VM digital is a content-focused marketing agency so this one is close to our hearts! When we start to work with a client, we encourage them to consider their content marketing strategy to increase lead generation and engage their target audience. But what does it all mean and where do you start...
First things first, what is content? It is nothing more than using video, audio, design visuals or text to help answer your customer’s questions, solve their problems and entice them to choose You. So a Content Marketing Strategy is the steps your business takes to research, create, produce, publish and promote that content.
For example, if your business was to create an informational video or blog post to publish on your website or social media, answering questions your audience has searched online, then you are more likely to be found by them. They can read or watch your content, become informed and it will put your brand at the forefront of their mind, when they need it.
It is important to be aware that customers convert when they are ready, but having a content marketing strategy means you have a plan in place and will be found when they come looking, increasing engagement and your conversions.
To get you started here are a number of questions you need to ask yourself about your business:
1. Who will be consuming your content?
Who is your target audience? Do you have more than one type of customer? You will need to create content that relates to each customer type, as different customer personas use different channels to consume content. So consider all the demographics your plan to target.
2. What problem are you trying to solve?
Your content marketing strategy should ideally be answering a problem or challenge your target audience has. You can undertake research into the keywords your market is searching for online, helping you to uncover what appeals to them.
3. What is your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)?
Take a look at your product or service offering and uncover what makes you different from your competition. This might be how you do things, your team, the company ethos or value proposition. Once you have this nailed down you can include it in your content messaging.
4. What Content format should you use?
You now know who your audience is, so now you need to discover where they like to consume the information about what you sell, so you can choose the format that suits them. Do they hang out on YouTube? Are they more likely to engage via Instagram or LinkedIn? Whatever the channel they prefer, you need to create content to suit this platform. Maybe a blog post on your website which you release via your company LinkedIn profile. Or a testimonial video from one of your clients, that will offer credibility and confirm your USP or messaging. Or a mix of it all! Once you have decided on your ideal channels and formats, then consider your budget as this will determine what you can do.
5. What channels or platforms will you publish your content on?
This very much relates to point 4, the format, as you create different formats you can choose the different platforms you will publish your content on, from your website to newsletter or social media, or again a combination of them. For example, if your audience prefers longer video content then you might publish that on YouTube and your website, whereas if they prefer short snappy videos then Instagram would be more suitable. And most people do.
6. Who will publish your content?
This is an important part of the content marketing strategy, who is creating the content, who will publish it on the chosen platforms and when will it go live? You need to make sure that all the team involved is aware of these key points as this is key to success.
We recommend that you create a content calendar that includes the format being used, the platform it is being published on, the go-live date and time, any copy to accompany the post, hashtags or handles to be included and any links etc. Having all this information in one place means the team has a clear overview of the campaign and reduces the risk of missed opportunities.
So now you should have a little more information on what is involved in creating a content marketing strategy. This will help your business to plan and implement a targeted lead generation campaign. It can take a little time to develop it initially but once you have this established it can be your blueprint from which you can build and improve on. Measuring the results on any content you release will help keep you informed on what your audience is engaging with and will allow you to tweak and evolve as you grow.
If you need more help to develop your Content Marketing Strategy we are here to help. Reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org