. Your mission statement should address your target audience, the content types you’ll use to reach them, and how they will benefit from your content.
For example, imagine you sell shaving products for men. You’ll likely create content around health, grooming, and beauty for men. Perhaps this content will most likely be blog posts and tutorial videos on skincare and using different shaving products. Your content marketing mission statement might be, “we help men learn how to better care for their skin with blog posts and tutorial videos.”
After that, you’ll need to set goals for the content. What exactly do you want your content to help you achieve? Here are some typical content marketing goals:
- More traffic
- More revenue
- Improved SEO
- Reduced marketing costs
Whichever goals you set, make sure they are SMART goals.
2. Know Your Audience
For your content marketing strategy to succeed, you need to know your audience at least as much as they know themselves. That way, you can write content that grabs their interest, keeps them reading, and builds rapport with them.
You’ll need several types of information to know your audience thoroughly.
First, you need to know which demographics you’re appealing to. This includes several factors, such as:
- Relationship status
- Education level
You can use analytics tools to gather this information. Additionally, browsing around online in forums can help you out.
Collecting demographic information is just the first step. You also need to know your audience’s psychographics—the thoughts, opinions, values, and views your audience holds. This could include things like
- Political views
Browsing online places (such as forums and relevant subreddits) can provide plenty of information on psychographics. People often enjoy airing out their true feelings about a variety of relevant topics when anonymous online.
Feedback From Customers
Lastly, you should collect customer feedback about your business and your competitors. This is helpful because you’re hearing customer pain points, desires, fears, and other psychographics directly from the customers. You can also listen to what they think about your business and competitors.
To gather customer feedback, you can do a few things:
- Send out a survey to your email list
- Ask customers to answer a few questions when signing up for your email list
- Interview customers
- Gather testimonials/reviews
3. Set KPIs
You set goals for your content marketing strategy already, but you need ways to measure your progress towards those goals. You can do so by designating Key Performance Indicators, or KPIs.
KPIs are essentially your most important business metrics. Some KPIs that may be important to your content marketing include:
- Site traffic
- Email signups/lead magnet downloads
- External inbound links
- Marketing spend
Monitor these KPIs regularly so you know if you need to make any adjustments to your strategy.
4. Choose the Right Types of Content
Picking the right types of content will help deliver the maximum value to your audience.
Nearly every business on the Internet will have blog posts and articles as a central part of their content marketing strategy. By publishing these on your site, you provide a main area where your readers can go and learn more about how to solve their problems. However, you’ll also want to determine what kinds of posts to publish. List-style articles and how-to guides are usually good choices. A pillar page on a broad topic might also work well.
Encouraging User-Generated Content (UGC) is a great way to understand and market to prospective customers. UGC, when done correctly, comes off as genuine and lets your customers know that there are people out there who are willing to take time out of their day to advocate for your business.
Platforms such as Vocal.media are incredible for UGC, as they host over 30 different communities where creators can post their content to an audience that is actually interested in reading it. On top of its niche communities, Vocal pays its creators per read and has a tipping feature––giving happy customers all the more reason to promote you.
Another excellent content type to choose is video. People process visuals much faster than words, and visuals are much more memorable. Thus, video will hook in your readers and keep them on your site longer—which helps you in terms of SEO, not to mention the trust readers build in your brand.
Speaking of visuals, infographics work well, too. You can break down complicated processes or present data sets in an attractive manner through infographics.
Beyond that, a free lead magnet of some sort can help you gain email signups. Downloadable eBooks that target a particular customer problem make for excellent lead magnets. From there, you can send email content to your reader to keep them engaged further.
5. Make a Content Calendar
You can’t just publish content when you feel like it. You need to have a plan in place. You want to create a content calendar to know exactly what to publish and when to publish it.
On your content calendar, you can mark which type of content you’ll be creating, the title and subject of the content, what date/time it’s going to be published, and what channels it’ll be shared to. You can also note holidays and special days in your industry to help inform your publishing schedule.
Now, you don’t want your calendar to be too rigid. Sometimes, golden content opportunities present themselves after you’ve made your plan. It’s helpful to leave some blank spaces in your calendar for these last-minute opportunities.
6. Repurpose Content
Every type of content has a different purpose. However, the great thing about online content is you can reuse it several times. In fact, you should reuse and repurpose content because people process information differently. By repurposing your content, you can reach new readers while reinforcing information in the minds of people who viewed that content in its original form.
Here are some different ways content can be repurposed:
- Turn a pillar page into a downloadable eBook as a lead magnet
- Convert old blogs into shorter downloadable PDFs
- Turn a blog post into an infographic
- Repost short blog posts as answers to Quora questions
- Turn customer feedback into case studies
- Use testimonials/case studies in sales emails
You can even simply republish your old posts. However, if you do so, make sure you only republish the top-performing posts. That way, you’ll maximize traffic and present only the most relevant content to your audience.
7. Monitor Content Marketing Metrics
Once you are putting content out there, it’s time to track its performance. To do this, you’ll monitor your performance in each of the KPIs you established and see if you’re hitting the mark. If you are, then you don’t have to change much. However, there will likely be some areas for improvement. Thanks to your content marketing metrics, you can monitor and improve your content strategy as time goes on.
Nail Your Content Marketing Strategy
There is a vast amount of content on the Internet. It can be tough to stand out in many industries if you don’t have a strong content marketing strategy.
Make sure you set a clear mission, goals, and KPIs for your content. Pick the right content types for your business, plan out your calendar for publishing, identify ways to repurpose your content, and continuously monitor your performance in each KPI. Over time, you should see a rise in search rankings, traffic, and hopefully revenues.
Seller’s Choice and our team of digital marketing experts are equipped with all the tools and experience necessary to create an effective content marketing strategy for your online business. Get in touch today to learn what having Seller’s Choice on your team looks like!