Content marketing involves more than simply churning out social posts, blogs and articles while hoping something resonates with an audience. Despite this, the majority of marketers seem to be driving blind when it comes to their content.
An effective content strategy is planned, implemented and well documented to support sales and build an audience of loyal customers. Yet, statistics reported by Curata say that 70% of marketers don’t have a consistent content strategy. Even more concerning, a recent 2016 B2B Content Marketing Report from Content Marketing Institute found that the number of B2B marketers who use a documented content strategy dropped last year from 35% to 32%.
In addition, only 30% of marketers surveyed by the Content Marketing Institute believed that their marketing efforts were effective. Brands with stagnant content strategies that aren’t producing the right results—or worse, don’t exist—can try a few key tactics to get their campaigns on the right track.
Identify the target audience.
A clear understanding of the target audience or ideal consumer base is an oft-missing piece in many content strategies. Brands must first identify who the right people are, creating profiles using data like demographic information, product pain points, consumer motivations, and online behavioral patterns. Behold the buyer person.
A buyer persona doesn’t only identify who a potential customer is. It also defines the factors that lead to purchasing a certain product or service. This process is key to content marketing strategy when it comes to engagement and getting the best ROI, as it provides valuable insight into what a brand should and shouldn’t do. In fact, a Hubspot study found that personas can make websites up to five times more effective at engaging targeted users, which ultimately increases conversions and sales.
Define clear goals and objectives.
Along with understanding an audience base, outlining goals and objectives is an essential component of an effective content strategy. Whether brands want to increase awareness and loyalty or drive more people to their website, clearly defined goals and objectives make it easier to hammer out the rest of the strategy. A brand’s marketing team should list what they want to see for positive results at the end of a campaign, and brainstorm the best ways to get there within their budget.
Produce content they want and need.
Once goals are in place, brands should look at content options that will help achieve those objectives. For example, to increase site visits, brands might consider SEO-ready buying guides and articles that are easily discoverable from search engines.
Some brands may find that videos perform well on their feeds, and decide to produce more visual content that solves customer pain points. With content created specifically for their target audiences, brands will have more success when sharing valuable messages and information.
Reach out on social for engagement.
A targeted social media strategy is also essential to reaching the news feeds of those who match ideal buyer personas. This is especially true when it comes to influencer marketing for boosted engagement. Brands can consider tapping into influencers who have audiences similar to their buyer personas for the most effective ROI when spreading their content through social feeds.
Content marketing strategies shed light on the most effective ways to reach new and potential customers. Though it takes time, dedication and experimentation to put together a successful strategy, it will pay off down the road with valuable data and increased conversions.