It’s no wonder content marketing is taking the advertising world by storm: It costs less than traditional tactics while generating more leads. Sounds like a pretty sweet deal, right? When you offer your audience valuable information amongst the internet’s backdrop of marketing noise, you both boost your bottom line and increase consumer goodwill.
Whether you’re a national company or a local retailer, it’s worth exploring the benefits of content marketing. But how do you get started?
Here are our top tips to craft a content marketing strategy that’s right for your unique business.
1) Know your audience
First things first: You need to know your audience. Content marketing’s core goal is to provide potential customers with valuable information — by their standards, not by yours.
Who are you talking to? What are their needs? What things might they want? Do they share similar past experiences? Where can you reach them?
When creating a content marketing strategy, it’s tempting to jump to the creative part. We get it — there’s nothing we love quite as much as a good brainstorming session here at TDR! But firing ideas back and forth is a futile effort without a thorough understanding of just who those ideas need to benefit.
2) Decide how you’ll measure success
Almost as important as understanding your audience is understanding how you’ll measure your content marketing strategy’s success. Without a clear plan, you won’t be able to effectively track how well your efforts perform — and most importantly, you won’t be able to use that information to adjust moving forward.
Do you care more about reach or engagement? Are you determined to boost sales right away or are you comfortable taking time to build your thought-leader presence? Do you have a specific number of subscribers or purchases you need to hit?
Here are a few common key performance indicators (KPIs) businesses use to judge their content marketing strategies. They might look for a certain numerical or percentage increase in:
- Email subscribers
- Lead magnet sign-ups
- Website traffic
- Search engine rankings
- Social media reach, shares, and engagement
- And more
Depending on your business’s individual goals, almost anything can be a KPI. It’s important to pick the metrics that matter most to you.
3) Write directly to your customers
Once you know your audience and have set clear business goals for your content marketing strategy, it’s time for the really fun part: creating engaging content!
The most important thing to remember is that content marketing pieces should provide real value to potential customers. The original definition of marketing (back before the internet lived in the palms of our hands) was “to connect people with products and services that meet their needs” — and that’s exactly what the right content marketing strategy will do.
Here are a few things to keep in mind during the creative process:
- Different audiences gravitate towards different platforms. Some businesses might see the most success with blogs while others might benefit from videos, regular newsletters, or other forms of entertainment.
- Put yourself in your audience’s shoes. They might not know anything about your brand — or even why your industry’s products or services would benefit them in the first place.
- The last thing modern consumers want is more of the same. Stay in the know with your competitors, and strive for originality (or at least a more enjoyable user experience).
- You don’t have to start completely from scratch! Take a look through old content your business has created, and see how you can repurpose it moving forward.
4) Track your results — and adjust over time
Content marketing is not a “set it and forget it” deal. In order to keep moving forward, you need to pay close attention to how potential customers engage with your content. What’s working? What’s falling flat? Is there something specific your audience wants to see more of?
Pursue content clusters that look promising, and don’t be afraid to scrap your original plans if they aren’t working like you hoped they would.
A good rule of thumb is that your content marketing strategy should bend without breaking. Your KPIs and long-term goals can stay the same — while your specific tactics to achieve them adjust as needed.
5) Consider working with a professional content marketing agency
Does that sound like a lot? A professional agency might be just what you need. We’ll help you wade through the murky waters of content marketing to create a clear strategy that will resonate with your audience — and get real business results.
Want to know what it’s like to work with TDR as your content marketing partner? Find out more here — and get in touch with us with any questions you have!