Have you ever wondered how a content marketing strategy works? Or are you in the dark on how to create a content marketing strategy?
Worry less. This is the best thing that has ever happened to anyone interested in understanding content marketing strategy.
The truth is there is a lot of noise on how effective content marketing can be in growing our business but many are still in the dark questioning- How?
A lot of people still think of content marketing as just blogging.
So, after starting a blog, the next thing is growing your blog traffic and building loyal followers. I know you have read a lot of posts telling you how to grow your blog traffic through content marketing. It is also true that you are struggling to make an income from your blog because of your low blog traffic.
While this is true, I can assure you that adding a good content marketing strategy to your overall strategy can change the tide to your favor.
Various bloggers and business owners have claimed how they have been able to grow their blog traffic through content marketing.
They have been able to give you the information you need.
But the question is how you derive knowledge from that information. Knowledge is power, information gives you the key to power and knowledge is power.
If you gain real insight into how content marketing works, then building the perfect content marketing strategy for your business will not be difficult.
Table of Contents
What Is Content Marketing?
Content marketing has been around very long even before the term was coined. It is the use of content which can be written, audio, video or in any other form to gain awareness and improve the growth of your business. Content marketing involves storytelling.
As a business owner or content marketer, you should know how psychology plays into marketing. Humans are emotional beings attracted to fascinating stories.
To get their attention, you need to be a good storyteller.
This is the same reason why the entertainment industry keeps booming.
Regardless of what part of the world you are, you can testify to this.
There is no need for any statistics to see how the entertainment industry is booming.
The reason behind this is because people in the entertainment industry are experts in telling captivating stories.
There is more need to understand the importance of storytelling in content marketing.
If there is anything you need to always have at the back of your mind, it is the significance of storytelling.
According to content marketing institute, content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.
To build your business with content marketing, you need to understand the significance of storytelling and how content marketing works.
What’s a Content Marketing Strategy?
A content marketing strategy is simply a plan and strategy detailing your plan on creating and distributing content in order to attract, engage, and convert audience to customers.
There’s no need for any marketing jargons here.
So, why do you need to adopt a content marketing strategy?
Why You Need To Adopt a Content Marketing Strategy
It is not surprising that you might still need a solid proof of why you need to look into content marketing for your business.
I believe there should be a solid reason why you need to change your strategy.
A popular example of a company that used content marketing to boost sales and awareness is Blendtec.
Blendtec saw the need to utilize content marketing to boost their sales and started a series of a vlog on youtube called “Will It Blend?”
This was attractive and entertaining. Though could look like just another entertaining video but that simple strategy did two things for them.
- Created Awareness.
- Boosted their sales and revenues
Is that not interesting?
Just publishing a series of videos helped them boost their sales and gain awareness.
This is exactly what all businesses want.
All they did was blend anything. There was a time they blended an iPhone.
This sounds absurd. But the result is what you need to look at.
People kept on sharing their videos because they found it entertaining.
Guess what? It made them authority when it comes to buying a blender.
This same strategy might not work for your business, but all you need is to acquire the necessary knowledge and insight about content marketing.
When you understand content marketing, you will be able to develop a perfect content marketing strategy for your business regardless of the type and location of the business.
You need to adapt content marketing because it is a tested way of boosting your sales and growing your business.
Your prospects are online searching for products related to yours.
So why do you have to be in the dark limiting your prospect?
With content marketing, you can harness the large prospect online and break all geographical barriers hindering the growth of your business.
Content marketing can grow any type of business except if your prospects are not online which is almost impossible.
Listen carefully to this, If you are yet to start utilizing content marketing then start now.
As content marketing has never been as competitive as it is now. With content marketing, your business growth is only limited by your strategy.
Where do I start?
This is a good question that is been asked by many; where do I start from?
This will be discussed as we dive into techniques in content marketing.
According to Neil Patel, the first step you need to take is to discover where your prospects are online and create content to guide them through buying from you.
Content mapping is the act of understanding your audience so well that you can then create content for each stage of their journey toward buying your product. Neil Patel
You need to understand where your prospects are, find them, care for them by providing useful content, solve their problem.
Regardless of how old content marketing or how fast content marketing is changing, the formula is the same.
- Show that you know the pain they are going through
- Tell the significance of the pain and the consequence if not been solved
- Solve the problem
When you show them that you know the pain they are going through, you make them see you as an authority who has experienced it before.
When you are able to map out your audience problem, they feel connected and stick to you.
The next thing is to show the significance of the problem and the consequence of not solving the problem.
This is what I call Buyer’s Fear.
A lot of people find it difficult to decide if it is the right thing to do at that time.
So in order to help them make decisions fast about solving the problem, you need to show agitate the pain by letting them know the consequence of not solving that problem.
When they know the consequence, then they can easily entrust you with solving that problem for them since you have proven you are an authority.
Then the last thing is to prove that they have not made a mistake with entrusting you with their problem.
You need to fulfill all you have promised. And guide them through buying your product or ordering your service.
Content marketing is just so interesting and flexible that you can turn your business into a multi-million dollar company.
Do you doubt me?
Then let take a look into Gary Vaynerchuck.
Gary Vaynerchuk is a wine critic who expanded his family wine business. He turned his family wine business from $3 million to $60 million dollars. This is a popular example of how big content marketing is.
If you still doubt me, then take a look at copy blogger a media company owned by Brian Clark. Brian Clark was able to build his real estate business through content marketing. Through content marketing copy blogger rose to millions of dollars in one year.
The last example I will give is that of the guest blogging expert, Bamidele Onibalusi the CEO of Writers In Charge.
Bamidele in an attempt to grow his freelance writing career decided to guest blog on big blogs in the content marketing niche. The result was that he became popular in the content marketing niche as a freelance writer which brought good revenue to him.
But this is not that simple.
It’s a result of hard work and diligence.
How to Develop a Content Marketing Strategy
This is the point you may find tricky and strategic. To develop a good content marketing strategy you must engage in critical thinking.
Developing a content marketing strategy is about mapping out where your audience is online.
To develop a content marketing strategy, you need to ask yourself questions like:
- Who is my target audience?
- Where are my target audience based or located?
- Where does my target audience meet online?
- Do they search through Google or are on Social media?
- How Much is Your Budget? Set time and schedule
Building the perfect content marketing strategy is not that simple, you need to focus on adding value and connecting with people.
Here is an example, Lynda is a fashion designer and wants to grow her business through content marketing (content creation).
What do you think her content marketing should look like?
As a content marketer, Lynda will be able to grow her audience by using visual content and social media platforms.
Visual content including videos will work best for her.
Why Do I Think So?
Because in the content marketing world, you don’t tell people you are an expert; you prove it to them.
The best way to proof is by sharing video content and images of your work.
If you are in the fashion industry, then making use of Pinterest for marketing should be something you should consider doing.
This is a simple content marketing strategy.
If I go professional in writing down the strategy, then I must also add each task to perform and time limit.
To develop your own content marketing strategy, follow the below steps:
- Define your Goal
- Map out your audience
- Select the right content format
- Perform Keyword Research / Problem Research
- Create a Content Execution Plan
These are the six basic steps to follow in order to develop your content marketing strategy.
Define Your Content Marketing Goal
If you don’t know where you are going any road will take you there.
This is also true in content marketing. This is content marketers emphasize the main reason you need to look into defining your goal.
There must always be a map to direct you to where you are going, a standard by which you can measure the success of your content marketing strategy to know where you are and what you have accomplished.
This is what you aim to achieve at the end of your content marketing campaign. In any content marketing strategy, the end result must be known to the team implementing it.
Knowing what you aim to achieve at the end of your content marketing campaign will help you remove unnecessary tasks that will not add value to your end result.
Your goal could be to increase the traffic to your blog, or is your goal to increase the number of new subscribers? Or could be more app downloads? Or social shares and engagement? Podcast downloads or video views?
Whichever it maybe that will be the measure of how successful your content marketing strategy will be.
Making your decision about what you aim to achieve at the end of your content marketing, will save you more time.
You cannot afford to waste time. This is because your competitors are also looking into creating their own content strategy.
Let use the illustration of the fashion designer. The goal of the fashion blogger at the end of the content marketing campaign is to grow more audiences that will buy her course.
Knowing the goal will help you to move faster.
You need to answer this question.
Seth Godin said in one of his courses that you need to know the why before mapping out your content marketing strategy should look like.
Remember if you don’t know where you are going, anywhere will take you there.
Map out your audience
Who are you creating your content for? This is the next thing you need to put into consideration.
Knowing who the audience is and where they meet online might sound complicated but its very simple.
If you create the best content on a topic for the wrong audience, you are better of not creating any at all.
This is for you to know the weight of this step. A lot of people neglect this and assume they know their audience.
This is wrong. You need to carry out your research to know who your audience is and where they meet online.
The internet is very wide and you are not the only one competing for the attention of your audience.
So you need to draw the attention of the right people to your blog.
Let continue with the example of a fashion blogger.
The audience of a fashion blogger contains a larger percentage of women who are interested in the latest fashion and trendy things.
Attracting the wrong audience will amount to failure.
I know you don’t want to fail.
Then set things right in the beginning by drawing out who your audience is. Knowing who our audience is will help you decide on what format of content to create.
Creating the wrong format of content will cost you a waste of resources and if you are working for a client it will cost you the TRUST your client has in you.
So take your time and map out who your audience is and where they meet.
Select The Right Content Format
What does your audience interact better with?
This is the next question to answer. In this present world, the most expensive thing and what your business is starving is ATTENTION.
Yes, you heard it right; Attention.
The reading span of most web users is very low and all that they do when they bounce on long-form content is to scan.
I hope you are not scanning this because there are very important secrets in between so I advise you to bookmark this and come back to read and digest it.
The format of content to create depends on the platform your audience are located. The platform where they meet is very important.
I emphasized the importance of knowing who your audience is and where they meet for this reason.
Each platform has its own format of content that users interact with better.
For example, writing this post on Facebook will make the most foolish content marketer you ever met.
If this post receives two likes then that should basically be from my friends who did it to encourage me.
I posted good content on the wrong platform.
Posting this post on any social network will make no difference because that is not where it belongs.
The write place for long-form content is a blog.
Still, posting this here does not mean my audience will devour every word here; it only means that I can get a better engagement here.
If I keep telling people to read this post to the very end, some people will only scan.
This is not mean my content marketing strategy is not successful but I make the best out of its on this platform compared to social networks.
Social Media has its own use.
Yes, social media has its own format of content. That is images and short form of content.
Facebook, the largest social network is a perfect example of a platform.
The best content format you can implement on Facebook are images that bring a smile while still protecting your brand.
Your images must be attractive in order to get the attention your business needs. Once you have the attention you need to make your content interesting and funny.
According to an Insight from Neil Patel, people don’t share boring stuff, they only share what is interesting and entertaining.
So you need to make your content funny. You don’t have to be too smart just be yourself, a social animal.
This might offend you. Someone might just hit the back button if I say this.
But I have to say it.
You need to remember we are all animals and emotional animals for that matter.
So create your comment as if you are not promoting anything.
Content Marketing Institute performed research and found out that companies that allow employees to send out emails with their names get a more positive reply.
This means you should not interact with your audience like a virtual person hiding behind the company’s name. Use your own name when interacting with your audience.
Being a virtual content marketer will not help you grow faster than you wish.
I have tested this on my own personal blog and the result has been more positive and people are willing to engage more with my content when I come off the shade as a virtual blogger.
This not only provokes more engagement, it builds your personal brand which is also good for your business.
- Blog posts
You are very familiar with what a blog post looks like. I would not be teaching you how to write a blog post but I will surely give you examples of those that have used this to grow their blog.
I am about to say what you might not like. This is something that might be against what some experts have told you about writing a blog post.
Make your blog content long and most comprehensive.
According to Neil Patel, writing long-form blog posts is one of the best methods of growing your audience base. Neil Patel suggests you make your blog post at least 2,000 words.
Believe me, if you take your time to analyze what works for them you will see for yourself that this really works. If you don’t have the time, using SEO content optimization tool might save you some time.
That said, longer content win most of the times.
Some of Neil’s posts are well over 3,500 words and it is the secret behind his content marketing strategy. Whenever I make some search regarding content marketing, I make it a must to open his page on a new tab even if it is not ranking #1 which is rare to see.
Because I know Neil will surely have over 3,500 words on that topic that I can devour and use for my selfish interest.
This is branding.
What the result of writing a long epistle on a topic?
Neil’s traffic is a crazy one. It’s a bit difficult to push Neil’s post out #1 ranking because you have to work your ass and build backlinks.
I am not saying this is not possible but requires work to do so.
Someone who does this better also is Ryan Robinson, an expert in building a side business. If there is anything Ryan can attribute is success to, it writing crazy epic content. The longest blog post on his blog is his 25,000 words on how to start a blog.
Is that not crazy enough to send all mediocre bloggers on the first page back to their village?
It did exactly that. The page ranks first page on how to start a blog. I am not saying you should create that length of content because you have to figure out what works for your niche.
If your competitor creates a 2500 word on a topic, go ahead and create a 4,500 word on that topic.
Not just filling your blog post with nonsense but covering everything related to that topic. Trust me Google gives preference to comprehensive posts that is educative.
Will That Not be Boring?
That’s true, it can be boring. But if you prepare your readers’ minds about how long the post is, then you might as well have their attention so far your blog post is informative and has value.
Your work as a writer is to allow all your paragraphs to fit in so that your audience keeps asking for more. If you are just starting out, your writing skill might not be up to the task.
Writing a 2,000-word post might be difficult for you as a beginner but the more you write, the more you improve.
If you really want to speed up your blog’s growth you can consider hiring a freelance writer. This will not cost you much. You can get a quality article within the range of $50 – $200.
You should always look up to the return on investment.
My advice on this:
Do not write to just build traffic, write to provide value. Like Seek ye first the satisfaction of your audience and every other thing (traffic, money) shall be added unto you.
Social media is one under-utilized tool for content marketing. Many under-estimates the power of social media, the major tip to increase your conversion rate on social media is to be funny and tricky in selecting your pictures.
Boring pictures have no hope on social media, you need to create funny and educative pictures.
You only have 0.5secs to get the attention of your audience, failure to do so results to poor results.
Whenever you are creating your next picture, make sure to remember that you only have 0.5secs to capture the interest of your audience.
The second part is:
How well do you use pictures in your blog post?
When picking images that suite your blog post, you don’t just pick any image just for the sake of adding an alt tag for SEO.
You need to pick pictures that suite the topic of discussion while still providing its own value. Adding pictures to your posts attract more clicks on your post and increase the dwell time of each reader on your blog.
I am sure you know what that means in SEO; better-ranking position.
Infographics are something you have heard of many times. Well, this really works. If you need quality backlinks then designing infographics can help generate a lot of backlinks.
How do I do this?
Look for a topic that your competitor ranks for and has no infographics.
Write a badass blog post on that topic and create an info-graphic to support and make it easy to understand.
Look for those linking to your competitor, and make a list of those that can possibly link out to your blog post and send a personalized professional email to them.
Another easier way to go about this is to look for keywords you already rank for and create an infographic to make it easier to understand.
Trust me you will see an increase in your backlinks and a better search engine ranking
Everyone is now using videos to drive growth to their business so why shouldn’t you use it also?
In every SERP result, you will always find some videos incorporated into the result. So having a video incorporated into a highly searched keyword will increase your reach a lot.
It’s high time to start creating videos for educative and informative purposes.
Their traffic grew and awareness grew faster. Video is the main content marketing strategy Freecodecamp utilizes.
The podcast is on it rise presently. And a lot of content marketers are seeing the need to start a podcast. And if you can also partake in this, it would bring a great return on investment.
Talking of successful podcasts, you cannot but mention Amy Porterfield, who has grown an audience via her podcasts alone.
Her podcast has enabled to build a 7-figure online course business. And if nothing else, that’s a good metric on how profitable this can be.
However, just like any other tactic listed here, you need to be consistent and valuable to your audience.
- Case studies
There’s no better proof than case studies. By using case studies, Brian Dean has positioned himself as an SEO expert.
His most successful case study is what led to the Skyscraper technique that has become a rule in the industry.
If nothing else, doing case studies regularly will position you as an expert in your industry and will also bring in more customers.
Because people only follow people they can learn from.
While eBooks is an old strategy of getting an audience, it is still viable and can still be implemented.
However, its’ best that you accompany your eBook with other forms of content. Because eBooks cannot market themselves.
You either need to create a blog post and give away your eBook to your readers as compensation for trusting your lead.
However, your eBook must be solution-minded. Well, this is a rule for content marketing. Marketing with sense.
Celebrities use this a lot to engage their audience on social media. And the truth is that there are no new quotes that you make that has not been talked about before.
However, the way you put it is what differentiates it from others. Take it or leave it, most of the quotes you find celebrities tweeting or posting on social media isn’t an original quote.
But who cares? Definitely you can also use quotes to engage your audience.
You can also provide an amazing quote relating to your niche and audience in order to position yourself as an expert.
I can continue to list the formats of the content we have. But this will not really explain the point I want you to understand.
Each content format has its own use. An example is if you want to increase your subscriber count then giving a free resource in the form of E-book will go a long way in fulfilling its purposes.
4. Perform Keyword Research
What content should you produce?
Producing great content on what people search for doesn’t search for will be a big waste. This is the importance of performing keyword research.
You don’t produce what you think your audience needs, you need to ensure what you are producing solves the needs of your audience.
To perform keyword research, there are various tools you can use to do this.
I am presently writing on keyword research, so I will give you some tips on what to do.
- Use Google Auto Suggestion
- Use Google “Related Searches”
- Use YouTube autosuggestion
- Use Keyword Tools like SemRush, Ahref.
Using these tools you can find long-tail keywords with high search volume that you can create content around.
Pipedrive is an example of a company that grew its revenue through keyword research and content marketing. Dmitry explains in a blog post he wrote on how he grew Pipedrive within three months through keyword research.
You can also have such success if done well.
5. Create a Content Execution Plan
Every task you have to perform to bring your goal into actualization must be scheduled. Just planning and not working according to plan will amount to zero.
So to have the best of your content marketing strategy, you need to work with time.
If you have a team to work with; proper distribution of tasks and allocation of time to the task will help a lot in achieving your content marketing goal on time.
Is your content marketing strategy working? This is the last thing to check. If your content marketing strategy is not working it’s better to have a talk with your team and see what’s going wrong.
You need to measure your result and see if it’s working.
How Do I Measure?
You can measure the success of your content marketing strategy by what your goal is. If your goal is to get more traffic, then checking the increase in your traffic is a way of seeing if your content marketing strategy is working.
If your goal is to obtain more email subscribers, then checking the increase in the email subscribers will be the best way of measuring your success.
There are tools you can use to measure your success. One of the tools you can make use of is the Google Analytics tool to measure the growth of blogs.
Go, Create, Content Marketing Strategy – Conclusion
Here we are at the end.
Developing a successful content marketing strategy lies in how well you know your audience and how well you engage with them.
What is your take on content marketing strategy?
Have you ever developed any successful content marketing strategy before, let me know in the comment section.
Or do you have any addition you can let me know what works for you; I am willing to learn from you also.
You can continue reading – On-Page SEO Optimization Guide