The online market is increasingly getting competitive with brands pampering and bombarding users with so many choices that it gets difficult to choose from the pool of options available.
Powerful marketing strategies that use to bring massive results five years ago are no longer as effective and marketers are on the lookout for strategies to use and put their businesses in the faces of potential buyers.
While trying to reach out to millions of customers across the globe, brands have realized the value that is buried in content.
However, there is so much junk content roaming the streets of the internet that at a point it became very difficult for genuine brands to break through the clutter of junk to get their message across to their intended audience.
But there is good news. The internet has grown smarter to now filter junk content from quality content.
So once again, the power to control the market is placed in the hands of the marketer. Quality content is the best marketing tool and no other strategy threatens the place it enjoys in driving sales and conversions.
Seth Godin is considered by many as the godfather of modern marketing, and back in 2015 he made the bold statement that “content marketing is the only marketing left.”
By this, he meant that marketers should create content their audience genuinely cares about and wants to consume, instead of creating content that contains only thinly-veiled and re-purposed advertisements.
Brands are now leveraging quality content to squeeze the maximum value from marketing budgets, ensuring the right people can find them when they need them.
While traditional marketing shouts at potential customers, content marketing speaks with them. It’s all about giving the public things they want to consume and introducing your brand in a helpful way that makes it clear it will add value to your customer’s life.
When content marketing is done right, followers become fans and even promoters of your brand because you have provided something they want and need.
Table of Contents
What Is Content Marketing
Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – to drive profitable customer action.
The key word in the above is value. Value marketing defines content marketing.
Value-added content is defined as any unique, original, or exclusive content or information your audience cannot get anywhere else that provides true value to that audience by being relevant and fulfilling their search intent.
Components of a Content Marketing Strategy
Your content strategy is a comprehensive plan that describes your marketing goals, the tactics you’ll implement, and the metrics you’ll use to measure the strategy’s effectiveness. These strategies include:
#1. Well-Defined Goals
Every single piece of content you produce must have a purpose; else it can result in a significant waste of resources.
Are you producing content just for the sake of it? Are you coming up with content because your boss likes to see new posts regularly? Or you are crafting content just to impress Google?
There’s a good chance that producing content without a clear goal is doing very little for your brand.
Every content marketing strategy needs well-defined goals. Without them, you won’t know if your strategy has had any impact.
Goals to Consider In Your Marketing Strategy
#1. Brand Awareness: Developing brand awareness is the most common goal for content marketing. By generating fresh original content that your consumers find interesting, is relevant, and offers value, it establishes your brand as a voice that exhibits expertise and authority.
This is very crucial to the success of your business growth.
#2. Brand loyalty: Loyalty marketing is a strategy built around growing and retaining existing customers through incentives such as gifts, discounts, and/or exclusive access.
Loyalty marketing efforts are designed to build trust, rewarding customers for their continued engagement with, and loyalty to, the business.
Spend more time with the clients you have already won and stop chasing around aggressively looking for new clients.
#3. Customer Engagement: Customer engagement is all about strengthening your brand’s relationship with customers via continuous interaction across various channels. This can be set as your marketing goal.
#4. Customer Education: The goal can be to offer valuable information to your customers, to show them how to use the product.
It also can be to show them more ways to use your products than they could have previously thought.
#5. Expand into new markets: The goal can be to grow your business by looking into related industries or niche product areas where you can succeed.
While defining your goals, avoid the enticing temptation to crowd your strategy with too many goals. If you try to do too much, you won’t create enough impact in any one place. It’s best to focus on no more than three goals.
#2. Brand Story
Brand Storytelling is not intended to be a selling tool; it’s a method of building a strong good rapport with your customers.
Your brand story identifies what your passions are and serves as the foundation for all your future content developments.
Keep in mind that your story should be formed from the perspective of your customer, not you. Your story needs to address the things your customers value and the challenges they face in their buyers` journey.
#3. Audience Personas
Gain a Better Understanding of Your Ideal Customer – audience personas enables you to develop a much deeper understanding of your current and prospective customers.
You’ll gain a better sense of their likes, habits, demographic info, preferred shopping methods, pain points, and more.
Audience personas are critical to long-term success. If you take the time to do it properly, your marketing efforts will be rewarded tenfold as your business will increase sales and overall efficiencies.
#4. Competitive Research
Competitive research is a crucial part of any good marketing plan because, in marketing, it is Solomonic wisdom to keep your buyers close, and buy your competitor closer.
Many brands have been pushed off the business track by competitors they have never even heard of simply because they’ve never taken the time to do competitive research.
Knowing what your competitor is doing will help you position yourself, and your product firmly within the market space, making it impossible for competing brands to push you off the market race track.
Researching your competitors’ content strategies doesn’t mean copying what your competitors are doing.
Remember, your business has its own unique brand story. You should lean into that difference and use it to stand apart from your competitors.
Competitive research also helps you identify beneficial industry trends you may have been missing.
#5. Keyword Focus
They are important as they are the anchor between what people are looking for and the content you are providing to fulfill that need.
You should add those focus words’ content to be shown near the top of the search results.
A keyword is important because it helps you write content that your audience will love and search engines will reward. Keywords give brands focus and direction.
#6. Content creation
Content is the life wire of marketing. Great content is an important asset. It can create positive experiences for your potential customers and compel them to come back for more.
It’s your ticket to capturing your audience’s attention and continually reinforcing a positive brand impression. In other words, if you’re not creating content, then you’re behind the curve.
While going through the audience persona, you get a grasp of what your target audience preference is. You can leverage this knowledge to create content that will suit the audience.
To create impactful content, you need to put answers to the following questions to create effective content
#1. What is the purpose of this piece of content?
#2. Who is your persona?
#3. Where in the buyer’s journey is this piece focused?
#4. What is the one thing you want them to remember?
#5. What is the one thing you want them to do?
These questions will create clarity around what the finished piece will look like. They are the road maps to a successful content creation process.
#7. Promotion & Distribution
Content distribution is a crucial part of marketing, if not the most important part of your content strategy. I mean what is the use of great content if your audience doesn’t get to see it.
There is every need why you know where and how you’re going to publish and promote your content; this should be before you put the pen to paper to craft your content. Otherwise, your time and resources could go down the drain empty-handed.
#8. Measurement & KPIs
You have put in place the above Components of a Content Marketing Strategy, now it is time to check the performance and health status of those strategies so that you can make critical adjustments where need be.
A Key Performance Indicator is a measurable metric that demonstrates how well a company is performing against its key business objectives, quarterly rocks, business objectives, and progress towards your 3-5 years strategic plan.
Measuring KPIs provide business owners with an immediate snapshot of the overall performance of their business. Knowing and measuring the right KPIs will help you achieve results faster.
There are certain questions that you should ask yourself at this stage:
#1. Have you hit the peak of Customer satisfaction? The end goal is to determine factors affecting customer satisfaction and to pinpoint areas for improvement.
#2. Have you boosted the Client retention rate? it’s more cost-effective to keep someone in the fold than to bring in new customers.
#3. it’s more cost-effective to keep someone in the fold than to bring in new customers.
#9. Mission Statement
A content marketing mission statement defines the purpose behind every single piece of content you will create for your audience as an organization.
It is concise and easily understood by your audience, clearly defining the who, the what, and the where of your content’s intended focus and influence.
The mission statement guides the marketing planning by stating the purpose of planning and reviewing the business goals and objectives.
It also provides a framework of how the marketing plan should be to achieve the objectives of the organization.
How Content Marketing Works
#1. Create valuable content: Valuable content helps you build credibility and authority. You can use quality content to position your business as an industry expert.
With great content, you can help move buyers through the buyer’s journey quickly. Blogs and other types of content continue to generate traffic long after they’re published.
#2. Share your content online: Using social media together with your content marketing helps you gain and build links organically.
As you build your social media following, you build up a large following of people that can share your content.
Every piece of content that hits your website should immediately be shared on your social profiles.
#3. People search online for information about your business, products, and services: When you create quality content on relevant topics, people can find your business and learn about your company.
#4. You earn more conversions and sales: using the right content with the right voice to reach out to your target market grows your organic traffic.
With content marketing, you will keep yourself at the front of customers’ minds and you’ll earn more sales and conversions in the long run.
#5. You boost brand awareness and trust with your audience: You boost brand awareness and trust with your audience.
Brand awareness is important because people are more likely to purchase from a brand they recognize and trust.
Every brand needs to have and maintain a unique brand voice. Brand voice is important in brand awareness and brand recognition, and it’s very important if your voice is relatable to the consumer.
The marketing industry has changed significantly.
The communications revolution that followed the internet is quite possibly the biggest change since the invention of the printing press because the modern marketing environment has essentially required us all to throw the rule book out the window and start inventing new ways to connect brands with people.
The best new way is buried in content marketing and this article has exposed the components of content marketing strategy and how it works.
It is now left for the smart marketer to adopt this article as an evergreen document and a reference material marketing in their marketing journey.