Do you have a content marketing strategy?
The biggest challenge I see with business owners is the absence of a content marketing strategy.
According to my previous post on content marketing,
“Most business owners only care about cost and revenue. Content marketing, therefore, should be the intersection between advertising and commercialization.”
To create a content marketing strategy that converts, even on a budget, you need a solid plan in place.
According to the Content Marketing Institute, content marketing is your “Why.”
- Why are you creating content?
- Whom are you helping?
- How will you assist them in a way no one else has?
How To Create A Content Marketing Strategy On A Budget
1. Set Your Goals
Setting your goals is the most important step. It defines your content marketing strategy and puts you on the right path.What is most important at this stage is connecting the dots. Unless you plan on marketing your content, it cannot generate revenue on its own.
On the other hand, great white papers, or videos will not by themselves improve customer retention or provide quality leads and sales.
Of course, they play a vital role in the sales process or customer acquisition. That is, if you work backward from your goals and map a content marketing strategy.
2. Create A Customer Profile Sheet
Creating a customer profile sheet is the first stage of any killer content marketing strategy.
Understanding the psychology of your prospects is critical. You need to think like your prospects and see the world from their view. It is a vital component in creating a content marketing strategy that is ideal for their needs. Some of the criteria to consider include:
- Age & Gender
- Job or Income
- Favorite online activities and the places where they spend the most time.
- Marital status; single, married, divorce.
- The types of content they like to consume., long/short, text, audio, visual, video, etc.
- Educational level etc., how can you appeal to them?
Here are a few tools that can provide ample information about your audience before crafting a content marketing strategy.
3. Conduct A Market Survey
There is an enormous amount of content online. Your role is to find out what kind of content your competitors have produced, and how it is performing.
- How will make your content stand out?
- What will attract the right audience and keep them yearning for more?
I love this quotation from Ryan Deiss
“Just because you know your product or service is great…
just because you know your prospects really need it…
…that doesn’t mean they know they need it…
..nor does it mean they want it from you if they do. (At least not yet.)”
Do you get that?
It doesn’t matter how good your products or services are. Your goal is to make them see its uniqueness and want it from you (Remember that you have several competitors)
Conducting a market research on what`s already available would help you find the sweet spot so you can create a unique perspective for your audience.
Free tools to use:
- Google Forms, to create surveys.
- Google Sheets for statistics and data.
- Google Docs to create drafts of your content.
- Google Trends, to find out trending topics.
So what would make your content unique? To understand this, you need to uncover;
- Exploitable gaps from your competitors.
- How to improve on it.
- What is lacking?
- How to create new categories in your niche.
- Alternatively, offer something entirely new?
This is a mindset you should have when conducting a marketing research to create a content marketing strategy. It would further help you put your prospects first and create a plan that revolves around their needs till you convert them to paying customers.
Explore tools like BuzzSumo and EpicBeat. They provide analysis on specific posts and articles created by your rivals and industry experts. They also provide social media marketing metrics like shares and likes and website backlinks (for a particular post)
4. Stages Of Your Funnel
Consider the stages at which your prospects are on the buyer’s journey and create content with each of these steps in mind:
Cold Audience (TOFU). These are barely aware of your products or services.
Warm Audience (MOFU). They have an idea of your brand but still in the consideration stage. Why not use strategies to win them over as customers and grow your email list?
Hot Audience (BOFU). These are your customers. They know and trust you. Your goal here is to increase buyers frequency and retention.
Delight Stage. Know, trust and are customers of yours. These are the ones who would gladly recommend you to others…they are your brand ambassadors.
Here is an image courtesy of Digital Marketer, that shows the various stages and what type of content to produce to satisfy their needs.
5. Optimise Your SEO
SEO and Content are never stand-alone. To build a successful content marketing strategy, they must be part of the complete marketing ecosystem.
Google and the search engines place increasing importance on the quality and usefulness of a site’s content.
There’s no need putting in all this effort to create good content if it cannot be found and enjoyed, right?
That is the reason why search engine optimization is a vital component of your content marketing strategy. Combining the two would help you rank better and gain search traffic while growing your audience and reach.
Start by brainstorming possible words and key phrases related to your industry/niche and its competitors. Use Google Trends for trending topics and questions in your niche.
My top tool for this is Serpstat. I use it all the time to get keyword phrases and questions asked by people in my niche.
Here is a sample search that gives you results of the keyword “cheap flights” In this screen shot you can find;
- Related keywords,
- Phrases suggestions,
- Questions people ask online (related to the keyword)
In this first image, you can see the general search terms related to “cheap flights.”
The second shows us questions people are asking online about “cheap flights.”If this were your niche, it would provide;
- An insight into the minds of your audience,
- How they phrase their questions,
- More details on what they need or what is lacking.
Create a spreadsheet (Google Sheets is free) to organize all your target keywords and group related terms together.
Indicate which words and phrases are your primary and secondary keywords. Use this as a resource to create content and answer questions they are asking online. Practicing this would further boost your SEO rankings and online visibility.
6. Content Distribution
What is your plan on getting the word out there? What content marketing tools can you use to organize your workflow?
Content distribution should be part of your content marketing strategy.
How do you get traffic or people to your content? There are several ways of getting organic or free traffic and eyeballs to your stuff. Some of these include:
a. Email Marketing.
Building your email list is critical. It is the most appropriate channel to make offers and distribute your content. It further helps you generate leads and nurture and educate your existing customers.
b. Social Media Distribution
Social media is one of the best Free methods to distribute your content. Digital Marketer gives more details about it in this short video.
c. Optimising Your SEO visibility
There are 5 points to note when checking on the SEO health of any web page to enhance your content is visible online. These include:
- Google Index. Check your status and security issues.
- Webmaster Tools. Get details on your website especially if you think you have been hacked or you are not getting traffic. It gives you a view of how Google sees your site.
- Backlinks. Do you have healthy backlinks to boost your content online? Are there “spammy” links pointing to your site?
- Robost.txt file. Know what it is and the details it provides especially your indexable pages and posts.
- Settings on WordPress/ Squarespace/ WIX etc. Are your pages indexable by the search engines?
If you want to pour gasoline on your content, you need to think about paid distribution as part of your content marketing strategy. What would 1000 clicks at 50 cents per click, 500 new leads and 50 new buyers do to your business?
That is spending $500 to get 50 buyers who paid $100 each for your goods. You make $5000 from $500!
Some of the methods you can use to monetize your content include:
1. A membership
These are sites packed with valuable content that would entice people to pay and consume it.
Use webinars to offer free content and upsell your participants to a paid option of your content.
3. Marketing Campaigns
Create marketing campaigns and use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Youtube, Reddit, StumbleUpon, Pinterest and Google Ads to drive traffic and make sales.
4. Sell courses
Do you have an idea or know how to fix a common problem which your audience face? Use tools like Invanto to create a paid course outlining how to solve the problem.
5. Affiliate marketing
If you are new and haven’t had enough time to create your products yet, you can still monetize your website using affiliate brand products. You will earn commissions for each sale.
6. Brand Sponsorship
Is your blog or website attracting enough traffic? You may consider partnering with brands. They would place Ads on your site that resonates with your audience, and you would earn a commission from each sale (depending on the terms)
7. Monetize Your List
Have an email list? Email marketing is the best way to monetize your content through targeted emails to a well-segmented list.
To conclude, consistency is key to producing a content marketing strategy on a budget. Keep fine tuning and AB testing your plans and how your audience reacts to it till you find the perfect spot. Moreover, remember to keep it about your audience, your customers, and your community.
Do you have a content marketing strategy for your company?