Building a content marketing strategy is no easy feat. The best content marketing strategies require valuable time, energy, capital, and an expert understanding of the latest content marketing tactics.
“Great content is content that has meaning to your audience. You can have a masterpiece of a blog post, but if it doesn’t address the needs of the people you are trying to reach, it is essentially worthless,” says Ryan Scott, director of inbound marketing at Lean Labs.
5 Essential Pieces of a Content Marketing Strategy
With the right building blocks in place, your content marketing strategy will be designed in a way that increases traffic, leads, and sales opportunities — the primary focuses of any industry-leading content marketing expert! Master these five building blocks of a content marketing strategy to create a more audience-driven, growth-oriented, and high-value roadmap:
Clear Success Metrics
The first step is to define your success metrics or key performance indicators (KPIs). This section should clearly outline the goals and objectives of your organization’s content marketing program. Unfortunately, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all blueprint for accurately defining your business’s success metrics.
“Content marketing goals are highly individualized,” argues Sarah Goliger, contributor at the Content Marketing Institute. “Your marketing priorities are strongly influenced by the size of your business, budget, available resources, previous tests and outcomes, plus many other factors that vary from business to business.”
As a baseline, consider adopting the following benchmarks:
- Traffic Volume: The number of visitors reading your content.
- Engagement: The number of visitors browsing other areas of your website as a result of your content.
- Conversions: The number of visitors who become customers as a result of your content.
Defined Distribution Channels
Next, include a section which clearly defines your distribution channels — Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and others. Think beyond your content management system (CMS). How will you share content with your target audience? During this step, it’s important not to operate on assumption. Find out exactly which social media channels and content discovery channels that your target audience is using. Conduct a simple survey or invest in market research to garner this valuable information.
"An effective content distribution strategy will not only put your content in front of your target audience. It’ll also help you build a relationship with them, and eventually lead them to take a desired action – watching your video, signing up for your newsletter, reading an article, or downloading a whitepaper," says Dawn Papandrea, contributor at NewsCred.
Premium Content Offers
Incorporating premium content offers into your content marketing strategy is another mission-critical component. These premium content offers should be authoritative and packed with plenty of expert insights, news, and information. A premium content offer is designed to increase conversions. Typically, digital marketers will "gate" premium content offers behind a simple form. The best digital marketing teams will use these inputs for remarketing, nurturing, and more.
The most popular types of premium content offers include:
- White Papers
Content Promotion Strategy
Next, consider allocating the appropriate funds to content promotion — advertising, retargeting, influencer marketing, public relations, paid search, and more. A robust content promotion strategy is designed to maximize the effectiveness and reach of your content. Gordon Donnelly recommends utilizing video in your content promotion roll-out:
"Video marketing is projected to account for more than 80% of all internet traffic by 2019. The state of video marketing in 2017 is comparable to that of content marketing in the mid-2000s—companies understand the importance of incorporating video into their strategy, many just aren’t sure how to go about doing so. The landscape is underdeveloped and ripe for cultivation."
Customer Nurturing Program
Finally, build a customer nurturing program to "nurture" contacts gathered through content distribution, premium offers, and promotion. A high-performance lead nurturing program is built around an understanding of the micro-conversions or "steps" a customer takes. Every stage of the nurturing program should be built in a way that inspires additional action and engagement.
"Without this cohesive nurturing strategy, leads drop off. So for every stage, using content and agreement tactics can keep the lead moving to the next phase of the normal buying process. To remain top of mind, consumers need consistent persuasion, content, and communication to connect with your brand and keep them interested," recommends Mellissa Randall, inbound writer at Lean Labs.
Become a Content Marketing Master
A content marketing strategy serves as your roadmap to content marketing success. Each of these value-driven building blocks act as critical components of any successful content marketing strategy. With the right content marketing strategy in place, your enterprise, small business, or startup will experience increased traffic, leads, and sales opportunities. For an extra leg-up on the competition, consider downloading the Digital Marketing Mastery Course.
Learn how to achieve content marketing greatness in this step-by-step and comprehensive digital guide. This course will teach you the ins and outs of:
- Content Marketing
- Email Marketing
- Search Marketing
- Conversion Funnels & Value Optimization
- Social & Community Management
- Paid Traffic & Customer Acquisition
- Marketing Analytics & Data Science
- Testing & Conversion Science
Are you ready to begin?
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