The transformation of content marketing from buzzword to bandwagon to full-scale juggernaut happened only in a matter of a few years. Today, content marketing is a major component of marketing strategies of nearly 85% of the companies of all sizes. There is plenty of content going out daily, but the question that comes is, “Is it driving real business results?” The answer to this much-asked question is both “YES and NO”.
Executing content marketing with no strategy in place and in a haphazard manner will give no real result. Having a documented content marketing strategy and following it closely is what makes all the difference. According to a research, thirty-seven percent of B2C (business to consumer) marketers have a documented strategy and nearly sixty-one percent of the most effective B2B (Business-to-business) marketers meet regularly at a prefixed frequency with their content marketing team.
What Is a Content Marketing Strategy?
A good content marketing strategy starts with objectives and ends with results. It forces you to make decisions on all the big important questions – why, who, what, when, where, and how – and focuses your content activities around clear goals.
To think that it starts with content is the wrong notion. In fact, it starts with thinking and research on how to map the customer needs with the business needs using the content. Any successful content marketing strategy can be summarised as:
Customer needs + business needs = Content-Market Fit
While you plan your strategy, there are few things to consider.
1. Identify the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
This is of utmost importance as it helps you gauge the success or failure of your content marketing. These indicators can differ according to the business needs and you need to identify yours. Some of them are:
- The number of website visits that you could manage to attract to your website through a particular content.
- If you want the visitors to download something using multiple pieces of content, make sure to track the success rate of each. This will help you pull off poorly performing ones and focus on the ones that got a better response from the audience.
- The number of shares that a particular content gets can be used for determining what the audience likes. The ones, which get more social shares, are the topics that align with the likes of the audience.
- The bounce rate gives a very good idea. A high bounce rate means visitors are reaching, but leaving immediately without going through the other pages of the website. This indicates an urgent need to review the content to make it more compelling and interesting.
- Inbound links earned: Great content is shared and linked to by other websites. These are the types of natural links that benefit your search engine optimization.
- If a visitor stays on a particular page for an average of three minutes, it means the content of that page is strong and you can pitch in your offer there. Similarly, spending an average of 15-20 seconds indicates that the content needs to be reviewed to make it interesting.
- The more the number of visitors, the less the CPC (Cost Per Click). So, having more and more visitors will justify the cost of the promotion of content through multiple channels.
- Keep a track of leads that each piece of content generated as ultimately you are looking for business from these leads. So, the type that generates more leads is the ones you need to tap on.
- To know if content marketing is profitable for you or not, you need to find the CPL (Cost-per-lead). If you have this number and the conversion rate, you can decide if it is a viable solution for you or not.
2. Diversification Is the Key.
The blog is just one part of a vast domain of content marketing. Mix infographics, webinars, podcasts, ebooks, etc. into your strategy. The popularity of vlogging is on the rise as videos are easy to share and being a form of visual content it is impactful. Build brand awareness and generate website traffic, leads, and sales from multiple channels — social media, email, pay-per-click, SEO, and display ads are additional sources that you should be tapping into. This ensures that your business doesn’t come to a dead stop if one of the channels suddenly dries up.
3. Content Marketing for Businesses of All Sizes
For both B2C and B2B marketing, the concept is the same; all you need is to tailor the approach a bit differently for each. In the case of B2C, you need to win over the consumer, so something that triggers the emotional aspect works better. For B2B, a more rational approach, which is backed by data, will work. The customer here needs to see value in the offering.
4. Give Out Valuable Information for Free.
Don’t be afraid to give your audience apt and valuable information for free. People who have been absorbing your content on a regular basis will soon begin to turn into warm leads. This happens because they see you churning out value without asking anything in return, which builds their trust in you. Once it happens, in no time, these warm leads turn into sales.
Content marketing is an excellent tool, which gives amazing results when done correctly. It is clearly becoming a dominant way of marketing today. So, it’s high time that you get your strategy mapped out to get the benefit out of it.