An effective content marketing strategy requires a planned and well-thought-out approach that analyzes the complex paths taken during a buyers journey, such as product purchase or availment of services, the changes that occur in a customers life-cycle, and the different experiences a customer goes through due to changes in consumer and market behavior.
Content marketing is done to achieve goals such as generating leads, expanding client base, increasing profit, strengthening brand awareness, etc. And what is essential to achieve such goals is a strategy that’s able to integrate marketing, customer, and sales techniques in one solid content marketing approach.
The Five Key Areas
Imagine your strategy as the blueprint of your business and customers’ needs, including a plan on how you’ll address such needs. However, if youre looking for a template on which to base your strategy, you wont find any. Each marketing strategy is unique, drawing out the creativity in you and nudging your imagination. Strategies may be as diverse as the businesses that create them, but youll find key areas that are the same among all:
1. Business case – This area details your reasons for innovating with content marketing and creating content, the risks you are likely to encounter, and your vision of what success will be like (i.e. success scenario). If you work in an organization, you boost your chances of management approval and lower the risk of a possible mistake, since youll be evaluating what works and what doesnt work.
2. Business plan – This covers your content program goals, the unique value that your content will provide, and your business model, including obstacles and opportunities you foresee in the execution of your plan.
3. Audience persona and content maps – This describes the target audience of your content, their needs and engagement cycle. It’s to your benefit if you could map out your buyer’s journey to bring them to your goal.
4. Brand story – This is where you communicate your ideas: how your story is different from the competitors, and how your business landscape will evolve once shared with your audience.
5. Channel plan – This includes all the platforms you intend to use to share your story, specifying the criteria, objectives, and processes for each, and your plan for connecting them in order to create one cohesive brand conversation.
Content marketing is a broad term which can be interpreted and used in many ways, which makes it crucial that you develop a strategy that’s specific to your content program. Without a proper content marketing strategy in place, you expose yourself to the danger of focusing too much on content and missing the overall goal, which is a mistake which you must take pains to avoid.