6 Simple Tips for Creating a Successful Content Marketing Strategy - Sprout Media

6 Simple Tips for Creating a Successful Content Marketing Strategy

The business world is now more competitive than ever before, and because of this it’s imperative that you do all you can to ensure that you get ahead, and stay one step ahead, of your competitors.

For every business that fails, several more are lurking in the shadows, just ready to pounce, take that failed business’ place and attempt to make their mark.

When it comes to successful strategies, however, it simply cannot be denied that marketing and advertising are two of the most vital tools for any business, large or small, to have at their disposal.

You could have the best company in the world, offer the best services and products for incredibly affordable prices, but the fact remains that if people aren’t aware that you exist, how can you expect them to purchase from you?

Social media is a fantastic outlet for reaching your target audience, but in order for you to reach a certain demographic, you need to ensure that the content you are creating is at the very least, on par with your competitors.

Before you even consider creating content, you will first need to ensure that you have established a content marketing strategy, and that’s where we come in. Here we’ll be providing a few handy tips on creating an effective content marketing strategy.

1. Set your goals

“A life without goals, is like a ship lost on the ocean with no map” and in the business world, goals are more important than ever before.

Say for example, you happen to be working on content that you plan on using in your marketing campaign, how can you be sure that it is worth working on and creating in the first place?

It should not just appeal to you, it should also appeal to a much wider audience, and most importantly, it should serve a purpose. Your overall objectives may be to drive traffic back to your site, enhance brand awareness, or to increase your number of signups.

Focus on business-orientated goals, which will ultimately benefit your business the most. Because of this, you may wish to avoid social media goals aimed around “likes”, “follows” or “re-tweets” as these, although slightly beneficial, will not prove very helpful with the bigger business picture.

After setting your goals, you then need to understand how you will measure the success rate of them. For most people, money would be the obvious answer, though that isn’t always the case, as web traffic could also be a great tool.

Say for example, you happen to be working on content that you plan on using in your marketing campaign, how can you be sure that it is worth working on and creating in the first place?

It should not just appeal to you, it should also appeal to a much wider audience, and most importantly, it should serve a purpose. Your overall objectives may be to drive traffic back to your site, enhance brand awareness, or to increase your number of signups.

Focus on business-orientated goals, which will ultimately benefit your business the most.

Because of this, you may wish to avoid social media goals aimed around “likes”, “follows” or “re-tweets” as these, although slightly beneficial, will not prove very helpful with the bigger business picture.

After setting your goals, you then need to understand how you will measure the success rate of them. For most people, money would be the obvious answer, though that isn’t always the case, as web traffic could also be a great tool.

It should not just appeal to you, it should also appeal to a much wider audience, and most importantly, it should serve a purpose.

Your overall objectives may be to drive traffic back to your site, enhance brand awareness, or to increase your number of signups. Focus on business-orientated goals, which will ultimately benefit your business the most.

Because of this, you may wish to avoid social media goals aimed around “likes”, “follows” or “re-tweets” as these, although slightly beneficial, will not prove very helpful with the bigger business picture.

After setting your goals, you then need to understand how you will measure the success rate of them. For most people, money would be the obvious answer, though that isn’t always the case, as web traffic could also be a great tool.

2. Know your target audience

Up next, you need to ensure that you’ve fully established your target audience before you take things any further. Try to get into the heads on your target audience and think of things from their perspective.

Social listening is a great place to begin as this will help you to gauge their interests.

Look at the content they share and comment on, find out which sites they frequent the most, and finally, ask yourself how you would be able to reach them most effectively.

For example, would email marketing be the most fruitful, or perhaps social media, or even basic advertising? Put simply, if you sell health and fitness equipment, your target audience will be people that are interested in health and fitness, so you need to find a way of reaching them.

3. Use content that is best-suited for your business

You should now have goals and targets in mind, and you should now have a target audience in mind, so your next job will be to focus on creating content that is best-suited for your business.

Say for example, brand awareness is your goal, content types may include things such as: video tutorials, blog content, success stories from clients, social media content.

If website traffic and a boost in search engine rankings is your objective, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) could be ideal. SEO optimized content, social media ads, newsletters via email, and even guest posts on popular blogs would be perfect.

4. Create a plan

So, now that you know your goals, your audience, and which content you plan on creating, you need to next know how to create it efficiently.

You should create a content execution plan which should include: a schedule for you to stick to e.g. 1 blog post per week, ideas and who comes up with them, a brief outlining the idea behind your content, and finally, creation plans so that everybody involved knows their roles and what they need to do to create the content and make it a reality.

5. Content promotional process

Even though you may think that the hard work is over once the content has been created, in reality, that is relatively simple compared to the promotional process required.

Once you’ve completed your content, you need to promote it so that people will see it. Some great methods of promoting your content include: personal social media posts, earned social media, and paid social media.

  • Owned social media – This is where you will use as many of your own social media outlets as possible to really advertise and push your content. Encourage followers and friends to “like and share” your posts to enhance their reach.
  • Earned social media – This is referring to how many mentions and shares that your content will get from other social media users. These users aren’t being paid to share your content, they’re doing so voluntarily, which again, helps enhance your reach so you can target a wider target demographic.
  • Paid social media – Paid social media is when you basically pay social media companies to market your content. It may often pop up on news feeds as “sponsored content” and this allows you to reach an even more expansive target audience.

Other fantastic marketing methods include: SEO, email marketing, display/search ads, and influencer marketing. It is recommended you explore as many avenues as possible when it comes to marketing your content, as you never know until you try.

It is recommended you explore as many avenues as possible when it comes to marketing your content, as you never know until you try. However, be mindful of just ‘dipping your toes in many pools’ as this tends to result in each tactic or channel being poorly, with no real return on investment for the business e.g. making one sales call each month isn’t likely to drastically expand your customer base.

6. Measure and track your content marketing

Finally, before we wrap things up, we can next take a look at how to measure and track the success rate of your content marketing.

Google analytics and social media analytics, for example, are both great tools as they will help you to identify which methods are proving to be the most successful, and which sites and pages.

What about you? Have you got a content marketing strategy in place? What helped you decide your blog or social media content strategy? Let us know in the comments.

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