Posted on January 04, 2018
Most business owners now know the importance of using a company blog, even if very few of them have a real content marketing strategy. They write blog posts, some also a few e-books, possibly also some infographics, but they have no regular programming. With this guide, we will help you create a plan that is unfolding in a predictable order that will generate results. Otherwise, it may be really hard to understand what is working and how to actually achieve your goals.
The first part of your content marketing strategy: create a WordPress blog.
Your blog is the voice of the company, the place where all your content lives and hopefully, if you’re engineering it for SEO, it’s also the place you will get a lot of organic traffic from if you’re targeting specific keywords.
Whether you’re starting out a new blog or trying to improve an existing one, as a nice, easy and relatively affordable solution we suggest WordPress as a gold standard for blogs. It is much more customisable than platforms like Tumblr and allows you to use many important plugins.
You will also get a big difference if your blog is on your main page on in a subsection because people are not going to be actively looking for your blog and you could lose their attention.
How to plan your content marketing strategy: what to post
Your aim won’t have to be to reach as many possible viewers as possible, but the best possible. So, your content won’t have to be general, but very personalised.
Many company blogs don’t have much of a detailed Persona that they’re trying to target and that alone can really damage their content marketing strategy, ending up posting anything on the blog.
Your Persona is the user who is going to read your content: that’s the person you want to target and will actually become a customer. Think of the job titles: is this person a Director? A Social Media Specialist? A Consultant? A PR person? What industry do they work in? Are you targeting a specific vertical, like manufacture or healthcare, or are you really looking broader? You can check who’s currently using your products: your ideal customer is the one you have to be writing for.
You then need to identify how do you connect with them with something you care about, what are they hoping to achieve and how can you help them get there? Surely you can advertise your products and show how they can help them with their pain points, but content marketing is about educating people, rather than selling a product.
Follow these steps for a content audit:
- Review all existing content (including brochures, guides) and see how they are linked together if it targets the kind of market are you going after and if it is working for you
- Research your target market, see where their pain points are and how can you help them
- And then ultimately plan your content
To do this, we truly suggest you create a content calendar. You can make yourself one with Excel or Google Spreadsheets starting with basic, free solutions. The content calendar is always going to be dynamic: things constantly shift, priorities shift, but the important part is to have a list of all the content that is coming down the pipeline, otherwise, things very easily get lost, especially as the content program goes.
We created a content marketing calendar template, request it and we’ll be glad to share it with you for FREE, so you can use it monthly or quarterly, whatever is the cadence that works for you.
Building your Cornerstone Content
When you are starting something from scratch, you’re probably not going to have an ability to scale, to pump out 10 blog posts and 3 Ebooks. For this reason, you will have to create categories that fit exactly what your personas would need.
The best type of content varies much on the niche, but basically what is getting a bigger audience at the moment are Ebooks and Webinars. With webinars, people feel connected to the community, and perceive the value of learning something for free, live. You can start making your webinars for free, creating slides (you can make some very beautiful ones for free with Canva), using tools like Google Hangouts or Facebook Live to present and attend.
As you’re planning out your content marketing strategy, keep in mind the Content Funnel:
- Top of the Funnel (TOFU), which attracts leads
- Middle of the funnel (MOFU), which is not too salesy
- Bottom of the Funnel (BOFU): products demos and similar.
For every piece of content, think of where is the company’s most immediate need and which kind of piece would help better your lead generation program.
Content Marketing Strategy: the Distribution
Creating more content than you are distributing is something that happens to many bloggers: they think they don’t get enough results from their content, so they keep producing different pieces, but it only happens if you’re not distributing it well enough.
The traditional distribution channels, which could get your content to leads are:
- Partner (when you begin, often the audience is not the biggest, and there’s nothing more depressing than seeing that your piece of content only had four views. To help to put it in front of a bigger audience, you could make a list of like-minded companies to partner with, with a slightly bigger follower base, which target the same kind of customers as you do. You can do this in every industry and it is very important at this point to get more leads organically. Everybody has an email list and has promotional content: if you put together your promotional plans, it can work really well).
- Paid Advertising
- Social Media
- Organic Reach through Search Engine Optimisation
- Email Marketing
All of your audience is not in one place, so even if you create amazing content that your community will read, they could forget about it immediately as they jump into the next channel. For this reason, you need to aim to reach them into all of the possible channels they will be, creating content that can adapt to the different platforms you will publish it on.
We hope you found useful this Guide to create your Content Marketing Strategy; we’d love to hear back from you in the comments or on our Social Media which kind of strategy do you follow and if you’d like to share any tips.
Print the page, if you’d like to keep it in your own “digital marketing guide” and if you are curious about what is content marketing with “unicorn” ambitions, check this article!
If you need any help with Content and Digital Marketing, don’t hesitate to contact us.