Consumers don’t like to be sold to. Instead, businesses need to educate their audience through compelling content that empowers individuals to make informed purchasing decisions, which is where content marketing comes in.
By consistently producing interesting and informative content, your business can make stronger and lasting connections with consumers.
Whether you are just developing a strategy or if you need to revisit your current plan, here are five ways that you can improve your content marketing strategy:
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1. Make Sure Your Strategy Is Documented
It’s very hard to follow a strategy if it is not written down. Though that may seem like common sense, many marketers do not create documented marketing strategies. In fact, Content Marketing Institute reports that only 32 percent of B2B organizations have a documented content marketing strategy. However, 53 percent of the most effective marketers do use a strategy, demonstrating that marketers who have a documented strategy are more successful.
If you’re not sure where to start, try using a content strategy template to make sure that you are including all of the necessary information before you start implementing campaigns. Your strategy does not need to be fancy, it just needs to contain information to help you plan, create, share and measure content consistently and effectively.
2. Involve the Whole Team in Planning and Implementation
Who knows your company and customers better than your own team? It is essential to get your team’s input and involvement in creating and promoting content.
Many small businesses may not be able to have a dedicated marketing team to work on creating content. Though outsourcing this content is certainly an option (more on that later), you can also get help from other team members. Even if they are not able or qualified to write content, they can still help you generate ideas.
Experienced employees will often have great insight into the type of content that your customers want to see. For instance, sales and customer service team members consistently interact with existing and new customers. This means that they know the questions and concerns that consumers have before deciding to make a purchase. This type of information can make great topics and lead to informative content.
3. Develop Specific Goals for Your Content
Different types of content are used to attract and engage customers at each stage of the buyer’s cycle. This means that the more general topics you discuss when attracting new leads are most likely not as compelling for customers who are ready to make a purchasing decision and need more in-depth information. That is why it is important that you set business goals for your content.
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Some of these goals could include the following:
- Increase leads: Content used to increase leads will discuss less about your specific product or service and more about the problem that your company solves.
- Create brand awareness: This type of content is used to help keep your brand top-of-mind. Social media is a great way to generate more brand awareness.
- Improve customer retention: Since this content is directed toward individuals who are already customers, it will be more detailed than content directed toward those higher in the funnel.
Creating documented goals helps you ensure that your content is achieving what you want it to. You can use these goals as a basis for tracking performance with specific metrics.
4. Have a Plan for Tracking Content Performance
Speaking of metrics, the best way to improve your content marketing strategy is by determining, which tactics and channels are working and which are not. The only way to do this is to consistently track marketing content performance using specific and relevant metrics. First, you need to decide which metrics make sense based on your unique content goals. Content marketing guru, Jay Behr lays these metrics out in four categories:
- Consumption metrics: How many people have consumed your content?
- Sharing metrics: How many times have they shared it with others?
- Lead generation metrics: How often do content consumers convert into leads?
- Sales metrics: How often do content consumers convert into sales?
By tracking the right metrics, you can monitor performance and adjust your content marketing strategy as needed.
5. Take Advantage of the Content Marketing Tools Available
Technology has made it easier for businesses to stay organized and efficient. Here are just a few tools to grow your content marketing strategy:
- Google AdWords is one of the biggest online platforms for advertising on search engines, but it can also help you increase SEO for your other content. Using your researched keywords, you can create content around these concepts to post on your blog or social media accounts. This tool not only helps you improve the efficiency of your ad spend but also make your content marketing more effective.
- Buffer allows you to manage multiple social media accounts at once, making it easier for you to post and schedule social media content, which saves time and resources. The platform also offers detailed analytics on your campaigns. This shows you what’s working and what isn’t, allowing you to make adjustments to your strategy.
- Scripted is a content creation service where you can hire professionals to write content for you. Not all small businesses have the capability or resources to create content in-house, which makes this an important tool for companies that need help generating blog posts, website pages, and other content.
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Taking your content marketing strategy into consideration is not only important because of the improved reputation your business can experience, but because of the increased leads and sales. Keeping the above content strategy tactics in mind will help you ensure that you are making the most of your content as well as your communications with current and potential customers.