Why Your Content Marketing Efforts Are Useless Without a Strategy
By Louise Roberts, Managing Director, Sphere PR
Content marketing has been one of the biggest challenges for marketers in the past ten years.
If you’ve developed a content marketing strategy already, you are already heading in the right direction — marketing your company via blogs, opinion articles, social and video content designed to spruik interest in your products or services.
One of the greatest benefits of a content-marketing strategy, particularly for smaller businesses, is that you don’t need a big budget, or even a big team to execute it. What you will need is a clear content marketing strategy to set out how and when you will execute it.
It is important to understand why a documented content strategy is more powerful than a simple verbal strategy and why all of your content efforts are wasted without a well-thought out and documented strategy.
Brands struggling with content marketing have to understand that content with an objective is the key. Content that is goal oriented and serves and genuine purpose, whether that’s to inspire a huge audience or a select few, it must deliver on its promise and be relentless in its pursuit.
You need to understand what works and what does not. Then define a single point of customer demographic and pursue its course for a short period. Research can include competition analysis, industry trends, customer behaviour, neural data, AI depth range and so on. All the data needs to indicate the best direction, which should be the course for your content.
Planning is the second most important element of a content marketing strategy. Whether it’s a part of the company’s key objectives, or it matches the audience’s expectations, the planning decides the direction you go in. Planning a good content marketing campaign involves planning for great content. It is the investment made in the content and dedicated planning that goes into it that determines its success.
When you are clear about what to write, you need to know how to develop it. When you know what will work in the market you are targeting, you need to ensure it hits the spot and looks appealing and worthy of a read. Production is one of the essential parts of content marketing, which takes care of budgeting, time, quality and so on.
This is where you ensure that all tracking tools are set up and links have been integrated. When you are ready to go live, you must track everything from start to finish, from the trust level of the author to the comments received per article. Is the content you have created appealing to anyone at all? Sometimes this is decided within days, as your content dashboard will work out the appeal of your content.
You must create a sizeable audience before the content reaches the hands of the readers. Sometimes, this audience reads your content via search or sometimes social media. However they reach it, you must have a robust promotional strategy for your chosen topic. Capture the attention of experts or make ripples in your industry with something controversial. Promote your content depending on the scope of the work.
Digital marketing and content marketing have a huge role to play in the promotion of your brand online. These days you don’t have a brand if haven’t got a community. Your brand must do its hard work, pay employees well and produce clever content, whilst achieving great results for its key stakeholders. You will be successful and capture the hearts and minds of your target audience if you can create and implement a great content strategy.