No matter which industry your business is in, content marketing is an effective way to boost your marketing efforts.
In fact, 70% of consumers prefer getting information about a brand from a blog post or article rather than a traditional advertising campaign. Moreover, 34% of people follow companies on social media to learn about the company news and industry-related info.
Therefore, sharing content can help win people’s hearts and build an audience. However, to have successful content marketing efforts, it’s essential to create the right strategy.
In this article, we’ll uncover the benefits of content marketing and ten ways to develop an effective content marketing strategy. You’ll learn important points, such as choosing the best channels and content types for your brand.
Benefits of Content Marketing
- Build your brand awareness. High-quality content with stunning visuals and storytelling will grab people’s attention. For example, the New York Times’ The Boat won many awards for its unique designs.
- Drive traffic. Since more people recognize your brand, they will be curious and visit your site. Your traffic will increase through organic searches, shares, or backlinks. For example, Porch’s blog post gets 23,000+ monthly organic visitors and 3,500+ press mentions, like Washington Post and CBS, within a year.
- Improve your SEO strategy. Including more relevant keywords increases your visibility on search engines. More backlinks and shares from high-quality websites also help improve the site ranking.
- Increase audience engagement. If the audience finds your content informative and helpful, they’ll want to consume more. This can also increase the engagement metrics, like scroll depth and the number of comments.
Why Audience Engagement is Important
Audience engagement refers to how interested and involved in your content people are.
In blogging, engagement relates to session duration, bounce rate, and whether the readers comment and share content. Meanwhile, the engagement metrics on social media include likes, mentions, and saves.
Higher engagement rates on your channels can signal social media platforms and search engines to prioritize your content. As a result, your posts will receive more reach.
Before thinking about audience engagement, generate a name for your business that is unique and brandable. It will help create a strong impression and improve memorability.
10 Effective Content Marketing Strategies
In this section, you’ll learn how to develop successful content marketing strategies.
1. Understand Your Audience
A good starting point for your content marketing strategy is getting to know your audience.
There are several aspects to analyze about your audience:
- Demographics. Include age, gender, and economic status to help determine the topics and content channels that resonate with them. For example, if the subject is beauty and the audience is in their 30s, your content can be anti-aging skincare.
- Psychographics. Refer to audiences’ beliefs and values. Knowing these can help gain loyalty as 89% of consumers will be loyal to brands with the same values as them.
- Communication style. Relates to the type of language your audience speaks, such as informal or formal, and content format they prefer, like audio or video content.
2. Determine Your Goals
Marketers who determine their goals are 376% more likely to succeed. Creating goals helps keep your team focused and organized.
Typical content marketing goals are:
- Increasing sales and revenue
- Gaining more traffic
- Improving SEO performance
- Developing authority in the industry
3. Set Your KPIs
After setting a goal, the next step is to develop key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure progress towards your goal.
To increase the success rate, your KPIs need to be:
- Specific. Using quantifiable data, like increasing traffic by 5% or publishing a video once a week.
- Time-bound. Completing a goal you pick in a specific period, like improving traffic by 5% within a quarter.
- Measurable. Having clear metrics to tell whether you meet your goal. For example, related metrics of increasing traffic are the number of unique page views on your website.
Several tools make tracking your KPIs simple, such as Google Sheets, SimpleKPI, and Geckoboard. With these tools, it’s possible to see the visualization of your progress using graphs and charts.
4. Do a Competitive Analysis
A competitive analysis is a practice of evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of competitors’ strategies. It helps validate your unique selling point and find the gaps between competitors’ offers and customers’ needs.
To do competitive analysis, pick keywords you use, and check who’s ranking for those keywords on search engines.
Another way is to use a tool like Buzzsumo. It shows you the most shared blog posts in a certain period of time so that you can analyze what the readers like about it.
5. Find the Best Content Channels
It’s easy to get overwhelmed with many different content channels. For instance, social media platforms alone include Facebook, Clubhouse, and TikTok. And not to mention your website, email newsletter, or online forums.
To figure out the best content channels, ask yourself which channels your audience spends most of their time on. Statista can help answer this question as it provides essential data, like the distribution of social media groups by age, gender, or geographics.
For instance, audiences between 10 to 29 years old love using TikTok, while male users dominate the total active Facebook users number.
6. Decide Your Content Types
Many successful companies still rely on business blogs as it remains the most effective content format over eBooks, email, and whitepapers. It encourages unplanned purchases and helps drive organic traffic.
Here are various types of content for your blog:
- How-to articles
- News and trends
- Case studies
However, it’s also important to produce a variety of content types because people may have specific preferences in consuming content. To do this, consider repurposing your blog posts into other content types, such as video content, eBooks, or podcasts.
One brand that successfully repurposed content is Nike. It started by publishing scientific facts behind marathon champions on its blog. Then, it created a marathon event featuring the fastest marathon athlete to prove the facts and produced a documentary of the event.
7. Establish Your Resources
Businesses that succeed in content marketing often have careful preparation before publishing their work, such as building resources.
Here are some must-have content marketing resources:
- Human resources. Employees that produce content, including a content writer, graphic designer, and videographer.
- Financial resources. Your business funding to purchase equipment, building a website, and paying employees.
- Tools. Include the software and hardware you use to create content, such as laptops, cameras, and Adobe Photoshop.
8. Create a Content Calendar
The first step in building a content calendar is brainstorming ideas and categorizing them based on the content types, publishing dates, and person in charge. To stay relevant, consider planning content around holidays or special events, like Black Friday and Pride Month.
Google Sheets and Calendar may be enough to plan your content. However, if you need more detailed features and structured team workflow, project management tools like Trello and Asana can help.
The tools offer lists and cards to organize your content and add comments and attachments. They also integrate with third-party apps, like Gmail and Slack.
9. Distribute the Content
After your content is ready, it’s time to publish it.
The first option is using your channels, including your blog, social media profiles, and email newsletters. Try to find the best time to share content by following the guidelines on users’ peak activity or checking your analytics.
An alternative is to use paid content distribution, such as pay-per-click (PPC) ads, social ads, or paid influencer content. This way, it’s possible to target more segmented audiences. For example, you can target users by demographics, location, and interests in Facebook Ad.
10. Measure Results
The final step of content marketing strategy is to measure success. To do this, review your goals and KPIs and check related measurements.
Here are some content marketing goals and their essential metrics:
- Increasing sales. The number of leads that turn into sales. To find this metric, go to Google Analytics and click Behavior -> Site Content -> All Pages. You should see the Page Value column showing the average value for a page that users visit before completing a transaction.
- SEO success. High domain authority and ranking well for target keywords. Moz’s Link Explorer can be helpful to check your domain and page authority and backlinks. Meanwhile, go to Ahrefs Keyword Rank Checker if you want to know where you rank for a particular keyword.
- Gaining authority. Getting coverage from reputable media or being invited to industry events.
There are many benefits of content marketing, such as spreading brand awareness and increasing traffic as well as audience engagement. Having higher engagement will result in more reach as search engines and social media will rank your posts better.
To recap, here are some ways to create a content marketing strategy:
- Understand your audience
- Set your specific and measurable goals and KPIs
- Conduct a competitive analysis
- Figure out the perfect content channels and types of content
- Build your resources, like tools and funding
- Create a content calendar
- Share the content
- Measure the results based on goals you set
Now that you understand the reasons for creating content marketing and the steps to developing your strategy, it’s time to put these methods into action. Good luck!