The Essential Components of a Successful Content Marketing Strategy
Your content marketing strategy is one of those documents that you will refer to regularly and should be well thought out. When creating a full year content strategy, you can’t just rush into it and expect to succeed.
But before we dive in, it’s important to understand why a content strategy is so important for your long -term success.
Content marketing is not just a fad. It’s a solid marketing strategy that has brought success to brands and businesses of all sizes. When you do content marketing correctly, you can expect to benefit for a long, long time. So, here are the top 5 ways content marketing can help your brand.
1. Valuable content brings hordes of traffic to your site
Who doesn’t want traffic? No webmaster in their right minds would say they don’t want traffic. The truth is we build websites and establish a presence on the Internet because we want people to know more about us.
The good news is with content marketing, you can bring a ton of people over to your site without paying exorbitant amounts of money for advertisements!
2. You’re building your brand identity
When people see your brand on many valuable posts and articles, you’re essentially letting the world know what your brand is all about. You’re establishing an identity online.
When people go looking for information that falls right up your alley, then chances are people will be able to better recall your brand over your competitors!
3. You’ll gain your audience’s trust
It takes a lot of work to gain people’s trust. And it’s essentially what content marketing is – it’s a lot of work. But once you’ve successfully established yourself as an authority and your brand starts sticking in people’s minds, then it will be easier to gain their trust. You’ll find that when you’ve captured people’s trust, getting them to follow your calls to action becomes much easier.
4. Get higher conversion rates
The most successful content marketing campaigns have excellent conversion rates. This means they’ve successfully positioned themselves as authorities in their industry, and they’ve created content that resonates with their audience. Factor in great web design, and you’ve got a recipe for success!
5. It’s great for your site’s SEO
There are plenty of SEO benefits to content marketing. When you consistently publish valuable content, you’ll be able to eventually rank for more keywords on search engines.
You’ll have a highly engaged audience on your site, meaning they’re not going to bounce right after they land on your page. You’ll have many people linking to your content (search engines love this!) which will help boost your rankings on search pages.
Now that we know why your business needs a content strategy and all the benefits you can derive from it, we’re now going to learn the most essential components of a successful content marketing strategy.
Setting the right kind of goals
There are smart goals. And there are non-smart goals. Non-smart goals are basically those that don’t fit the S.M.A.R.T. criteria. What does that mean? Well, for your goal to fit this criteria, it should meet the following:
- Your goal should be Specific / Significant
- Your goal should be Measurable / Meaningful
- Your goal should be Achievable / Acceptable
- Your goal should be Realistic / Rewarding
- Your goal should be Time-based / Tangible
Having a SMART goal in place will help you achieve success much faster. You’re basically eliminating the fluff and focusing on what can help you accomplish your goals. You’d probably need to do some trial and error to find out what works best for your business, but you’d still be closer to your goals than if you decided to just ‘wing it.’
Building an audience persona
Not knowing who to create content for has caused many content marketing strategies to fail. Quality will always trump quantity anytime. And one of the best ways to guarantee quality is knowing who your audience is. Armed with this information, you can create the kind of content that will appeal the most to them.
It will be easier to present yourself as an authority because you identify so well with your audience’s needs and their pain points. Fail to create an audience persona though, and you could be wasting all your hard work for nothing.
Creating valuable and shareable content
Of course, the last ingredient to a successful content marketing strategy is the content itself. When you create content that strikes a chord with your audience, then it will be so easy to persuade them to follow your call to action.
Your audience will see you as an authority, hence, it will be easier to convince them to join your mailing list. They’ll be more likely to listen to your recommendations, and you can easily monetize your content by inserting your own products or other brands’ products you’re affiliated with!
Identifying your content platforms
There are a lot of platforms you can choose to publish your content on. Of course, having your own website should be at the top of your list. A solid social media presence is also very important. Find out what other platforms are preferred by your audience.
Deciding on content types
Once you know where your audience hangs out, then it’s time to decide on the types of content you should be publishing. In addition to blog posts and articles, you can repurpose your content into many other formats like videos, infographics, podcasts, etc.
Once you have the strategy in place with the right messaging, to the right people on the right platforms, it’s time to actually create a content calendar.
Content generation may seem simple enough when you’re just in the beginning stages of your content marketing strategy. However, what happens when you start running out of ideas? What are you going to do then? When that time comes, you can use these 3 simple techniques to generate tons of content ideas quickly.
1. What are your competitors doing?
Keeping tabs on your competitors is important. You’ll know what their latest products are, you can identify any upcoming threats to your business, and you’ll know probably know the latest news in your industry.
Find out what they’re doing and why their customers like doing business with them. Browse their website, their blogs, their social media accounts, their forums, etc. See if you can put your own spin on things and then create new content out of that information.
2. Make bold predictions
You can check the latest trends in your industry, and try to foresee the future based on this trend. Your bold and interesting opinions will be the talk of the town, especially if you get it right! When you’ve established your brand as a thought leader in your niche, then it’s okay to make even more bold predictions (a.k.a. educated guesses) about the future.
Questions like where your industry is headed, any upcoming trends you think is going to happen, what’s going to get left behind, and so much more. Of course, you can’t exactly see the future, but if your predictions come true, then you’ll only be cementing your status as an industry leader.
3. What are people asking?
There are plenty of question and answer sites on the Internet. The top one right now is Quora, but Yahoo! Answers still remain popular to this day. There are also plenty of forums you can browse and industry-specific pages and groups on Facebook and other social media channels. If you keep your ear to the ground, you’ll find plenty of questions (and answers) you can use to build your content on.
You don’t even have to look very far to know what people are talking about. You can go over your blog’s comments and check if anyone’s shared some interesting tidbits. You can even ask people on your mailing list to tell you what kind of content they want to read on your website! Many people will be happy to share if you ask nicely.