Content is the bread and butter of today’s digital marketing environment. It helps businesses develop communities of loyal fans, it educates the public, it provides value, and most importantly, it allows you to directly communicate – through one way or another – with your target audience.
When your content marketing strategy performs well, your entire business will also work well. After all, quality content brings plenty of benefits. Your customers will check your platform for reference whenever they deal with issues and challenges, so they’ll perceive you as the “authority.”
When that happens, you’re very close to winning the full trust of your prospects, up to the point where they really want to buy your products.Funny thing, some prospects will buy your products only because your content has helped them change their lives for the better. That’s called respect, and that’s what you’ll need to achieve for your content marketing strategy to work well.
You see, 61% of the most successful content marketers work with a documented content strategy. Moreover, 72% of successful marketers are attributing their positive results to an adequately documented content marketing strategy.In today’s post, we’re giving you seven tips on how to develop an effective content marketing plan that’ll skyrocket your marketing performance. Let’s begin.
1. Establish Your Target Audience
Every marketing strategy, not just the content marketing one, needs to be aimed towards a specific target audience. It only works this way. Without primary idea of who you’re selling to, your results will be chaotic, and you’ll hardly be able to measure your performance.
You need to be very specific, and that’s going to be the hardest part for the beginning. Here’s an exercise that should get you going. To establish a clearly defined target audience, you need to narrow it down to an “ideal target audience member,” or rather called a “target persona.” All your content should be addressed to this person’s needs, problems, desires, and characteristics.
Develop your target persona by asking yourself:
- What’s your target persona’s age, gender, nationality, religion, culture?
- What are your target persona’s needs, problems, challenges, setbacks, frustrations?
- What results does your target persona’s expectations from products/services like yours?
- What are the main emotional triggers that make your target persona itch?
- What could cause your target persona to bounce off your content? What would annoy them?
In order to not become overwhelmed, you’d better take it slowly. Even though this is a very serious assignment for you, treat it as a game. Once you took enough time to play with it and learn more about it, finalize the process and note everything down. Every time you’ll be developing content, it will just to your target persona.
2. Define Clear Objectives
Again, every content marketing plan needs to have a defined and clear objective. Simply put, the question you need to address is this:
What do I want to achieve with this content marketing campaign?
There could be many things. For example, plenty of successful brands use content marketing to improve their brand’s reach and also to grow their brand reputation. Other content strategies revolve around lead generation, while others have a single goal in mind: to sell.
Depending on what you want to accomplish with your own business, define your content marketing’s objectives. Once you have decided the purpose of the campaign, you’re one step closer to taking action. These two first steps were an essential preparation for your next moves.
3. Decide Your Traffic Channels
Where does your target persona spend his/her time at? Is it Facebook? YouTube? Pinterest? Or maybe he/she doesn’t have access to the internet? Start to figure out where you can find the people that are likely to be interested in what your brand has to offer.
For example, some businesses rely only on SEO traffic, while others rely on paid social advertising. Others could go for PPC, and others will only use forum marketing. You’ve got my point. Take a piece of paper and start brainstorming. Knowing where you’ll later publish and promote your content (after the development phase) is going to help you a lot.
4. Mix Content Marketing with SEO
Content marketing and SEO make a perfect pair. When you write unique, qualitative, and relevant content, Google will reward your efforts. And it’s not just Google. Every major search engine will start indexing and ranking your content. The reason is simple: when you successfully manage to provide value to your target audience, that sort of thing can be seen.
Google can understand whether your content is name. There are all sorts of signals such as a low bounce rate, high retention rate, social signals, backlinks, and so on. The best thing you can do to improve your results is to create quality content for your audience, all while keeping SEO optimization in mind. That obviously means that you should build your content strategy according to this condition.
5. Decide How You’re Going to Track Your Marketing Performance
How will you know whether your content marketing efforts are bringing positive results or negative ones? You’ll need to decide on a key metric that you’ll continuously measure to see how your content is performing. Here are a few ideas:
- Conversion rate
- Bounce rate
- Time spent on the website
- Social engagement
Depending on your content strategy’s objective, choose the metric that works the best in your case. If your content marketing plan is meant to generate more opt-ins, you should track the “conversion rate” metric. If you want sales, track the sales metric. You got it.
To analyze your content’s performance, you can leverage plenty of content analytics software tools that will do just that.
6. Develop Relationships with Social Influencers
Social influencers are powerful entities because they hold a lot of influence over the masses. When your favorite blog/celebrity promotes a product, you’re likely to trust their advice and label that brand as “fine”. Next time you’ll be purchasing something from the store, you’ll choose the brand that you’ve remarked on the influencer’s feed. Why? Well, we love to follow the advice of people who we trust.
Leverage social influencers and display your brand’s unique selling proposition to a broad audience of potential customers. If you manage to develop long-term relationships with several influencers, you’ll be able to continuously improve your brand’s reach.
7. Always Be Consistent
Mark Harvey is the Head Marketing Specialist at rushmyessay.co.uk. Here’s what he has to say about the most common mistake that most newbie content marketers commit:
“If your content marketing strategy is perfect and your initial execution is excellent, you’re just one step closer. honestly. You see, for a content marketing campaign to be efficient in the long run, your efforts have to be consistent all the time.
You can’t just stop posting new content – that would destroy your brand’s reputation more than crappy content would. This is a long-term deal, so every marketer who expects excellent and stable results should commit to being consistent until the end.”
Content marketing is an art.But at the same time, it is also a skill. The more you practice, the better you become at it. Try to see it this way: developing excellent content and promoting it properly is something that everyone can do. However, to do it, you must truly want it. So the question is…do you truly want it? Because if you do, you’ll make the time, you’ll build the energy, and you’ll commit accordingly. Good luck!