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Without a doubt, content marketing is the way to go for startups wanting to remain competitive. Doing things right means giving your business a chance to stay ahead of the competition. A content marketing strategy is one powerful tool you will need to keep your business going in the right direction.
Coming up with the right content marketing strategy for your business goes beyond creating the right content. Preparing the right content is one step which counts a lot but not enough to keep you on top of the game. With that in mind, this post takes you through steps on how to build an effective strategy for content marketing.
But before we dive deeper into these steps, let’s have a look some three common phrases often used interchangeably.
In the context of startups, content marketing means building an audience to accomplish a business goal. For example, to get higher revenue. Knowing your prospects well is one way of using content to market your brand.
You will be creating new as well as repurposing old content in many ways. A content strategy helps you do all that seamlessly. It does so by making sure everything is done in the right manner.
You need a content strategy to come up with a content plan. It is a plan that now helps you decide which topics to write about, content strategies to consider, and so on. In other words, a content plan is more of a tactical approach.
Now let’s quickly go back and have a look at the key steps on how to build an effective content marketing strategy for your business. Ready to learn more? Let’s get started.
Build a content marketing team
Just like you can start working with the right tools, you also need to assemble the right content team to get started. There is no shortcut here. You must be ready to build a reliable team. Coming up with a unique unit is a big plus. Often, you will need a content strategist, designer, writer, analyst, and editor in your team.
You don’t need to have all these experts under one roof at the same time. As your business grows, you can keep building your team. The crucial thing is to identify those roles you need more than others. But keep in mind, all experts in content marketing are relevant.
Your business mission statement
What do you plan to accomplish? Your mission statement states clearly that which you plan to achieve. Pen down that mission statement as it will guide you along the way. Your mission statement means a lot to your business, so take your time when penning it down.
Content marketing goals
Imagine starting a journey without accurate information on routes to take and what to do along the way! Chances are, you will end up having an awful experience. The same thing happens if you task your content team without marketing goals. Without well-defined goals, the chances of your business getting to where it plans to be are very narrow.
One thing to remember is to make sure your goals are specific, measurable, timely, relevant attainable. So, be careful when outlining all your goals.
Know your audience
Now that your team has a set of goals and mission statement to direct them, it is the right time now to know to focus on your audience development. This is not an easy task. It is a task that starts by requiring you to understand well who is your target audience.
Studying the characteristics of your audience can reveal a lot before reaching a decision. For example, find out the content they prefer, challenges they are likely to face when searching for your content, how your business will benefit them, and so on.
The most crucial thing is to make sure you have finer detail about your prospects. It is the same as making sure you know well how to drive before taking your car for a road test. Once you know them well, preparing the right content is as simple as 123.
Determine your content types and promotion channels
After you have detail about your audience, it is now the right time to prepare content that fit them. For example, if you found your audience love visuals, developing videos and infographics is a good idea. Make sure also to match your content well with places your audience spends a lot of time. If you noted they spend a lot of time on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, make sure to have your content well-tailored for these platforms. Ideally, make sure you know your promotion channels well.
Today there are many channels you can consider. Social media have been a top preference. But also, influencers, email marketing, and your blog play a significant role. In a nutshell, utilize all promotion channels at your disposal.
You have come this far, considered many things along the way and know it is time to create the right content for your audience. Well, as much as it may seem a straight forward thing to prepare the right content, there are a few things you need to keep in mind to simplify the entire process.
First, you need to make sure the tone is right. There is no shortcut here if you want to remain competitive. The most crucial thing is knowing the adjectives to use when describing your brand. This something you can work out with your content team.
Next, make sure you have clear information about the message you plan to pass. This is a crucial step and which comes before starting the content creation cycle. Keep in mind; it is not just about creating content for your audience. The content you create as much as it is tailored for your audience should also be inlined with your business goals. This is the right time to brainstorm with the entire content marketing team.
For example, this is the right time to chat the way forward with your writers, designers, content strategist, and every person in your time. Make sure to leave no stone unturned. If it means setting deadlines, topics selection, procedures for creating and revising every content, when to upload and how often, make sure everything is right.
Come up with a content calendar
Strategic planning is a significant concern that brings down many startups. Not having a content calendar to guide you may seem ordinary, but actually, it is crucial to have one. A good content calendar makes sure you are not behind schedule and at the same time, ensure you not posting to much content within a short period. Keep in mind posting more content within a short period may result in scamming, and this can hurt your marketing effort when flagged.
Content distribution and marketing
Having brilliant content and failing to promote is similar to having a car and not putting it into good use. In fact, content promotion is one of the crucial stages that will determine the future of your business. This, therefore, means you and your content team must agree on the best way to distribute your content.
Is it through social media, guest posting, email marketing, or through influencers? The option you pick here means a lot. For example, if looking to leverage the audience of your competitors, guest posting, and working hand in hand with influencers are two excellent alternatives.
You may also want to consider organic and paid traffic at this time. Well, both options are great, but if focusing on long term goals, organic traffic should be a top priority.
Measure your performance
Yes, you must measure your results and see if you on the right track, or you need to make some adjustments. It is through constantly measuring your results that you and your team will have an opportunity to make adjustments. So, come up with a set of metrics to help you measure your progress. Also, create a habit of coming up with period reports.
Coming up with Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) is something you also need to consider very seriously. Doing so help monitor the progress of your team while at the same this helps you remain focused on the goals set. An excellent example of KPIs is the amount of revenue you plan to get within a month or year, traffic, boosting your digital footprint, and so on. The list is endless.
Designing a scorecard at this time is a good idea. With a good scorecard, it is easier to benchmark the performance of every piece of content shared. For example, consider when targeting over 1, 000 downloads for every video you create. That target will help get to that number.
Avoiding content marketing strategies
Coming up with content marketing strategies that work is never a simple task. Along the way, you will flop, learn from your mistakes, and come up with best practices. But you don’t have to go through what others have gone through to make everything right. Dodging mistakes done by others can help you stay on top of the game. With that, here are areas you need to keep a keen eye.
Focusing on simple blog posts
Wining in content marketing is more than just creating simple blog posts. It means going beyond text post and including visuals and audios in your post. In other words, leverage anything that will add weight to your content. Keep in mind the sky is the limit. So, don’t limit yourself.
Understanding your Audience
The wort mistake you can do when contemplating content marketing is getting started without having finer details about your audience. Imagine your doctor prescribing some medication without actually knowing what the leading cause of your illness is. Chances are, your condition is likely to worsen. The same things happen if you decide to create content without fully understanding your audience. To make your audience thirst for more and return, make sure you have everything about them in advance before preparing your content.
Publishing vs. promoting
There is a big difference between publishing your content and promoting it. Hitting the publish button is different from marketing. Although publishing is a key step in content marketing, don’t rest after posting and wait for a miracle to happen. No, you need to invest in content marketing to see real results.
Your buyers are and will always be a top priority. There is no two ways about it. Profiling customers has been used before by businesses to know their customers better. Often, age, income, gender, and job roles have been used to profile customers. But this does not mean those are the only metrics. You have the freedom to profile your customers in as many ways as possible.
For example, you can also try customer surveys, telephone interviews, In-person Interviews, web, and exit surveys when profiling. Simply, think outside the box and see the best way possible, you will understand your prospects.
No master plan
Earlier, we indicated a content marketing plan comes after a content strategy, and both are crucial. Without a good plan, this means you will often struggle to rise above the competition. Monitoring your audience and feeding them with the right content will also become a challenge. Eventually, without a good master plan, you may end up finding yourself heading in the wrong direction yet doing the right thing.
Honestly, you don’t prepare poor content and wait for a miracle to happen. You need to make sure your writers are doing the right thing if you are serious about content marketing. With a good content strategy and plan, preparing the right content should a less concern to gives you sleepless nights.
Today if you want to win in content marketing, you have to make sure your content is well optimized. There are no cutting corners. Choosing your keywords, topics, and writing styles well is one simple way of preparing SEO rich content.
Don’t be a jack of all trade
Well, as much as there are many marketing channels, you don’t need to utilize them all at once. Start with a few and then keep advancing to other options with time. Considering them all at once may strain your startups, and this may end up hurting your finances.
Expecting instant results is not a good idea. Even paid traffic sometimes fails to deliver. The best approach is to remain focused, inject your effort, and eventually, you will be surprised to see things working for you. If you follow the right content marketing procedures, you can be sure to see real results as per your timeline.
Still confused about developing a successful content marketing strategy for your business? The above are some of the steps, ideas, and best practices that will place your business where it should be. Make sure to try them next time you are contemplating content marketing. If you’re looking to hire a content strategist, take a look at our content marketing services for more information.