63% of businesses have no written content marketing strategy.
This is one of the biggest mistakes when creating content. Not only is high quality content an essential value proposition, it will further help your content efforts, shorten the buying process, and skyrocket your marketing efforts; furthermore, it will also help you understand user behavior and reach potential customers.
Without a strategy, whether you fail or succeed is a matter of luck; this is why having a clearly defined audience, a documented content marketing strategy, and well-researched marketing tactics are the best way to ensure your content marketing efforts go far.
This step by step guide outlines how to create a content marketing plan that will help you grow your business.
Here are a few examples of tips to employ as content marketers. Remember, content marketing strategies vary from business to business based on their own user needs and business goals, but here's a great place to get started.
You can apply these tips to your own content marketing strategy.
Successful Content Marketing Strategy:
Step One: Focus on Internal Links
Internal links help search engines identify a site's most valuable pages, but also provide context for them. Knowing the best way to use internal links is part of a successful content strategy.
Variations of your target keyword can be used as a text anchor for other articles or websites linking to your target content. Internal links should help readers find relevant sources. You should always provide relevant content and know where each individual is on the buyer's journey.
Google utilizes its internal links for the websites which have very high quality.
That said, it should not be simply ranking, but it should also take readers to specific sites and to sites linked directly to your content.
Here are a few of the key areas you should focus on in order to improve your content marketing efforts:
Ranking for exact match keywords
Doing so will help you optimize your article for the content of the page and will help you in making you rank more quickly.
Focusing on your website’s structure
This is another vital measure which is ignored by most people during the content creation process.
If you have a professional website, make sure that it has a professional design, and not a sloppy one so that when you create content, people will actually want to read it.
In fact, it can be useful to hire a professional web developer to really be able to compete in the content marketing world.
It is important to format all the elements related to your business: your goals, your objectives, etc., related to your site in a way that search engines can understand and easily interact with them.
Don't forget to tailor your website to your target audience. You'll want to a sleek design which creates the right kind of brand awareness. You want to create content that people remember for all the right reasons!
Step Two: Narrow your blog post focus
There should be a one clear idea in every blog post from the headline till the last word.
You'll need to take a strategic marketing approach in order to make this happen.
When your focus turns to a narrower audience you will provide valuable content ideas in a certain sector, thereby distributing value to those who need it most without the fluff.
If not, it would be difficult to offer advice or information to those that want it if you're trying to talk to everyone. By narrowing your focus on a topic, you can give extreme value around the topic, help people meet their business goals, optimize their content production and create consistent content.
Know your audience
The key to any successful content marketing strategy is to identify who your audience is.
You can use social media to gather information about your target audience.
You'll even find out about their interests on Google Analytics.
You might need additional info about your target audience to better understand your target market. Create buyer personas-- also known as customer avatars--to describe your ideal clients and customers to improve your targeting.
Ascertain the goals and the target audience for a great content strategy
To write an article that offers content of value, your article has to meet the needs and wants of the reader.
Asking questions will help you to clarify your focus and achieve your goals.
Who will read your article?
Who do you want to read your article?
What is your goal in writing the article?
Can you offer info to those of a specific type of organization?
When you ask those questions you help focus the article and come up with an article that has an ultimate goal. You need to use your writing to help the reader. This is at the heart of any useful content strategy: can yo solve a problem for the user, reader or client?
Can you provide a service, solve a problem, share some knowledge? That's often an effective way to write an article that offers value.
Your article should leave your readers wanting to learn more, but also answer relevant questions.
Pay attention to exactly what they want and need from you, and focus your content strategy around the customer feedback .
This is the ultimate job of content marketers: to increase website traffic, develop a solid content strategy, understand the buying cycle, generate leads with organic traffic, provide valuable information and meet key performance indicators.
Make it clear what your method is for addressing your question or problem and what resources and websites you use.
A good article leads readers and eventually, customers, to a specific destination; so perfecting your content strategy should always be a top priority.
Step 3: Write in your unique brand voice
Brand voice is your personality, and a fundamental element of your content marketing strategy.
When you get the idea who you want to write to, and the topics they care about most, you'll be one step closer to a foolproof content marketing strategy.
Of course if you do not have a single person creating all of your content and handling your communication, you'll probably need a specific document in your organization so that you are able to clarify your brand personality.
This is fundamental in any content strategy.
Your brand voice document should be shared with all your team, and full of real-life user feedback so that your voice and tone match that of your potential customers.
Optimize your Content Marketing Efforts and Content Strategy
If you don't really know your brand persona you aren't getting in touch with your ideal market.
There are gaps in your content creation strategy and your content creation process is incomplete.
Content marketing is surely the bet, although creating content isn't always very straightforward.
Think of the purpose of each piece you'd like to create to help prospects in all stages of a project.
Anticipating the questions that prospective buyers have asked, and making them front and center in your brand's messaging and mission, you'll avoid unnecessary user frustration and friction in the buyer process.
Make sure that your content covers every part of the customer journey to assist your prospects in every phase and build a long-term relationship between your client and your brand.
This can also be content that tells a company's story to the viewer as well as highlighting company values and excellent team members.
It doesn't all have to be about selling. Content marketing is about value.
Your content marketing efforts will pay off more when you focus on relevant content and distributing valuable information.
Why focus on content strategy?
(According to the Content Marketing Institute)
At its core your content marketing strategy is your ‘why.’
Why you write content, who you help, and how you're trying to help should always be at top of mind.
Pay attention: it's also good to emphasize why you can help them better than your competitors.
Content Marketing Institute defines content marketing as a long-term strategy that focuses on building a strong relationship with your target audience by providing them with high-quality content that is very relevant to them.
If you remember this information, your content marketing services will always be effective and your content channels will thrive (whether it's for your own site, or for a client's).
Why content marketing?
Content Marketing is the most common method employed by organizations to gain customers, reduce costs or increase revenues. This is just one example, however.
You also have social media marketing, email marketing, digital marketing and even, video marketing (both audio content and visual content are here to stay, people!)
(Don't forget that by optimizing your existing content, there's still room for lots of growth!)
No matter which medium you choose, you'll need to drive your content efforts based on a well-researched content strategy and content program.
In contrast to single-page advertising, content marketing shows you really care about your customers.
It's not just a race to have them sign up anymore, it's about the customer journey, quality content production, consistency and intentional digital marketing.
The world is louder than before and our attention is our greatest commodity. Create content that people care about, or at the very least that teaches them something!
Strategy is key when you create content.
If you want some content marketing examples, make sure you check out the Surfer Blog!
Keep the above in mind for a discussion on different forms of content marketing using which you are using to attract and retain a very clear audience.
Conclusion: Why you need a successful content marketing strategy
Using these techniques you can significantly improve the quality of your content and show up in more relevant organic search queries.
By developing your own content strategy based on your customer's needs, personality, social media sites and business goals, you create a relationship with your users.
They'll trust you and the content you provide because your marketing strategy is based around their needs.
This will increase people's confidence your website, and make them feel more like they represented in your brand.
With that in mind, improving in your content strategy and brand awareness - to a level where you know their audience and their business goals- is a win-win situation for both the content marketers and the clients.
Although this process will take a lot of work-- to optimize existing content, do competitive research, and develop a digital marketing strategy--the rewards are so very worth it.