With the advancement of technology, communication has now changed from being a written medium to a virtual medium through the growth of the internet. With greater availability of target markets on social sites, companies have been forced to focus on a content marketing strategy for promoting their brand images.
With the greater awareness of the effectiveness of producing a content marketing plan, now more and more companies are anxiously developing special teams for content planning. Though the pace with which companies are moving for content planning is increasing, companies have not been able to achieve their desired objectives. This is because these content strategies for business lack critical factors which are important for success and also because they need to let go of content creation myths while creating their content.
Though there is a long list of such factors, I have categorised them into five major elements that are crucial for a successful content marketing strategy.
Clearly defined objectives
Nothing can be more advisable and desirable than defining your objectives as clearly as possible. If the objective of content marketing is not clearly communicated to the people who are creating it, then there is it very unlikely for a strategy to be successful. Although this seems obvious, in reality this is the most important factor—and companies tend to ignore it completely.
When questioned about why they want content marketing, most companies give vague and immeasurable answers which become the base of all problems. So, before creating content for your business online, be clear about what you want to achieve and why content marketing can benefit you. Clarity in this area will make your task easier.
Knowing the audience
Though this factor should have been part of the first factor, because of its importance, I have mentioned it separate from the first one. This is because, without knowing your target audience, you cannot meet the objectives of a content marketing strategy. A common problem that is quite often seen is defining content as either too broad or too narrow for the target audience. Wrongly defining the target audience can actually make things worse for content planning.
Companies often fail in providing the right content to the target audience. The content is either too irrelevant or ignores important details. To avoid such blunders, it is highly important to know the target audience. Developing relevant content for customers and readers is what needs to be done to make content marketing work. This could be done efficiently by managing buyer personas, which will help you in developing the right content for the right audience, effectively removing the ambiguities involved in the content development process. These are the profiles of the potential customers that are developed by observing real people who have bought from you and, on the basis of their purchasing habits, you develop these personas so that content customisation is possible.
Sensing and optimising
The job doesn’t end on defining a clear objective and identifying the audience correctly. Equally important is ensuring you deliver the audience what they are looking for. This can only be done by developing a proper, efficient platform to address customer grievances and problems. Solving problems and queries of customers will help you create loyal customers, which will ultimately become paying customers. Platforms that can be used for such purposes include blogs, websites, and landing pages.
These platforms need to be optimised so that you can get more traffic and sales from relevant content and have a high conversion rate of loyal customers to paid customers. In developing authoritative content, there are a few core areas that need to be taken into account. Here is brief understanding of these core areas.
- Page design – one of the major conversion factors is the design of the page itself. How you design the page and what colour and font style is selected is of great importance.
- Email list – your design of the page should be such that it facilitates email subscriptions and that viewing of comments and messages are easy to access.
- Page content – apart from the website content and blog, the content that is written to attract customers needs to be created in way to “sell” the reader.
Be creative at storytelling
Creating authoritative content isn’t possible without knowing the art of narrating the story. If you are able to relate your brand to your potential customers through a unique story, then there is a good chance of customers becoming loyal. The art of narrating storytelling and relating it to your customers is the only thing that separates your content from thousands of other sites providing content. The only way to sell your brand through content marketing is to develop content which customers can relate to themselves because otherwise they are unable to distinguish between yours and others.
Storytelling should be an important part of the content strategy for a business because only through a unique story is a customer able to relate to your brand.
Aggressive promotion has now gone beyond conventional companies marketing through Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.Getting your promotion right is what’s important for a successful content marketing strategy. An example of conventional ways of marketing becoming obsolete is how direct promotion now rarely works. Rather, it harms your brand image more than providing anything good for it. Building relationships and being authentic is the key to developing successful content promotion. A few tips for this type of promotion are given below:
- Guest blogging – one of the effective ways is guest blogging as this brings traffic to your site and allows your customer to view your content through internal linking.
- Social media – I am not referring to using social media just for posting links. Rather, use it effectively to build relationships with customers and you’re your audience.
The importance of content marketing is going to increase tremendously in coming years. Though newer platforms and tools will be developed, the core content will remain the same. Success in content planning lies in three basic steps: setting objectives smartly, developing memorable content and promoting it aggressively. Follow these steps to lead in content marketing and make your brand stand out.