By now, you’ve most likely read all about how content is king in today’s fiercely competitive digital landscape. So, it hardly seems necessary to reiterate this point to you again with a long and worn out explanation. Instead, let’s get straight to the point and address the question that now seems to be on every business owner’s mind: how do I devise a fail-proof content marketing strategy that drives enough business to my company to make it worth my time?
Whether your goal is to grow your company’s overall brand presence online, to increase awareness about a new product or service, to drive more qualified leads to your website, or simply because the rest of the management team outnumbered you on the vote – with the right preparation, knowledge and tools in place, content can help you take your business to the next level.
But how do you make sure your time spent on content marketing isn’t wasted? It all boils down to how well you are able to communicate helpful and relevant information that your intended audience perceives as valuable. Below are a few key questions every good content manager needs to consider in order to map out the right content strategy for your business:
- Target A Specific Audience: Who is your ideal customer or prospect? What information do you use to identify prospects and customer segments? How do these intended audience groups differ and what approaches can you take to appeal to each group separately?
- Set goals: What do you hope to accomplish by implementing a new and improved content strategy? How often should new content be published and in what form? What incentives can you offer to motivate your team? How can you measure the effectiveness and popularity of different types of content?
- Find Your Voice: How would you define your brand’s personality? What messages do you want to deliver to your audience? Which company values do you want to incorporate into your messaging strategy? Does your audience seek entertaining content or informational content? How can you ensure that your voice remains consistent across all content types an communications channels?
- Collaboration & Risk Management: Who should be involved in the approval process for new content? Which team role will have the final say in the case of differing opinions? What procedure will you follow if deadlines are not being met? How much interdepartmental communication will be necessary to manage your content schedule?
- Content Type: What tactics can you use to attract attention to your content from the intended audiences? Which type of content will be the most effective at relaying your message? Which type of content will be the most effective at reaching the intended audiences? Which type of content is producing the highest level of engagement from your intended audiences? Will imagery or audio capabilities be required in order to communicate your key messages?
- Topic Identification: What are the main interests of your intended audience? Which company values seem to resonate most with prospects and customers? What challenges or problems are your customers facing and how can your business solutions solve them? How relevant is a topic to your business offerings?
After you have answered the above questions, the next step is to determine what form your content will take. Below are some of the most effective types of content I have found useful for the vast majority of businesses spanning across all industries:
- Blog Posts
- Case Studies
- Cheat Sheets
- Industry Insights
- Large Definitive Guides
- Reference Guides
- Research Reports
- Visual Aids
Among these various content types, successful content marketers can – and should – incorporate multiple forms of content over time. Of course, the length of time you decide to allocate to content marketing will require a closer look at the time and resources you have available. One helpful tip: the more you put into content marketing, the more results you will see come out of it. If you are preparing to roll out a new content strategy, just remember to set reasonable goals, allocate enough time to keep up with a predetermined content schedule, and maintain a steady flow of fresh content on a regular basis. Otherwise, your added efforts spent on content marketing will likely show very little to no change to the bottom line.
Do you still have an unanswered question or are there any specific areas throughout the article that you’d like to see a more in-depth discussion about? Share your thoughts with us by tweeting to @FuzzyDuckTweets, and you might just find your answers in next week’s blog post!