The notion that the more content a business places online, the more attention it will receive is not right. As a matter of fact, audiences are interested in quality. Nonetheless, content marketing comes across as one of the most effective ways of creating awareness. Just like is the case with print and electronic advertising, you must first carry out a self-assessment. How well do you understand the market? Moreover, do you know who your target audiences are? Since this type of marketing takes place online, you need to be familiar with what is trending.
Marketing your business without a plan is likely to yield little or no results. It is like sailing on a ship without a rudder. Therefore, the second thing you do is to create a strategy. Take a reality check by establishing who your audiences are. Take stock of the amount of content available for use. Also, list the online platforms where you have a presence. Make note of your online activity both at present and in the recent past. Have you been active or dormant?
You cannot claim to have an effective strategy when every aspect of it is in your head. Write it down or even type it. Writing down your content marketing plan helps ensure that you do not forget anything. It is up to you to decide what to include in your strategy. However, treat this aspect seriously as it forms the blueprint for all your future marketing initiatives. In case you are wondering what the content marketing strategy should have, here are the components to pay attention to:
1. Highlight your reasons for generating content
As stated above, you already know areas where your business is at its weakest. To turn these weaknesses into strengths, state, in your plan, why you want to use this marketing approach. After that, identify the risks involved. It could be that the information available is not up to date. Also, you may have introduced a new range of products or services that no one knows of their existence. Perhaps you want to optimize your website for the search engines. Whatever your reasons are, highlight them.
2. Develop a marketing plan
Every entrepreneur has some goals that they have envisioned to achieve. Create some for your marketing strategy where you indicate what you hope to achieve. In your plan, state the value your content will add to anyone reading it. Remember that for every good plan, there are always obstacles. Therefore, identify and list them in your plan.
3. Know your audience
Identify the people you are hoping to reach. Are you targeting teens, middle aged people or the elderly? Are they male or female? You will find answers to these questions to be quite helpful. Do not stop there; get to know the needs of these people. Such knowledge helps in developing content that will lure your potential clients to choose your business over your competitors.
4. Sell your brand story
Every business story is about a brand; something customers use to identify you. In your content marketing strategy, you must know in advance the type of messages to send out there. Analyse similar content posted by your competitors. Have you been carrying the same kind of messages? If so, you need to change the tone. Carry out an assessment of the industry by finding out how other firms share content with audiences. See where they have gotten it right and the mistakes they have committed.
5. Pinpoint your targeted channels
The last aspect of your strategy is to highlight the platforms where you intent to place content. Social media is perhaps, the most popular platform where people hang out online. You should make good use of it.
Once your plan is ready, you can now move to the execution phase. You could choose to run content marketing campaigns on your own or seek the help of professional marketer. A few months down the line, review the strategy to see whether it has yielded the anticipated results.
By: Mark Pavelich President CEO The Mark Consulting & Marketing
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