Steps to create and implement a great content marketing strategy
Here we are. 2015. You have been able to convince your client about the greatness of web content, its efficacy to communicate and spread the values of a brand, product or service. You have finally met the person who said: Well, you’ve convinced me! We are going invest our budget in Content Marketing!
So, now is the moment to carefully plan a Content Marketing Strategy, produce high-quality content and see the results increase over time.
At this point, the question on your mind is: ok, where do I start?
Planning a Content Marketing Strategy is as follows:
- Setting goals
- Target definition
- Format choice and content realization
- Content distribution
- Results measurement
Let’s see all of them…
1. Setting goals
Content Marketing is not just SEO. It is not even a link building strategy anymore. Nor should it. Of course, content can help to acquire inbound links to your website, but the content is the power, not the links. Content may expose the brand to a very wide audience of users and help a new product or service launch itself on the market. They may even, in some cases, become successful viral cases and increase the perception of the company’s brand image.
So, what are the goals of a great Content Marketing Strategy? There are different goals and they depend on which channel we invest in.
Do we want to create content for Social Media? Or for SEO? Are we planning to expose the brand? These answers will depend on the goals of the campaign, the format choice and possible strategies of content distribution and promotion.
For example, if we want to create content for Social Media, the goal will be to increase the overall engagement (likes, comments and shares on Facebook, re-tweets and mentions on Twitter, video views on YouTube etc.). But, if we want to create content for SEO, the goal will be to increase the acquisition of incoming links and shares. All of these factors will inevitably reflect on the improvement of the position of the website.
2. Target definition
As with classic marketing, online content marketing segmentation and targeting are crucial phases of the whole strategy. This will influence the success or failure of a campaign.
Understand your targets will allow you to create valuable content for the right audience. Of course, the reaction will be more positive. In order to prepare the analysis and the definition of your target audience, you can use a lot of free tools like Facebook Insights or Twitter Analytics. With these tools you can draw up the socio-demographic profile of your audience. This is an essential base if you are preparing a content campaign for social media. Otherwise, you can use Google Analytics.
If you want to produce content for SEO, you can analyze the queries of the target audience/user. It is possible to discover the most popular kinds of searches made in your related field. Here, you can use tools like the Google autocomplete suggestion search or the Google Keyword Planner. You can also use Buzzsumo in order to know what are the most shared articles or most successful websites in your industry. Take inspiration from these keyword tools to create and tailor your content.
3. Format choice and content realization
Once you have defined targets and goals, now is the time to create the content. Successful content, in every channel, is one that contains the highest level of originality, creativity, usefulness, usability and graphics. If you are also able to excite and entertain, then you are far more likely to achieve success.
We can then choose different types of content, including:
- Detailed articles as mini-guides
- Meme for social media
- Video-infographics or animated infographics
- Amateur videos for Facebook, Instagram or Vine
- Research or white papers
4. Content distribution
Once built, the content will be promoted. I suggest you plan campaigns around Social Advertising. Also, if you are creating content for the web, you will need to create a seeding “outreach” strategy for the content: identifying an authoritative blog in your sector (based on factors such as SEO metrics, number of visitors, interactions on social channels, etc.) and contact them by email (customize every single email!) or through their social accounts. In order to have shares from similar blogs, your contents should reflect their content schedule and be really exciting.
5. Results measurement
To ensure the success of your content marketing campaign, the last step is to measure the results.
Here there are some of the KPIs that need to be measured:
- Total engagement on social media for the content
- Number and quality of the acquired backlinks
- Referral traffic brought to the website from the same content (for example: if it is embedded inside an article or blog) or linked directly
- Organic ranking of the site after the distribution of the content
- Sentiment related to the brand (and its products) that emerges from social media conversations
- Direct conversions for example: mailing list subscribers, sign-ups, etc.
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This article was originally published in Italian. Read the original article here: Come costruire una strategia vincente di Content Marketing. Translation and adaptation: Clara Carreras.