When you’re looking to grow your business, there are many strategies you can follow, including having a focus on customer service; spending more time on sales; and coming up with fresh new products or services. However, one of the areas you always need to be up on is marketing.
These days, when you want to find success with essential digital marketing efforts, you must invest in content marketing. Whether in the form of social media posts, blogs, e-newsletters, magazine articles, videos, or e-books, content marketing is an incredibly important strategy for all businesses to use. Smart campaigns executed effectively will build brand awareness, generate and convert more leads, boost repeat sales and referrals, and otherwise help your organization bring in more money.
No matter what industry your venture is in, content marketing should be something you are working on regularly. However, if you’re not very experienced in this area, it can be a little daunting knowing how to plan your content marketing efforts, and how to get the results you’re after with your campaigns. A good way to approach this area is through creating a content marketing plan you can follow as the year progresses. Read on for some handy tips which will help you see your content creation and results soar during 2018.
Know Who You Plan to Target
One of the first steps to take as you plan out your content marketing is deciding exactly who you’ll be targeting. You should be focused here, rather than just generally writing content for people who live in your area, or who are interested in a particular type of product.
To thoroughly understand your ideal target audience, you need to know things like their age range, likely occupation, income level, family structure, shopping habits, and general interests and hobbies. Note that you could actually have different people you want to target for different pieces of content, based on the particular product, service, or special you want to feature.
Once you’re clear about who you’re developing content for, it will be much easier to work out which topics to cover and information to include, the language and tone to use, and where you should distribute the content (such as on your website, or on social media sites, in external publications, or in newsletters).
Put Goals in Place
Next, before you start creating content, put some goals in place. For instance, do you want your content to help you build your business brand or generate more leads, or are you trying to improve SEO rankings, the level of repeat sales you get from customers, your conversion rates, or something else altogether?
You might have numerous goals in general, as well as different targets for different pieces of content. This is fine, as long as you’re aware of what you’re trying to achieve, and the order of importance of multiple goals if you have them. Try to be specific with your goals, too, as this will make it easier for you to not only ensure you create effective content, but also to analyze the success of the campaigns once they’re completed.
Be Clear on How You’re Offering Something Different
Next, for your content to work well, it should show your current and potential customers what it is your business offers them that’s different to what your competitors provide. For example, you might be the only firm offering a particular service in your location, or you might be targeting a market no one else is going after, offering a more competitive rate, providing additional customer support, or extra product features, etc.
Keep in mind, too, that consumers have massive amounts of information surrounding them all day and night. As a result, it’s tough for content to actually stand out and be noticed, so finding a way to be unique makes a difference to how successful your marketing campaigns are. Your point of difference may revolve around the tone of voice and style you use in your content, the platform or type you use, the message you’re sending, story you’re telling, or numerous other factors.
Develop a Step-by-Step Strategy
Lastly, once you’ve worked out everything, it’s time to develop a step-by-step strategy. It pays to plan out the different kinds of content you will produce during the year (such as evergreen, always-relevant information, or more topical, trends-based data), when you’ll share it and how, and if you’ll be wanting to get other people (such as staff members, suppliers, customers, and bloggers) involved.
It’s a good idea to use a variety of content types, such as newsletters, videos, case studies, Q&As, custom graphics, surveys, infographics, and blogs, but if you have a favored style it’s okay to concentrate on that while you learn others. You may also want to create some content from your point of view as the business owner/manager; some that demonstrate the inner workings and culture of the organization by featuring your team; and some that showcases the positive feedback or interest you’ve received from third parties.