You know that inbound marketing is the hot new trend and that attracting customers with compelling content really works.
The problem is creating and distributing all that content.
Knowing what works and actually making it work for you are separated by a vast chasm, and the bridge that connects the two is a plan. Creating a content marketing strategy that incorporates customer research, quality content, and methodical distribution is key to successful inbound marketing.
Use these steps to create a content marketing strategy that will take your business to the next level.
First Do Your Research
Before you can create the amazing content your customers and prospects want, you have to know what they want.
Using surveys, demographics, studies, and other types of research, unearth the following information:
- what your customers love about you
- what your target audience likes about your competitors
- what you could do better, especially specific suggestions
- where and when your customers and prospects hang out online
- the types of content your target market prefers
The more information you can find out about your prospects’ preferences and habits, the better. You can use these data and specific feedback to do everything from create a content marketing strategy to refine your sales funnel to improve customer service.
Then Make a Plan To Deliver Value
Once you know what your customers and prospects want and where they are most likely to see and engage with it, you can determine the best ways to deliver it.
Use your research data and feedback suggestions to generate content ideas tailored to your market’s preferences (see our post 12 Blog Topic Ideas for Businesses if you need help).
Set goals and determine priorities so you know what is most important to your business–because not all blogs, videos, forums, and social channels are created equal.
The best content marketing strategies utilize many different content types and platforms, and then cross-leverage them to make the most of each piece of content. An editorial calendar is an effective way to help you plan out and vary your content and distribution.
Create, Distribute, and Measure
Now that you have a plan of when and where to publish what, it’s time to deliver what your prospects want.
Put all the good ideas you generated to good use and start creating content in the formats your customers like that delivers the information and value they want on the platforms they spend the most time on.
Keep up with your editorial calendar and religiously execute your priorities so you can reach the the goals you set for your content marketing strategy.
Publish and share your content across as many platforms as appropriate. And don’t forget to measure sharing and engagement levels–no content marketing plan is complete without metrics to watch so you know what works and what to work on.
Don’t Worry About Tactics
In a world that is constantly changing, there are tons of new shiny things every day. You may be tempted to jump on every new scheme and tactic that comes out, especially if all your competitors or those you look admire are doing it.
Resist the temptation.
Like other marketing plans, a content marketing strategy should be fluid, able to allow new priorities, goals, and commitments.
But if you’re always trying the next new thing, you won’t perfect the tried and true. You won’t even know what tried and true means for your business.
Instead of worrying about tactics, focus on researching what your target market wants and providing value. If you do your research and measure results, you’ll know where they are most likely to find and engage with your content and how to increase traffic and engagement.
What’s Your Content Marketing Strategy?
What steps did you follow to create your content plan? How well is it working? Let us know in the comments!