76% of B2C and 89% of B2B marketers have already used content marketing as a part of their marketing strategy this year. Though content marketing has come to become a very powerful tool for reaching out to your core readers, many businesses fear that they have missed this bus.
But it’s never too late to get started. Take some time to reflect upon these fundamental questions to arrive at answers that will help you evaluate your readiness to get started with content marketing initiatives.
Define your Business Goals:
What is the raison d’etre of your business? What business problems are we trying to solve, and how does writing effective content help me achieve my objectives? Do we have the necessary budgets for a content strategy, how long we envision this program to run, what success will look like and how does this integrate with my overall marketing plans. These answers will help establish firm reasons on why you needed to start with your content marketing journey.
Research your Audience:
Forging a lasting connection with your audience is at the heart of this strategy. But who really is your ideal customer? How will you engage them? What kind of content will appeal to them? Developing a buyer persona can act as a starting point. Once you have your persona(s) organized, get ready to craft content that talks about mitigating their pain points and map it with every stage of the buyer cycle eventually progressing them through the sales funnel.
Brainstorm your Content:
Do invest some time in determining the nuances of this stage as it holds the key to your success. Who will head my content team and who will be responsible for bringing all our ideas to life? How many people do I want on my team? What type of marketing assets will we create and in what formats? How many pieces of content do we want to create in a quarter? Be sure to chisel out the details around creating, curating, designing, scheduling and optimizing the entire content management process.
Think through your Channel Plan:
Your channel plan must contain details around why you chose a specific medium, what structure does each channel lend to you, what benefits do you derive by being on a platform, who will be responsible for the channel itself, for driving conversations and plugging in feedback for improvements?
When it comes to content, many tend to play it safe by promoting their best content through owned media when the same could have fetched them greater returns when effectively broadcasted through paid media, albeit at a nominal cost. Aim to arrive at a comprehensive channel strategy by having a good mix of both owned and paid media. When companies lead with good content, earned media is a given.
Measure, Analyze & Fine-tune:
The final step in your process would be to determine if your content efforts are paying off. How will you measure your ROI and how will you attribute that success over the different pieces of content across channels.
To justify your costs, collect all stats like views, clicks, shares, downloads and then tie these back with your broad business objective of driving traffic or creating awareness or social shares or getting quality link backs or increasing subscription to your newsletter or time spent on website. Do remember that not everything that you do with your content might be quantifiable. During such instances, let quality take precedence.
Finally let’s remind ourselves that it takes a lot to start something new and content is no different. It’s a continuous, challenging and an adaptive process that constantly takes into account the consumer demands and market changes. The real question is, are you ready to begin your journey?