A phrase pops up a lot in the Marketing universe – content is king. Content Marketing is truly king; the use of appropriate content has helped in propelling businesses to the top of their industry, and lack of quality content have also dragged businesses down into pits of wasted marketing efforts.
Needless to say, content marketing has to be strategically developed before it is executed. This is ultimately what differentiates the losers and winners in the unending fight for customer attention and relevance.
In the following paragraphs, I’ll quickly touch on how to develop and execute a simple content strategy, I’ll also share the guiding principles which has helped me in developing highly converting content.
Content Marketing Strategy development
The first step to getting anything done in business is strategy. You have to develop a strong strategy if you intend to win at the game of content creation. Like the foundation for a great edifice, strategy is done in secret and is not visible to observers. However, it is the pivot upon which execution rests.
In the strategy phase, important questions need to be asked and answered. Essentially, you will be answering the “4W” questions; What, where, when, who, why and how. Your thoroughness (and sincerity of purpose) in answering these questions will go on to determine how solid your strategy will be.
Why: Why exactly are you putting out contents? Your contents need to have a reason. These answers will probably influence other questions.
Who: Who are you targeting? How can you effectively segment the whole market and pinpoint your audience? As a matter of priority, your target should be your current customers before you can begin prospecting potential customers. Your target audience must be defined, like a chain reaction; one answer affects the other (See – Know Your Customer).
What and Where: What kind of content resonates with your target audience? You’d need to understand how your target consume and find their information before you can decide the kind of content to develop. For example, you don’t want to send out product demo videos when your target audience prefer reading technical product white papers. You don’t want to buy a bill board Ads at a F1 race while the CEOs you are targeting would have seen your ad in the premium magazine circulated in first and business class airline lounge. And you don’t want to provide product flyers when your audience prefers short product demo videos and business case studies of your product usage.
It will save you lots of marketing dollars if you understood what kind of content and delivery channel resonates with your audience, how do you know this? TEST TEST TEST …. I recommend that you continuously test and pivot the kind of content you churn out until you find the right balance of conversion.
Once you understand your audience and their content consumption preference – it’s time to go out to win businesses for your organisation.
Content Marketing Strategy Execution
Now that your strategy is in place, all that is left is execution. Your strategy development is ranked higher than execution in that it leads the way. Beyond that, once your strategy is solid, you can even contract the execution out.
However, there are a few rules that governs execution of content marketing:
Be as authentic as possible: Customers love honesty and authenticity, don’t ever throw that in the trash. Whatever content you are pushing out, ensure that it is authentic. If at any point, there was an error on your part. Acknowledge it and move on.
Be consistent: Your strategy is only as good as your willingness to be consistent and persistent at pushing out top-notch content. You can’t stop creating content because it seems not to be working. Instead, you should review your strategy to align with your customers need.
Beware of over personalisation: If your strategy requires you to personalise your content for each of your customers, it is more than likely to fail. While personalisation makes customers feel valued, when personalisation is taken too far, it comes across as phoney. This turns off the customers, you definitely should avoid it.
Test and analyse the results: Ensure you understand the data popping up in your marketing backend, ask questions about the conversion rates, try to understand how many people engaged with your content, how many people became paying clients through your content, if it looks like a strategy is not working try another channel of engagement, or another type of content entirely.
In Marketing lingo – use data analytics to measure engagement, lead conversion and by all means measure lead attribution and claim kudos for your marketing operations ROI.
Content marketing is going to get even bigger in the next few years, position your business to benefit from this approach.
Why you need to take Content Marketing serious – Link
5 Content Marketing Tactics for Picking Topics and Setting Goals – Link
It Pays to Put Audience First – Link
Content Marketing Dos and Don’ts – Link
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