Content marketing is an incredibly effective tool because it allows you to connect with and build relationships with current and potential customers. Not only does it help businesses earn the trust of their customers, it can also help boost brand awareness, increase sales and maintain loyalty.
Because of how effective content marketing is, more companies are jumping on the bandwagon. But without a clear strategy, those efforts could be unsuccessful. 72% of marketers credited having a good content strategy as a major key to their content success.
When customers search for information, they’re probably not looking directly for your company, products or services. They’re looking to find answers. Content helps build relationships with customers because it answers their questions and establishes you as an authority on the topics they want to learn more about.
But instead of focusing on an overall strategy, many companies focus on individual tactics — blogs, social media posts, email marketing, etc. Creating single pieces of content at random can get you sporadic attention, but a bigger overall content strategy with defined goals, audiences, topics, management and channels will give you a better picture of why you’re creating the content and help you improve your marketing results.
A content strategy is a map to a company’s most cherished goals and it answers these key marketing questions:
- Why are you sharing this information?
- Who do you want to read it?
- What kind of content are you going to publish?
- What subjects do you want to talk about?
- What channels are you going to use to have the most impact?
- Who is going to create and manage the content?
- When will you publish it?
- What results do you want to get?
Benefits of a Content Marketing Strategy
Defining a content strategy can help guide your marketing efforts and improve results, but there are other benefits as well.
Understand Your Why
One of the most important reasons for creating a content strategy is that it will help you and your team understand why they’re creating the content they’re creating. Your strategy should define what inspires you to do what you do. This will help you and your team create more meaningful content that provides value to your customers. Authentic and purpose-driven content can make all the difference in building trust with your readers.
Reach the Right People
Every product or service has an ideal customer that will be most likely to appreciate and purchase what is being sold. Content marketing helps target those people by addressing the pain points of the people most likely to use your product or service and giving them the information they’re looking for.
Defining a strategy can make all the difference on the process side of your content creation. Understanding goals and audiences helps the team know what kind of content to create, what platforms are best to reach those audiences, when to create and distribute content, and how to measure results.
When your team understands the “why” of your content strategy and defines content marketing goals, the inspiration for ideas and content topics can be much easier. When overall content topics are established, your team will have a much easier time brainstorming specific themes for your monthly content calendar because there will be stricter guidelines around the types of content your audiences are more likely to engage with.
Having various pieces of content that are published at random times on different channels can make your brand inconsistent and confuse your audience. Your content can also be inconsistent in the way it is presented — if you have a large team of people creating content they may be writing in different voices or creating content that doesn’t align with your business and customers.
Customers expect your brand to sound and feel the same across all channels. They will be more likely to stay up-to-date on your content if you are consistently posting, which is why a content strategy and editorial calendar can help you stay in front of your audience with the right message at the right time.
The Moral of the Story
To effectively reach our audiences and allow our marketing efforts to have an impact, we need to have a strategy in place. As more brands create content, there will be more noise to break through to reach audiences. So we need to understand why we are doing what we are doing, then do it authentically and efficiently.
If you could use some help defining your content strategy and telling your story, contact us.