Content marketing is not limited to blog posts, tweets, and web pages. It is a collaborative effort of social outreach, branding, and positioning of the brand with quality content that is favored by the target audience you want to communicate to.
As a digital marketer, you must probably be familiar with the elaborate process of structuring and executing marketing strategy. The nuances of building a successful content strategy are many. Here we will discuss some of the most basic and important aspects that are involved in building a successful content marketing strategy.
Know the Sales Funnel in Content Marketing
The famous concept of a sales funnel revolves around three main aspects of buying. They are awareness, evaluation, and purchase. Any buyer would go these three phases while making a purchase. As marketers, we must ensure that people go through these phases without dropping out in between. Hence it is important to understand what pushes a buyer to go through all these three phases.
The newly developed fourth phase of this sales funnel is the "delight" phase. This is the after sales service from the brand to the customer to build brand loyalty and retain the customer for long. Once the conversion happens, it is imperative to make sure that the customer is impressed to build brand loyalty. The first step is the outreach, where we attract new customers. The second is the conversion where we convince them to buy our products and service. The third stage is the closing where we make the actual sale. The fourth is retention, where we establish brand loyalty and make sure the customers return to make a purchase once more.
Ideally, a brand strategist must have the ability to keep the customers traveling through the funnel through unique and engaging content. When we start from the topmost phase of the funnel which is brand awareness, we will be speaking to a larger audience base, and it is important to understand their likes, engagement levels and tune the content strategy better to strike a chord with the customers and retain them in the funnel for longer.
Your content is your strength
A content strategy doesn't revolve around numbers. The number of posts in a day or the frequency of tweets are not the measuring scales that denote the success of your content marketing strategy. They are only the components, and the larger picture lies in making the right decisions at the right times to make a focused strategic approach with content.
We can say that content marketing is working when we see a rise in engagement. A smart strategist will know how the content works for the audience and what drives engagement. Once this is analyzed, it becomes easier to build content on the same lines while moving to the other phases of the funnel. This will keep the audience engaged throughout and make conversion easy.
The only thing that is constant is change. As a strategist, you need to carefully monitor, track and analyze the numbers from the content that is posted to understand your audience better. Once you get their pulse, it will be so easy to convey and make a conversion. The trick lies in constant analysis and updating of the strategy to keep the brand interesting and liked by the audience.
You need to have a clear idea of what kind of content is helping in making a sale. You need study the audience preference, their interests, and purchasing behavior to completely understandi the buying cycle and make relevant changes in the strategy. Only constant learning and continuous updation can make a content strategy work.
Some of the questions you can keep asking now and then to make sure you are updated includes,
– Things to improve
– Platforms that work best
– The best resource to make the conversion
– The synergy of the strategies
Maintain a calendar
Maintaining a calendar, for one thing, makes your job easy by keeping things organized. It gives you a clear understanding of what is to come and so you can prepare accordingly. It can act as checklist too, to make sure you get things well in advance and keep it scheduled. You can also keep slots reserved for special events and to include trending topics that are relevant to your brand. The importance of maintaining a calendar can be realized when you feel having things under your control with a well- organized content table that can be closely monitored and developed further.
Another important use of maintaining a calendar is for brands which use multiple platforms to post content. You can keep a tab of all the platforms in one place and efficiently manage all the platforms from a spreadsheet.
Reuse and re purpose
As a content marketer it is important to make sure you never run out of content. It is always wise to create content that is easily reusable and be easily converted to be put use in different multimedia platforms. This will ensure that a lot of time is saved in creating new and fresh content. Slight modifications and editing will be sufficient to put the content to use again on a different platform when you carefully plan.
It is only wise to develop a strategy based on already existing content and easily repurpose them to be used in different channels. So keep in mind to prepare content that can be easily repurposed in the future to save time and effort.
Here are some repurposing ideas for content. They include developing courses that can be sold from a webinar series. You can create pdf files out of old blogs. Develop case studies from old blogs. Create infographics from presentations, and you can also turn an infographic into a presentation. This kind of idea saves a lot of time and energy for the content marketers who can concentrate on other important developments instead.
Set a goal and stick to it.
While starting to prepare a content strategy, it is important to set a short-term goal and a long-term goal. Make sure all your content and strategy revolve around this to help you stay focused. As a strategist, it is important for you to understand the purpose of setting a particular goal to start working efficiently on it. With a framework, calendar, and content ready as per the goal you have in mind, you are armed well to battle it out on the social media platform to shine amongst your competitors.
With every execution, you need to carefully analyze the results of the content and modify your content accordingly to make sure you attract a lot more customers. While these edits and updates are made, just keep in mind there is no deviation from your goal. It is like your goal is to sell a pizza, and you can play around with toppings as per your customers choice and keep your main product, the pizza intact.
The kinds of content you can experiment with are given below for your better understanding. But these are definitely not hard and fast rules, but just pointers to help you with the content strategy.
To develop reach and awareness use Facebook ads, landing pages, interesting explainer videos, and infographics. To make a conversion happen, use social media, product related blog posts and case studies to convince the buyers. The closure can happen through developing poignant email series, reviews, and questionnaires about the product. Once the deal is closed to ensure retention of the customers for the future, shower them with exclusive offers and contests.
Be sure to make all this content well in advance and create a timeline to keep the content organized and ready for execution. Each phase of the sale will require different types of content. So be well prepared by creating varied content according to your needs. Also, you need to be flexible enough to make edits and change of tone on short notice after analyzing the performance of the previously posted content. Close monitoring of these activities will ensure that your goal is achieved and the purpose is served.
These are some of the tips that will help in building a content strategy that is well thought out and well- executed to assist in developing a reputed brand image