By Morgan International Staff Writers
You already know that your content is the powerhouse behind your marketing success, but do you really know how to make it work?
For several years now, we’ve had it drummed into us that content is king. Whether we’re talking about on page SEO, social media marketing, Pay Per Click or something else, outstanding content is essential to any success. However, even the best content in the world might as well be pointless drivel without a robust, well thought out content strategy backing it up.
According to the Content Marketing Institute, 70 per cent of B2B marketers plant to create more content in 2017 than they did last year. In fact, most brands are spending between 25 and 43 per cent of their total marketing budget on content, and yet less than a quarter of CMO’s feel they are getting the most out of it.
Whether your business is planning to spend a little or a lot on content this year, it’s crucial that you have an amazing strategy in place to get the most from your efforts. Here’s how to form a truly brilliant content strategy for your brand in 2017.
Developing your strategy
You can’t just knock up a vague strategy overnight. To really maximise your potential, you’re going to need to knuckle down and do your homework, so that you can build a plan that really works for your business:
- Be specific about your business objectives
You know you need content, but what are you generating content for? You need to be specific about your activities and goals, so that you can measure whether your actions are meeting those goals or not. Are you looking to increase subscribers? To get more traffic to your site? To boost your SEO? Whatever you’re trying to do, write it down, make it measurable and accountable, otherwise your efforts will be wasted.
- Define your message clearly
A consistent message is critical if you want your brand to stand out amongst the competition. Think about who you are trying to reach, and what it is you can offer them. You may find it helpful to create a ‘mission statement’ for your content, which states clearly in black and white what you are trying to achieve, and why, so that your team is working in harmony towards a common goal.
- Understand what your competitors are doing
Your competitors are your best learning platform, so take note of what they are doing well (and not so well) so that your team can learn from them. Analyse the keywords they are targeting, identify what content is popular in your niche right now, and pay attention to the language, types of content and distribution channels they are using to inform your strategy.
- Make the most of available technology
Nobody wants to sit at their desktop, waiting on the perfect moment to click the ‘publish’ button on their latest blog post, and nobody has to, at least not any more. Tools for scheduling, controlling, optimising and sharing content are available in their thousands, so spend a little time evaluating which software and programmes are going to benefit your strategy, and make sure you know how to use them well.
- Put a schedule in place
Your content shouldn’t just happen when you have the time or when the mood takes you. To really maximise your potential for making an impact, lay out your content goals into a schedule, also known as an ‘editorial calendar’. Understand how frequently you can and should post in different mediums. For example, Twitter may need to be fed several times a day, whereas your blog may work best once a week. Bigger projects like video or infographics could be monthly or less. Only you will know what works for your business; what matters is eliminating the ad-hoc nature of content creation and instead working from a defined calendar to make sure you are producing what you need, when you need it.
Content marketing is not the easiest form of marketing to master, but once you get it right, it can be one of the most powerful weapons in your marketing arsenal. If you’re ready to take your marketing skills to the next level, talk to us about our digital marketing training courses, and move ahead of the game in the digital marketing world.