In previous blogs we have talked about the importance of good content, be it written or visual, to a successful marketing plan. So now you may have regular social media posts and blogs planned, but did you know it is important to set a content strategy that is specifically tailored to your business in order to achieve the best possible results from your content marketing?
So, what do we mean by this and how do you develop a brand content strategy that brings results? There are a few easy ways to do this that simply take a bit of research, thought and team collaboration. Going that extra mile to define a content strategy that is targeted to your audience and specific customer demographic can make a real difference.
The easiest way to create a content strategy is to outline some easy-to-follow steps. Creating a content strategy framework, or list of bullet points, will help you to set targets and enable you to tick steps to achieving your strategy off the list one by one. After all, defining any successful strategy requires creating an actionable plan.
The first step in your content strategy should be to define your goal. What is it you want to achieve with your content? What is your aim when developing your content marketing plan? Knowing why you want to create and share content can really inspire you to get going with developing your content marketing.
So, how do you define what you want to achieve? Asking questions is the best way to do this. If you’re the marketing manager, set out some questions and answers about what your goals are. It could be as simple as getting more customers or perhaps reaching a new type of potential customer with your content.
If you’re part of the marketing team, brainstorm some ideas about what you want to achieve with your content marketing efforts. If you don’t have a marketing team, don’t worry. Goals can still be defined by people without marketing experience! It’s simply about knowing what you’d like to achieve. Having a defined set of aims will really help you to focus on your goals.
The next step in planning a content marketing strategy is to do some research. For your content pieces to hit the right note and get results, you’ll want to define your target audience. This type of ‘persona’ research can be especially helpful to those who are new to marketing. By knowing who your target audience is, you can produce more targeted content.
For example, if your business is a new food app company, your target audience is likely to be younger tech savvy consumers who live in an urban area. These types of customers may be more interested in Instagram posts with mouth-watering images of food, rather than website blogs. By defining your target audience and understanding your buyer persona, you can choose the most relevant content to focus on.
If on the other hand you are a long-established company that knows its target audience, perhaps you can reach new audiences with different types of content. If you regularly post on one social media app, trying a new one can get your name out to a new demographic. If you’re not sure how to define who you should target, you can conduct market research in order to revisit your audience parameters and grow your following.
An important part of any brand content strategy is measuring how well your content is being received. If you have been trying one type of content for a while with some success, but you’d like to achieve more, then a content audit could tell you where you should be heading. For example, if you have regular blogs on your website and they are received well, but your social media posts are falling on deaf ears, perform a content audit.
Measuring analytics related to each content type could allow you to see where and even why your content is failing. For example, if you look at your Instagram analytics and see that your posts on Monday mornings are not performing well, but your posts on Friday afternoons are much better received, you know that timing on this social media channel is key and you can adjust your strategy accordingly.
Even if your content is doing great, it is good to change it up every now and then. By assessing your top-performing and lowest performing content, you can define a strategy for the future. Performing a content audit will allow you to see what you can do differently and set new goals that you want to achieve.
So perhaps you do want to try branching out and using new content streams. The great news is there are always new platforms and ways of sharing content that will keep your brand voice fresh and relevant. Developing a variety of content is key to achieving the best content strategy.
There are written content formats like blogs and e-books, but these days audio content and video content is coming evermore to the fore. For example, podcasts and webinars are a contemporary way to position you as an industry expert and help you to connect to your customers.
If you write your content internally within your company, rather than outsourcing it to a marketing agency, then you will need to choose a content management system or CMS to enable you to post your work. A CMS not only lets you easily post content but also has built in analytics that allow you to measure its reach.
Choosing the right CMS can even help you to plan your content, so it can be an essential part of your content marketing strategy. Another tool for planning that you’ll need to use is an editorial calendar and/or a social media content calendar. This way you can schedule your posts and plan your content for the year ahead, an essential part of any well-defined content strategy.
It may be that even with taking all this advice on board, you feel having a marketing agency help you create your best content strategy would be a more beneficial way to go. They may have the expertise to suggest the direction of content and measure its performance, things that can take years to build experience and knowledge around.
Mulberry Marketing Communications have decades of content management experience that we can bring to the table. We can help you define your brand voice and plan your content so that you can reach a wider audience and better connect with your existing customers.
To find out more contact us today.
Kate Fox is a Copywriter at Mulberry Marketing Communications. An award-winning full-service B2B communications agency based in London, Chicago and Melbourne. She has extensive experience creating written work that finds interesting ways to make B2B content, personal.