A content marketing strategy, when executed correctly, is a cost-effective and efficient way of developing and maintaining important relationships with your customers.
These efforts can boost website and blog traffic, increase your social media profile, and make more people aware of your brand.
However, in order to be effective, you need a strong content marketing strategy that contains each of the following five essential elements.
A Fully-formed Strategy
Starting a blog and becoming active on social media isn’t a content marketing strategy.
Creating a content marketing strategy involves market research, determining the type of content you will create and curate, determining the best places to share and promote that content, and making sure your content marketing efforts support your company’s brand.
Because of this, your content marketing strategy shouldn’t exist as a wholly separate element from your overall marketing strategy.
Instead, it should complement it.
Well-developed Customer Personas
You develop customer personas by determining which people will benefit the most from buying your products or services, and then finding out what motivates them.
If you have a well developed persona, or set of personas, you understand your target audience’s interests, values, and concerns.
This information lets you know which content has the most value to your customers, and where they are most likely to consume it.
Without customer personas, you have no clearly defined target.
Prolific and High-quality Content
Successful content marketing takes commitment. If you fail to deliver content on a regular basis, or you fail to deliver content that is interesting, entertaining, informative, or relevant, you are going to lose your audience.
Your blogs, social media posts, newsletters, emails, and all other content marketing efforts should be a reflection of your brand and your customer’s interests.
Metrics Both Human- and Machine-based
If you don’t have something in place to measure results, you have no way of knowing whether or not your content marketing strategy is working.
This is why it is important to have some way of measuring your audience’s response to your efforts.
A tool such as Google Analytics can provide you with the numbers you need to see what is and isn’t working.
Information such as bounce rates, number of landing page visits, mobile vs. desktop traffic, inbound links, and repeat visits paint a very useful picture.
However, this isn’t the only method you should be using to measure the success of your efforts.
You should also be interacting with your customers and getting feedback from them and using their thoughts as a measurement as well.
A Content Marketing Plan to Revisit and Revise
Marketing teams will spend months developing a traditional marketing strategy. Then, they will continually make changes to refine their efforts until they have created something that truly works.
For some reason, many of the same people will not put the same effort into their content marketing plan.
All too often they simply create a strategy, and if it works, fine. If it doesn’t work it is all too often abandoned and labeled as a failure.
There are many marketing managers who have determined that content marketing doesn’t work for their company when in reality, it was the content marketing strategy they applied that didn’t work.
A good content marketing strategy must include a plan to review what is or isn’t working, and to make necessary changes.
image credit: shutterstock