Content marketing is one of the most buzzed about terms in the marketing game. For what reason? It works! I should say, it can work with the right strategy and execution. Even with highly-budgeted distribution, poor content is at a disadvantage against great content when it comes to quality conversions. So what does quality content look like? How do we create relevant content for our audiences and how do we measure success?
Hold onto your seats, we’re going to break it down in 4 simple steps:
1. Clarify Objectives and Performance Metrics
A first and critical step to any good marketing strategy is to get crystal clear on your business’s objectives and the desired outcomes of the project. Understanding what key performance indicators (KPI’s) to track and what conversion you are after will be very helpful in deciding both the medium and the message. Here are some examples of potential content marketing objectives and KPI’s to get the ideas started:
- Increase website traffic by ____%.
- Create ____ new sales leads.
- Add ____ more users to our email newsletter.
- Create more awareness & conversation around our brand.
- Increase our social media following on the ________ platform.
Work through these exercises with your team before diving into content creation, it will help tremendously with the direction of your content and measurement of your success.
2. Define and Empathize with your Audience
Now that you have gotten clear on the objectives and performance metrics of your content marketing campaign, what audience will help you get there? Make a list of potential audiences that your content can serve and decide on one or two critical audiences for your campaign.
Try stepping into their shoes and working through a role-playing exercise. Try writing out questions or content topics that they would seek out on their own. What would this individual research on their spare time or in the workplace? Now is the time to start brainstorming content ideas making a priority list.
3. Finding a “Home” for your Content
After you define the objectives, metrics, and audiences for your campaign, it is time to distribute and get your content seen! Now is the time to decide the primary medium of your content. Will it be a Facebook Post? Website Blog? YouTube Video?
Social networks and other marketing channels shouldn’t only be thought of as distribution tools but as individual platforms to create compelling content natively. This part is actually so important that we actually wrote another blog about it.
Every platform offers a unique user experience and typically serves a specific content style best. For example, here are a couple campaign goals and distribution strategies you could take:
- Website Traffic: Try hosting your content on a website blog and then distributing teasers on social or email.
- Educational Whitepaper: Experiment with LinkedIn Slideshare or Medium blogs.
- Increase Email List: Offer a valuable e-book in exchange for an email opt-in.
- Product Sales: Create YouTube videos where specific problems are solved with the use of your product.
While it may be tempting to create a general piece of content for all platforms, know that there is a big difference between personalized and targeted content. Make sure your content has a home base that is in line with the mindset of your audience and your campaign objective.
4. Publish, Measure, Repeat.
Now that your content is out there, it’s time to collect data and develop insights for the next round! The more narrow your content topic, the longer it may take for it to gain traction and show results. Make sure to be patient and keep an eye on your performance metrics that were defined previously in step 1.
Is your content not getting enough attention? Consider incorporating your content into your digital advertising budget or refining your keyword strategy. Having a hard time converting your audience? Consider revising or experimenting with your calls to action or conversion funnel.
While there are several content marketing strategies and tactics out there, we hope this four-step process helps you simplify your idea generation and create better content!
Looking for even more help with your digital marketing? Get in touch with Gravitate today.