5 Valuable Content Marketing Steps That Will Improve Your Audience Engagement
Content marketing with no general aim or purpose rarely succeeds.
In order to create, distribute, and share content that engages your audience and generates leads for you, you have to have a defined content marketing strategy you can follow.
Before you can conceive the right content marketing strategy for your business, you have to be able to answer the following questions;
- Who is your audience and what are their needs/preferences?
- What specific business goal are you trying to improve? This can be in the form of conversions, traffic, and improved branding, among others.
- What information should I know in order to make this work?
- What should be my priorities in order to put my content strategy into action?
- What are my budgets and expectations?
Why You Need A Marketing Strategy
Content marketing is not an isolated act. If there is a disconnect between the content you put out with your other marketing efforts then you’re only setting up your business for a costly mistake.
Having a strategy in place allows you to direct your efforts into your overall goals and builds on the other results of your business.
So what essentially is a marketing strategy?
It’s the kind of plan where you integrate the role of your content in engagement, social, branding, reach, and SEO aspects of your business. There are various steps which you should undertake in order to plan, map, and create your overall content marketing successfully. Detailed below are some quick things you can use to start:
- Analyze what type of content you need. Before drawing up a strategy, you have to know what kinds of content will resonate with your audience and what will be able to fulfill your different business goals. From blog posts to infographics, what do you think are the best way to engage your audience? If you’re a consulting brand then data-driven posts that are condensed in one infographic may do wonders for your traffic. If you have a content strategy for different channels then know what specific characteristics and usage patterns of your audience in each one.
- Start tallying your resource inventory. Make a list of all of your existing content as well as other pieces of information you currently have. This is to make sure that you don’t publish any duplicate content. On another note, you can also use all the things you’ve gathered for repurposing content. Repurposing content is all about adapting what you’ve previously had into something that’s new. However, this is not an excuse to publish boring, or same content. You have to be able to add something new and make it wholly a different piece even if some information have been recycled.
- Set up the final plan and schedule. The next step would be to finalize the list of your topics and the likely schedule when you’ll be posting each. If you’re planning on doing collaborations or guest posting, make sure to include those as well so you don’t forget it. It would help to apply the basics of project management and integrate everything together.
On top of the content you need, you also need to take into account your plan for the needs of your prospects and customers. Over time, it would be beneficial for you to schedule how you plan on connecting what people find relevant (from the standpoint of your prospects and customers) and what you’re business is all about.
- Develop your brand identity. This can be done by weaving your own story and unique value proposition. Another aspect you may want to consider is the right content style and tone that will fit your audience. Do you need a content that’s inspiring and informative, or something that’s more formal and staid? The former is usually geared toward younger audiences while the latter is for business people.
Through it all, however, the most important thing is to make sure that your content gets found. There are thousands of great content on the web, but few, if any, enjoy the massive success that astute content marketers have.
- Creating the content. When it comes to finally creating the content, you have to have quality sources and capable co-creators. Aside from churning out content, you have to be discriminating in the things that you publish. Simply put, you have to curate exceptionally to make sure each content you put out there is in line with the brand you have in mind for your business.
Lastly, you must also optimize your content for business success. Isolated efforts to optimize your content won’t likely have any substantial or long-term advantage to your brand. It’s a duty because it maximizes your value. In order for you to know what would work best for your organization, you have to test and re-calibrate the things you are doing.
Optimization is akin to connecting all the dots. If a specific tactic works then it will tell you more about your audience—what they need or want and what they’re expecting from you.
Looking At Less Typical Content Needs
More than just the content itself, you also have to look at how to create the most effective formats for each content. Often enough, most businesses have no clue what content prospects or clients really engage with. For every type of audience, they also usually have different things they want and value.
If you don’t know? Go out there and ask, as well as analyze what you’ve been doing so far using different available metrics and KPIs. You can then use any data or insights you gather to improve and come up with new ideas.
It’s always a good idea to keep the message fresh. Make sure you have several content options in different channels where your audiences are. Many customers have their own preferences and the type of content your settle on should really depend on varying elements in the above mentioned information.
Other dimensions you can also consider include: audience behavior, buyer personas, pain points, and other related factors.
Overall, content marketing is about providing the content to your customers based on their needs, desires, and as well as reading preferences. In the end, making your content customer-centric is sure to serve you well in the long run.