Content marketing is one of the most powerful ways to engage with your audience. Quality organic content provides people with useful and interesting information that helps them make better decisions about the products and services they buy.
Content helps you build your brand and establishes you as an authority in your industry. However, many businesses don’t understand that it’s not enough to simply publish content. If you want to effectively reach your audience, you need a strategy that’s specially designed for your business.
Why You Need a Strategy
Many businesses create blog posts, articles, videos, and other content without having an overarching strategy. A haphazard approach to content marketing will reap inconsistent results. If you create a targeted strategy, on the other hand, you can enjoy progressively better results over time. The following are some key elements to an effective content marketing strategy.
Know Your Audience
A crucial part of your content marketing strategy is research. Creating a buyer persona is a good place to start. Before you can produce compelling content, you have to know who it’s for. Writing for a 30-year-old IT professional, a 45-year-old stay-at-home mom, a 20-year-old college student, and a 67-year-old retiree all require a different approach. There are also many other factors about your audience to consider, such as where they live, income, education, and interests.
One crucial aspect that contributes to your content marketing success is consistency. When you only publish content occasionally, it’s hard to attract a loyal audience. If you have a blog, for example, you need to publish posts on a regular schedule. Generating a steady stream of good content keeps your audience engaged and helps them get familiar with you. It also helps you build a library of content for the search engines to index.
Identify the Optimal Schedule
The same content may produce different results depending on when it’s published. If you want to get the most views and engagement, you need to identify the best schedulefor your needs. Depending on your audience, you may find that it’s better to post in the morning, afternoon, or evening. Similarly, you may get more engagement on certain days of the week.
Stay Consistent With Your Branding
Use your logo when posting to your own blog, website, or social media pages. Elements such as layout, fonts, and colors help to make your content more identifiable. It’s also important to maintain the same style. For example, a serious and formal style doesn’t mix very well with a satirical or goofy approach. This should be in line with your buyer persona.
Have an Omnichannel Strategy
More than ever, people are reading, watching, and listening to content on many platforms and devices. Here are just a few examples:
• Reading a blog post on a website.
• Watching a video on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok.
• Listening to a podcast.
• Reading an article on Medium or another publishing platform.
• Reading an e-book on Kindle.
• Listening to an audiobook on Audible.
An omnichannel content strategy means connecting with your audience on multiple fronts and guiding them back to your central hub, which is usually your website. In some cases, you can publish the same content on several sites. It’s often best to repurpose content for different formats, such as by converting an article into a video and/or a podcast.
Developing an omnichannel strategy is more than simply posting on as many platforms as possible. You need to consider where your audience is and where you get the most engagement, which leads to the topic of tracking and analytics.
Track Your Results
If you want to know how well your content is performing, you need to track your results. You need to identify your KPIs (key performance indicators), such as:
• Website Traffic
• Visitor Behavior — Calculate your bounce rate to see how long visitors are spending on your site. A heat map will tell you exactly which features are getting the most attention.
• Conversion Rates — For example, test landing pages to get more email subscribers or sales.
• Engagement — Which blog posts or social media content get the most likes, comments, and shares?
You want to find out where your traffic is coming from, what kind of content brings you the most engagement, which social media sites bring you the best results, and other key metrics.
Storytelling: The Crucial Ingredient in Great Content
The word “content” has a generic and impersonal sound. Effective content marketing, however, demands that you develop your own personal voice. You aren’t simply delivering information to people. You want to brand everything with your own style so that your audience recognizes it as yours. Storytelling helps transform information into a compelling narrative.
You not only want to tell an interesting story with your content but also an overriding story that builds familiarity with your brand over time. When you talk about your origins, values, motivations, and long-term goals, it’s easier for people to connect with you.
Many large companies have mastered the art of promoting themselves via stories. While larger brands have huge budgets for content, smaller businesses have an important advantage; they can often tell stories that are more relatable to the average person. One approach is to include your customers in your storytelling. You might devote social media or blog posts to customers who use your products. Another option is to feature guest posts (or images and videos) by your customers as part of your content strategy.
Develop and Evolve Your Content Strategy
There is more content online than ever. This makes it a challenge to get and hold people’s attention. To achieve the results you want from content marketing, it’s essential to approach it in a systematic and consistent manner. This requires that you formulate a coherent strategy and tell stories that will keep your readers coming back for more. Your content strategy should evolve over time, based on factors such as:
• Analytics –Where and when you get the most engagement, which topics are most popular, etc.
• Current industry trends, including pressing problems your customers are facing.
• Emerging technology and platforms, which change the way people access your content.
• Your competition, who can provide clues on how to reach your audience.