The success in Content Creation is a mix of Marketing, Strategy and Plan.
Content is everywhere. News, articles, videos, podcasts. Blogs, Social Media, Books, Webinars.
In 2018, Content Marketing is your foundation for all your marketing techniques, whether you are a B2B or B2C and whether you are a metallurgical company, a hotel establishment or a marketplace.
When asked which was the marketing activity that would make the largest commercial impact in 2018, B2C and B2B companies replied Content Marketing. Why Content Marketing? Because it allows you to target the right audience for you and, over time, it costs less than the paid traditional marketing. As a proof, in 2017, 70% of B2B marketers said they were creating more content than they did in 2016.
What is Content Marketing?
Content Marketing is an approach that focuses on creating and sharing remarkable and worthful content for your target audience.
At the end of the day, Content Marketing is about offering answers and solutions to your ideal clients’ challenges and pains in order to improve their lives.
Content Marketing cannot work without a solid strategy behind: the Content Strategy. Content Strategy is about the planning of your Content Marketing. It guides you through all your content development in order to accomplish your Content Marketing objectives and to create a sustainable Content Plan.
Why Content Marketing Strategy is important?
Let’s take a look at the Point Visible infographic
89% of B2B marketers and 86% of B2C marketers are using content marketing. But only 37% of B2B marketers and 40% of B2C marketers have a documented content marketing strategy.
Content Marketing Strategy is the starting point of any content-intended creation.
It is a deep preparation of your content creation and it involves several key elements
Your Message Framework is how you want your audience and third parties (such as competitors, partners) to perceive you: it goes far beyond the Mission, Vision, Values statements. This is important in your Content Marketing strategy because all the content you create must align to your message.
In order to build your message, you must answer the following questions:
- How do I want my audience to feel when they enter my website?
- How do I want my audience to feel after they understand clearly what my offer is and how I provide it?
- How do I show through my content that I provide exactly what my audience needs?
For example, if you are a 5-star-hotel website, your audience is blown away by the photos showing you the large gardens surrounding the hotel. They will want to know more, so make sure you keep them in the story of the place by describing something unique about you. Go beyond your chronological story, connect emotionally with your audience. After spending time on your website, your audience must have clear that what you offer is unique and guarantees an amazing client experience, not only some luxurious rooms. Your overall content (videos, testimonials, blog, about us page) must prove them you are the right choice because of how you integrate different services and create tailor-made packages, for example.
Core Strategy Statement
Your Core Strategy Statement is your Mission Statement and it allows your team to effectively participate in the content creation process. Your team’s work will be coherent and your company will achieve the goals.
The statement must be easy to understand for your team for them to be able to reproduce it as many times as needed.
It answers questions such as:
- Who is my audience?
- What content to create?
- What does my audience expect from my content?
- How do I meet my objectives by creating this content?
Tone of Voice
How do you make sure your audience recognizes your content and each interaction with you? How can you keep the same line in any contact with your ideal clients?
By ensuring you have a constant tone of voice.
Your tone of voice is the expression of your entire team and it allows you to differentiate yourself from your competitors.
When deciding which is the tone of voice, you must ask yourself:
- Why do I exist?
- How do I solve my audiences needs in a different way than my competitors?
- What makes me human?
Writing without knowing who you write for equals failure for you entire Content Marketing strategy.
Make sure you create in first place your different ideal customers, also known as buyer persona.
More about how to build your buyer persona here.
Your Content Marketing strategy must focus on the buyer’s journey and how the customer’s need evolves: he becomes first aware of his need, after he considers the need and looks for solutions and finally, when he has found the product or service that fits his need, he passes to purchase.
Adapt your strategy and content to the different phases your customer crosses and you will maximise your chances of converting the visitor into customer.
If you want to learn more about the buyer’s journey, read here.
Content Inventory and Audit
The first step is to list all the content you have and to organize it.
After, assess your content performance with the ROT analysis.
Is your Content Redundant, Outdated or Trivial?
Does it fulfill your objectives?
Is it useful for your audience and does it speak their language?
Update it or delete it as needed and plan new content that will answer your ideal clients’ questions and will accomplish your business objectives.
Bring together content that is similar and organise them together by creating Categories or Tags structured in different types of classifications.
Topics: Content Marketing, Entrepreneurship, Growth Hacking…
Formats: written (article, e-book), oral (video, podcast, webinar), image (photos)
Content type: News, E-books, MasterClass…
Topic Clusters: if you interlink associated pages, you will connect pages that deal with the same broad topic in order to organize better your content. Use the Topic Clusters organization: one Pillar Page which will connect all the Cluster Articles relating to it.
Team Roles and Responsibilities
Assign to each member of your team a precise role: content creation, content distribution, content maintenance. It will be a gain of precious time and resources for you because you will know at all time who does what. This will also help your team, which will not be obliged to pass through you each time they have a question. They will gain in autonomy and your business will work more smoothly.
Create a spreadsheet that can be automatically shared or updated by any member of your team.
The Content Plan is the last phase and it is about how you will put in practice your strategy.
Imagine it just like another editorial calendar planner.
Now that you have put in place a global Content Marketing Strategy, the last step for you to do is to measure its success. It will allow you to adjust and to maximise your strategy.
There are many ways to measure success, just like this metric analytics Curata uses in this report
Master the Content Marketing
While this is evergreen content, there is nothing more worthful than your own practice.
Start today with your Content Marketing Strategy and adapt it to your needs.
Even if it’s not the shortest process ever, it is worth the time and the energy you and your team will have put in it: your audience will thank you for it and your today’s website’s visitors will become your tomorrow’s brand ambassadors.
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