When we are talking about designing a unique content strategy the goal is to bring a higher level of value to a specific audience. Theses 7 tips will provide a map for doing just that. By following these tips your brand can produce a content strategy that stands out from your competitors and is the marketing and sales asset that you are looking for.
If your brand is going to be successful with content marketing they need to get their content strategy off to a good start. This does not mean that you will have all of the answers but it does mean the following:
• There is a documented plan for content production and posting
• You don’t have to recreate the process every time you start to produce content
• Your content is headed in a good direction with selecting a few main focuses
• The content is then able to be adapted because you had a focus to start with
This blog post will describe how you and your team can use these 7 tips to build a unique content strategy.
Content Strategy Targeting Tip #1
A true content marketing strategy starts with the target audience in mind. This should always be at the front of your decision making process. By selecting the best target you can make sure that you are on track for making your content marketing successful for the bottom line of the company.
The clearest definition of content marketing is:
“Content marketing is the marketing and business process for creating and distributing valuable and compelling content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action”.
– Joe Pulizzi, Epic Content Marketing
Not all target audiences are created equal in the eyes of your brand. Here are a few questions to help pin down your target audience:
• What is your most profitable product or service?
• Who is your most profitable customer?
• Who is your second most profitable customer?
By answering these questions with numbers from sales your brand can choose a strategic target audience. The next tip is making sure that the target audience is clearly defined and well understood.
Clarifying Your Content Marketing Purpose Tip #2
It’s best to look at your content strategy like an investment strategy. You and your team have to ask yourselves, “Why are we going to invest in this specific purpose for our content”? Whatever purpose you choose to invest in with your content should be connected to a business case for that decision.
Here are some examples of content marketing purpose:
Brand Competency: this means that by doing content marketing your brand can learn more about its target audience and make adjustments to the offering to increase profit. Or maybe the brand finds a way to increase its net promoter score so that it can keep customers for a very long time.
Campaign Success: if your brand has an advertising budget than they are probably interested in getting the highest return possible for the money that they spend. Your content marketing purpose could be to uncover audience information that can then be plugged into paid campaigns. This information can help you decide how to buy advertising for greater results.
Increasing Customer Value: using content marketing can increase customer spending. This is the purpose of getting customers to spend more per purchase or buy more often. An audience that has a need AND is more educated about your product or service will buy more.
Profiting On Your Media: when your content marketing produces revenue as a media product.
By choosing and clarifying a purpose before you start content marketing you will have a much better chance of making this sustainable and profitable.
Your Brand’s Main Difference Tip #3
In order to develop a content marketing niche you have to choose at least one way that your content will be different from the other options out there. Maybe it is as easy as creating content around a product offering that is already different. The product delivers a different way of doing things and your content can be about that.
It also may be the case that it will take some time and be difficult to discover how your content strategy will fill a different need. In the book Content Inc. this is called a content tilt. It’s the idea that your content will not be completely different but it will be different enough to draw its own following.
When your content strategy is completed maybe the content that you produce is 2/3rds different than what is out there. What are those 2/3rds that will be different and meaningful to your target audience? Will your 2/3rds difference meet the needs of your content marketing business purpose?
Core Content Marketing Pillars Tip #4
What are the 7 to 10 pieces of content that make your channel worth consuming? What might these be from the minds of your target audience? These pillars are topical and geared towards one target audience. By developing audience persons your team can draw out some of the content that would be best developed for them.
Utilize Your Brand Story Tip #5
Every time you produce content it should be in the framework of your brand story. This will add consistency as you post content across different marketing channels and as you produce different formats of content. The practice of content marketing needs content that is produced many times on a daily basis. When producing all of this content it can be easy to miss things. Your brand story will consistently communicate who you are and the value that you provide.
Your brand story will not always be told the same way every time that you use it. It’s not like copying and pasting it into all of your communications. The brand story should be adaptable so that you communicate the same kind of values to the target every time that you communicate, although it will be said in slightly different ways.
Documented Keyword Strategy Tip #6
Don’t underestimate the need for a keyword or SEO strategy. It is extremely important. If you and your team are going to be producing content on a regular basis, the content needs to be put in the best position for success. Selecting the right keywords for your situation will do just that.
Building an SEO strategy is outside of the scope of this blog post, but it is needed. Make sure that the strategy is documented and that changes are made that the marketing environment changes.
Short-term & Long-term Goal Setting Tip #7
Your content strategy needs to include both short-term and long-term goal. Consider your selected content marketing purpose to be the one big long-term goal.
There are 3 kinds of results that can happen:
1. A short-term goal is met
2. A long-term goal is met
3. A goal that you did not plan for is met
These 3 kinds of results are interesting and should happen for you as you conduct content marketing. The number 3 result is by ancient but you might desire more of that kind of result and do those same things to get it.
Like I mentioned earlier in this post, content should be used as an investment towards your content marketing business purpose. This will be your big long-term goal. Don’t expect this to happen in the first year or so, but make sure that you are continuously gaining ground.
Your short-term goals can be items like the following examples:
• Gaining followers
• Increasing website traffic
• Building a pre-customer data base
• Increasing website conversions
• Learning how to produce content that gets better results
These are more of your soft goals but without them you can’t really get to your big long-term goal.
By combining these 7 tips you will be on your way to executing a successful content strategy. It really takes doing all of these 7 things to get the results that you are looking for. All 7 of them have to be there and they have to be there consistently.
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