Content marketing is considered an effective approach because of its ability to create a wide range of unique content for different market segments. It is also proven effective in building brand credibility and contributing to better results because its content focuses on meeting consumers' demand of quality information and educating consumers.
The strategic value of content marketing is also higher because every step in its activity could be monitored, measured, and optimized over time. This is how a marketing campaign could be scaled-up. A content marketing strategy also includes marketing activity through paid media, which is impactful to business growth.
But to achieve these, a marketer should have a great content marketing strategy that works. Here are the steps you should take:
This is the very first step and it's important in building any strategy, including a content marketing strategy. These are four main questions a marketer needs to answer at this stage:
What kind of content will help consumer in making a purchasing decision?
What kind of content have other brands in the category used?
What can you learn from their marketing strategy?
What channels do they use?
What haven't they tried?
Where do your targeted audience look for information about product/service?
Who are the influential figures?
Which social media platforms do they use to interact?
What do your consumers talk about?
What topics draw their attention?
What questions do they ask?
What are their pain points?
How do they look for information to solve their problems?
To answer all these questions, a marketer should conduct the right and appropriate market research. There are research methods you can use—from the conventional methods like consumer surveys and interviews to social media listening.
To support the data, a marketer can conduct competitor audit to understand the other brands' activities: how do they do it and also what opportunities could you seize.
A marketer also needs to understand the online media landscape to learn which online media is suitable for certain kind of audience. This also includes mapping online influencers on the social media. Of course, a marketer also needs to understand the paid media landscape.
It is very important to note that any research should be done with appropriate instruments, tools, and processes in data gathering, and interpreting and pulling the insights to reflect the actual situation.
The next step in building a content marketing strategy framework is planning. At this stage, the marketer should determine what the desired objectives are—from perception to impact on the brand, and change of attitude among the audience.
At the planning stage, the marketer also needs to plan when content should be used to educate and to entertain. About this point, it has to be determined what areas to focus on in content creation, including the type and format of the content.
At the end of this step, you should have a clear idea of the budget you need to create the content and to promote/distribute it, and the timeline of the campaign.
This part is about developing the content strategy—what story does your brand want to tell in various types and forms of content.
The power of the story or content is one of the most important factor in content marketing. It is not only developed as marketing tool but also as a way to build relationship with customers and prospects.
The story is deemed the soul in the brand storytelling of your content marketing campaign. It plays a foundational role to create content over time. The process of developing the concept should also consider the alignment of vision, mission, and tactical purposes from the brand marketing activity (including what kind of image you want to put in your consumers' mind about your brand).
The story concept serves as a guide that the creative team has to follow in creating and producing the content.
After all the details and story concept, the next step is the operational strategy. This is essential so the content marketing strategy can operate in accordingly to achieve your business objectives. At this stage, a marketer should focus on site set-up, production process, and also content installation and distribution.
To illustrate, a marketer can decide what the site will look like, how it will work, or what channel will be used. For blogs, for example, a marketer should choose the design and navigation to be mobile-friendly with a strong call to action (CTA) feature.
The next step is to arrange how content will be operated and scheduled (making sure, for example, that it will not be published twice and go in-line with the storyline).
Lastly, for this step, the marketer has to plan how the content will be distributed. Doing paid promotion in the early stage, for example, can generate more visitors. You can also build awareness among the targeted audience through channels used in your content marketing campaign by inserting other promotional strategies.
Of course, you also have to make sure that your measurement method is also included in your content marketing strategy. A survey by Content Marketing Institute found that 33% of B2B marketers and 41% of B2C marketers do not understand the right methodology to measure content marketing activity performance.
What you need to understand first is content marketing is part of a business process that takes time, so you can decide what metric to use to measure its effectivity.
Moreover, the marketer also needs to understand various types of metrics to measure awareness, engagement, and conversion as the key performance indicators in digital marketing initiatives. It's also essential to be able to analyze and pull the insight to strengthen strategy over the time.
For this last step, the marketer has to keep in mind the main reasons for doing content marketing in order to determine the right indicators to measure the campaign's performance. The metrics could be unique views, leads, cost per view, cost per lead, etc. depending on what kind of content and which channel you use in your content marketing initiatives.
The GetCRAFT Marketplace helps you implement your content strategy by connecting you with a curated network of content creators and allowing you to choose the right partners for your campaigns based on quality, cost, and performance.