Consumers discover brands through various media, from television commercials to YouTube videos, from roadside billboards to social media boosted posts, and from print ads to a website. The delivery method varies wildly, but there is one thing all of these have in common: content.
With 77% of US adults online every day—and many saying they’re always online—brands must understand how to deliver online content to their target audience. Because without content, your potential customers will know nothing about your brand. Critical to creating your content marketing strategy is making sure you have a framework for developing and delivering content that meets their needs. The following are key points to address when creating your content marketing strategy.
Find Your Brand Voice
Your brand voice is what you sound like to consumers as you communicate your values and mission. You should think of your brand voice precisely as you would your speaking or singing voice, making sure that your tone, clarity, and focus are totally authentic. Authenticity is crucial to building consumer trust in your brand.
Develop a Strategy
Your content marketing strategy serves as a blueprint as you build your content library. Every piece you create and share should have a purpose; otherwise, you’ll spin your wheels and get nowhere.
The following is a simplified checklist to help keep you on track. To better understand each step of this content marketing strategy, we’ll expand upon each step and provide a downloadable PDF to keep you on track in Part 2 of this blog post.
- Define Your Goals
- Identify Your Audience
- Map the Buyer’s Journey
- Create Customer Personas
- Check Out Your Competition
- Set Measurable Objectives
- Identify Your Unique POV
- Research & Identify Keywords for Maximum SEO
- Identify Distribution Channels
- Create a Content Map
- Map Out Editorial Calendar
- Create Content Workflow
- Distribute and Market
Capture Your Audience
What good is content if your customers aren’t consuming it? Not much. To get their attention, make sure your headline grabs their attention and lets your brand personality shine through. Your overall message needs to have value and your content needs to support your headline, or your content may be seen as clickbait.
Once your audience is invested, show them the benefits they’ll receive from your content. Identify and address their pain points and make sure they feel they’re learning something when consuming your content. Research and statistics are a great way to prove your worth and position your brand as credible.
Many brands use a technique called newsjacking to gain immediate attention. Creating content around news headlines with your own point of view can undoubtedly draw readership and engagement. But you’ll only be able to glean value from these pieces of content for a short time before they become obsolete.
Use Evergreen Content
Because content around current events has a short shelf life, evergreen content should also be a staple in your content marketing strategy. Evergreen content is content you can post, repost, share, and reshare over and over without fear that it will become obsolete due to season changes or news updates.
Blogs, case studies, videos, infographics—all are potential evergreen content options.
Maximize Traffic on Legacy Content
Evergreen content can also form a foundation to drive traffic to your brand over and over again. Sometimes a simple social media share is all you need to spark interest in older content you’ve created.
Consider the following ways to maximize the longevity of your content:
- Update blogs, case studies, and infographics with new statistics.
- Create a case study to prove the theories posed in previous blogs and articles.
- Transform a blog into an infographic or video.
- Use information from an infographic to create a blog.
- Distribute articles to publications based on your “owned” content.
Use legacy content as pillars for new material. New and perhaps more entertaining content can link back to older material that forms your brand’s foundation and gives a significant boost to your SEO as a bonus.
How will you know if you’ve been successful in creating new interest in your brand with your content? Increased traffic is one indicator, as well as more contacts and sales. Adding the use of tools like BrandMentions that track coverage on social and in traditional media can also give you an idea that eyes are on you.
Nailing a workable content marketing strategy involves a lot of moving parts. If we can help, please don’t hesitate to reach out.