Effective digital engagement is crucial in today’s marketplace, and experienced marketers know it. Those newer to the field have likely heard of content marketing, but they may not know what exactly it is. The Content Marketing Institute (CMI) defines a content marketing strategy as follows:
According to Hubspot’s list of marketing statistics, 63 percent of surveyed companies said their number one problem was generating traffic and leads, followed closely by proving the ROI of their marketing efforts. A well-thought out content marketing strategy involves coming up with a plan for content, documenting that plan and measuring the results.
There are many ways that good content (when placed correctly) can help businesses reach customers. Educated marketers can take advantage of the online space to get a business in front of the right people. Take for example video. In the same Hubspot survey, online businesses reported an 85 percent increase in conversions just from using video on their landing pages. Video content is also 50 times more likely to drive organic search results than plain text.
Even with just the basic elements of content marketing strategy, companies can increase their reach and improve their marketing efforts.
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Why Do I Need a Content Marketing Strategy?
According to the Content Marketing Institute, those companies who had a defined content marketing strategy were more likely to consider themselves efficient content marketers. They also felt less challenged by content marketing as a whole, considered themselves more effective at using content tactics and were able to allocate a larger portion of their spending budgets to content marketing. This shift in competency is likely because content marketing focuses on building a relationship with the customer instead of the hard sell.
After so many years of the same marketing formulas, consumers have learned to recognize the signs of a sell and are shying away from them. A few statistics from the CMI back this up:
- Content marketing has less overhead cost and greater return, according to a study by Kapost and Eloqua.
- It costs 62 percent less than traditional outbound marketing and generates three times as many leads.
- It can get around ad blockers.
Companies like Casper, Spotify, Wendy’s and Taco Bell all utilize content marketing to get closer to their customers, and it has helped them grow their business. Even someone doing business for themselves, like a freelance photographer, can bring in business with a good content marketing strategy. For businesses of all sizes, it is becoming a requirement in the modern age to know how to use content to your advantage.
Creating a Content Marketing Strategy
Building off a list by marketing website Convince and Convert, here are eight essential steps to building an effective content marketing strategy. They are:
Define your objectives. What do you want your content to do for you? Are you trying to raise awareness for a product? Generate new leads? The answers to these questions will dictate the type of content you make and the channels you use to spread it.
Figure out what makes you unique. Convince and Convert calls this your “one thing.” What value do you add to the marketplace? Figure out what separates you from the noise and lean into it.
Measure your results. Once you define your objectives, you need to measure them to see if what you’re doing is working. This data could be website hits, email subscriptions or social media mentions, depending on the goal.
Know who you’re talking to. Figure out who wants your product or service most. Who’s your ideal customer? Who could get the most value out of what you provide? Creating customer personas is a great way to do this.
Find out what your audience needs. Once you know what they’re looking for, you can figure out how to fulfill that need. Creating personas and targeting an audience with a specific need means a much higher chance for customer retention.
Create a content execution plan. Monitor social media to find out what your target audience likes and what types of persuasive content will grab their attention. This will clue you in to what type of content works, what you should be making and what phase of your sales funnel you should be using it in.
Amplify your content. Once you’ve created content, you need to boost it. Convince and Convert calls this “marketing your marketing.” Share it everywhere. You can also partner with influencers in different social media realms that would best promote your product or service.
Enhance your marketing knowledge.
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