Last week, we looked at content marketing from a straightforward perspective. Now, I would like to use again a simple viewpoint in discussing a content marketing strategy I find effective for small businesses.
Components of a content marketing strategy
A simple content marketing strategy includes the following:
- Topics of interest to the target audience
- Forms of content presentation
- Media to deliver content
- Content calendar
- Performance assessment
I had discussed details of these components in my past blog. Some excerpts are as follows:
Set your objectives. Your objectives have to be specific, measurable, and time-bound. You may consider boosting sales by 20% in 2018 or increasing website traffic by 30% in 2018.
Select what topics you want to discuss. You may be an expert in organic and healthy food, natural beauty products, health and fitness, clean energy, or in any other topic about which you can confidently share your expertise. Remember: your audience does not take care about your product or service; they repulse a sales pitch. Your audience would value your content if these answer specific questions they have. If you become an authoritative source on topics of interest to them, you gradually develop a relationship with and build a loyal audience. Over time, this morphs into a beneficial and profitable relationship.
Determine appropriate forms of presenting your content. You can use written materials, infographics, e-books, slides, videos, podcasts, webinars, or printed collaterals.
Select cost-effective media to deliver your content. You can deliver your message through your website, blog, social media, email campaign, online and offline ads, and other media.
Create a content calendar. You need to put your content topics, selected forms, media, and distribution schedule into one file to make sure you cover, coordinate, and monitor everything.
Set your metrics. You have to periodically monitor what really matters like website traffic, engagement, and sales (new and repeat sales).
Analyze and evaluate results; iterate for improved performance. If sales, for example, are not being generated as desired, check your engagement and traffic data. See what you can do to improve these data, implement tactical improvements, and iterate. Good results require time, persistence, new skills, and deeper knowledge of your target audience.
The effectiveness of a content marketing strategy
Statistics showed that many content marketers in different regions of the world, as much as 50% in the Asia Pacific region, had no content marketing strategy.
Without a well-thought-out strategy, content marketing efforts will likely go to waste.
Based on my own experience, the following factors contribute significantly to an effective marketing strategy:
A clear understanding of your target audience profile
I discussed this in my last article on content marketing. You should have a clear grasp of your target market and buyer persona, what their needs, problems, and pain points that your product/service is trying to address, and how you intend to convince them that you have a better value proposition than your competitors.
In my case, more than 60% of my audience are businessmen in the technology and marketing fields who are interested in marketing strategies/plans to startup, operate, or grow their business.
Topics that resonate with your audience and, therefore, leads to conversion
Your target audience will read, follow, and emotionally connect with contents that are useful, relevant, and engaging.
Your contents should be presented in various forms to avoid monotony and published on various social platforms habitually patronized by your audience for higher engagement rate.
I find that topics about business plans and marketing strategies are of prime interest to my target audience.
A basic understanding and know-how of SEO like the selection of keywords, writing titles and meta description, alt text, working knowledge of HTML 5, internal linking, and backlinking are all essential in creating SEO-driven content.
Persistent awareness and application of these SEO practices have resulted in more and more visitors discovering my site and reading my blogs.
Social media presence
Aside from SEO, my consistent presence on relevant social media platforms has remarkably delivered traffic to my website.
My target audience is mostly on Twitter and LinkedIn.
Results analysis and continuous experimentation for improvement
On a weekly and monthly basis, I take a look at the analytics for my website and social media posts.
These figures show me what content and types of post have performed well during the week and eventually during the month.
Insights into these data have enabled me to determine what topics to focus on and to introduce variations in the content format including images and animation.
The analyses and experimentations have consequently led to an exceptional level of engagement.
Implementing this simple content marketing strategy has resulted in improved marketing results.
I confidently recommend these to you including other options to improve your marketing efforts.