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Last time, we discussed the importance of content and why content marketing should be a key player when building a strong marketing strategy. Today, we will dive a bit deeper into the world of content marketing and see how you can build a successful content marketing plan from the ground up. We now understand that strategy is the “secret sauce” of an effective content marketing plan. Now how do we use that to create a marketing strategy recipe that will knock everyone’s socks off? Read on and see.
Build Solid Ground
Over time, content marketers have been able to learn and grow, with the change of the industry, gradually improving their results. Today Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) are required to increase their Return on Investment (ROI) at a rate that is measurable and can demonstrate real, progressive improvement. Without a doubt, content is directly linked to revenue and marketers know this. This is why it is crucial that you understand how your content can help seal the deal and get your prospective clients to convert. Strong content serves to address your prospective customer’s concerns throughout the process and guide them to the sale.
The first step in building a firm foundation is to begin by listing your goals that plan you to reach through content marketing. You may want to focus on important areas such as brand awareness, higher quality leads, working toward becoming and industry leader, and engaging buyers. Once you have fleshed these goals out, these will work as the building blocks when creating your marketing strategy. A sound content marketing strategy seeks to provide informative, sharable, relevant content that is educational, inspiring, solution-driven and of course entertaining (when possible)!
Do Your Research
You will also need to figure out what kind of content you want to produce. You will need to brainstorm to discover what areas in your business’ industry are areas that people are interested in or talking about. Research which demographics are interested. This will help you to develop a target audience and narrow down who your ideal customer is. Look around and see what other companies in the industry are doing to get their target audience. Ask yourself what they are offering. Consider ways you can meet or exceed that mark. Keep this in mind as you build your own content marketing strategy.
The more research you do, the more you will learn about your prospective audience. This is addressing the “who.” Seek to find out about important factors such as: the audience’s most shared interests, their decision making processes, potential motivational factors, and popular industry topics. With productive research comes good investigation. You will need to get to the root of why people are interested in a particular topic or industry. Once you narrow down what piques their interest, you can use that invaluable information to build a strategy that focuses on that “what.” In addition to the “what” you will also want to answer the “why.” Why would your prospective customer be interested in the first place and what are they hoping to attain? By effectively answering these key questions, you can reinforce your foundation and move forward to create some intriguing and highly relevant content that your potential customers will find interesting.
Build Your Content
Once you’ve clarified your goals and researched your prospective audience. You are ready to build your content. As you do this it is also important to implement search engine optimization (SEO) elements into your content. Quality content that is fully optimized will serve to vastly improve your sear engine result rankings. After all, that is the purpose of SEO. It can greatly enhance the searchability of your content so your prospective customers can find you. This is an important yet expansive part of your marketing efforts that should be blended in with your strategic efforts.
As you are building your content, you want to convey to your prospective audience that you are the expert in your field. This is your opportunity to share your expertise and engage the reader with answers to likely many of their questions. Through your research, you should have been able to gain valuable insight into the “what” and the “why,” which should help you to answer these questions relevantly and with the confidence of an authoritative influencer within your industry. This is a golden opportunity to become a valued reference in your business’ industry. If you develop a strong reputation for producing content that is informative, engaging and helpful to its audience, people are more likely to return and refer. As you build your content, remember that it should always work to provide your customers with the answers they seek.
Engage In Other Areas
Creating interesting and informative content as an authority, is a major part of your content marketing plan but never lose sight of the opportunity to engage in other areas. Work with other members of your marketing team to address engagement efforts in areas such as branding, social media, global marketing, and public relations. You may also be able to enhance your marketing strategy by collaborating with other agencies in the field and working as a team for a wider promotional reach. Widespread engagement in other areas will help to strengthen your marketing strategy and support your content marketing plan.
The ultimate objective of successful content marketing is to effectively answer every question or concern that your prospective customer might present throughout the buying or conversion process. Content must be created with this idea ever-present in your mind as you build your foundation. Setting your strategy in place will be the key to tying all of these preliminary elements together. It will take time, but once you begin measuring the effectiveness of your content, you will soon see which content is most successful and engaging, and relevant to your audience. You will then have a much clearer picture on which content works and effectively reaches your audience.
Author: Carolyn M. Walker, SEO Copy Editor
Carolyn has over 15 years of work experience in Marketing and Copywriting. She has worked as a freelance copywriter, corporate content writer, and marketing consultant prior to her current role as SEO Copy Editor at That! Company. Originally from California, Carolyn is a voracious reader and lover of literature. Carolyn graduated from The Florida State University with a B.A. in English Literature. You can follow Carolyn on Twitter (@MissWriteWise) or find her on Facebook at: facebook.com/carolynmwalkerwrites/