If you own an online business then you should have a content marketing strategy in place.
Content marketing allows you to connect with your audience and engage them with your brand via storytelling and content.
A good content marketing strategy can help your brand to stand out from the crowd but more than that, it allows you to form deeper connections with your customers.
These days it’s super easy to whip up a business website using a website builder or CMS, but if you don’t think about your marketing long-term, your site won’t stand a chance of beating the competition. And that’s why your content marketing strategy is so important!
Whether you’ve already got a content marketing plan in place and just need to refresh your knowledge or you’re starting from scratch at the very beginning, this guide will help you ensure your business can reap all the benefits of having a winning content marketing strategy.
Content marketing is the process of building relationships and engaging an audience with high-quality content that’s relevant, entertaining, and informative.
The process of content marketing should allow you to create such valuable content that customers will automatically choose to shop with your brand over a competitor.
When it comes to putting together a content marketing strategy, there are multiple different aspects and content types you can include such as:
- On-site blog posts
- Guest posts
- Social media posts
Content marketing focuses on building an engaged audience for your brand and nurturing relationships with that audience in order to convert them into loyal customers.
A good content marketing strategy can benefit your small business by increasing brand awareness, driving traffic to your website, building trust in your brand, establishing your market authority, and of course, boosting sales and conversions.
Find Out More
- Looking for inspiration? Check out these Content Marketing Examples before starting your own strategy
- Or read our interview with business strategist and psychic Tana Newberry about her content strategy techniques
- See what you should include in your marketing plan to set your business on the path to success
One of the most important parts of creating a content marketing strategy is to determine who your target audience is. Who will be reading/watching/listening to your content? Who will be engaging with it?
Chances are, you’ll have more than one type of audience demographic that you want to target with your content marketing.
In order to determine who your target audience is, firstly take a look at your existing customer base and create personas for them. You can also do market research and take a look at your competitor’s target audience to check if you are currently missing key demographics.
A great way to ensure you’re clear on exactly who you’re targeting with your content marketing is to create audience personas that cover everything from their age to their hobbies and interests.
You can then ensure you’re creating the types of content that your target audience responds well to and on the platforms that they use and engage on.
Top tip! As well as thinking about the audience personas you want to target, you can also determine the ones you don’t. Your brand won’t necessarily be right for everyone and determining who you aren’t aiming your content at will help you to ensure you’re reaching a valuable audience.
Once you feel confident that you understand your target audience and the types of content that will resonate with them, you can begin creating your content.
When it comes to creating your own content marketing strategy there are important questions you need to consider and answer including these four:
1. What problem does my content solve for my audience?
Your content needs to have a purpose and should actively solve a problem for your audience. This problem can be big or small and could be anything from needing more information on how to use your products (which you might solve with a video tutorial) to wanting help making a purchasing decision (which you could solve with detailed blog posts).
For example, if you are a travel agent offering holiday packages for customers, a problem your audience might have is difficulty choosing a holiday destination. Producing travel guides, therefore, helps to solve this problem as you can give your audience detailed information to help them make a decision.
2. What makes my content unique?
Your content needs to be unique and should offer a perspective or information that isn’t already on the internet. That may sound like an impossible task – after all, it seems like every topic possible is already covered in depth online, but think carefully about what makes your brand stand out and use this to your advantage. Offering a unique take on a common topic can be more valuable than you think.
3. What type of content will I create?
There are various types of content you can create and deciding which one will depend on your skillset, brand, and audience.
For example, if you love making videos and want to connect with your audience in a more personal way, you may want to start a vlog. But if you don’t have skills in video creation and editing and don’t have the budget to hire someone who does, it’s much better to focus on the content you are skilled at creating rather than putting together something of low quality.
The most important thing is that your content reflects your brand. If you’ve built a formal and professional brand, don’t suddenly start creating informal videos and social media posts. Similarly, if you’ve created a fun and informal brand, your content should reflect the same vibe.
Take a look at our guide to content batching to help you plan out and create your social media content.
Top Tip! Whatever type of content you produce, make sure it’s always high quality, to help build trust in your audience. That means content should be typo-free, images crystal clear and not blurred or pixelated, and videos well filmed and edited. We have some helpful copywriting tips to get you started!
4. What platforms will I focus on for my content?
You also need to decide what platforms you will use to publish your content, speaking of which…
- Interview with Kentucky Native Plants Project: Hear from a real business about building a content strategy
Once you’ve created your content you need to decide where and how you want to publish and distribute it to your audience.
There are various ways you can distribute your content including
- Publishing it on your own website.
- Publishing it on other, relevant websites in the form of guest posts, etc.
- Publishing it on social media networks such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and TikTok.
- Distributing it to your audience via your email marketing.
- Working with influencers to promote your content to their audience and followers.
Top Tip! Using a content marketing pyramid can be really helpful if you’re sharing different types of content across different channels, because it’s designed to drive customer engagement through different “levels” until they convert!
There are two important things to consider when deciding on the right platform for your content.
The first is to determine which platform and distribution method actually works best for the content you’ve created. For example, you aren’t going to want to publish a blog post on TikTok but you would want to post short, fun, and engaging video content on there. Similarly, an infographic may work well on Facebook or Pinterest but may not engage users the same way on Instagram.
Secondly, you need to ensure you’re using platforms that your target audience actively uses too. Consider what you know about how they behave online. For example, older audiences aged 40+ are more likely to be active on Facebook and enjoy reading longer-form articles compared to younger “millennial” audiences who consume short-form, video content on platforms such as Instagram and TikTok.
It’s all well and good creating amazing content but if you’re publishing it on the wrong platforms, your target audience will never see it.
Content marketing strategies are constantly evolving and it’s important that you regularly monitor and adapt your own content and strategy to reach your goals.
The best way to do this is to track and monitor key metrics in order to analyze how well your content marketing strategy is performing.
Some of the key metrics to monitor include:
- Website traffic
- Bounce rates
- Dwell time (how long a user stays on a web page, this is a good way to determine if they are in fact reading your article or just briefly scanning it)
- Email open rates
- Social media impressions and engagement e.g. likes, comments, and shares
You can use metrics and stats to help inform what’s working and what needs to be changed. For example, if you can see that the dwell time on your website is short, you can presume that users aren’t reading your longer-form content and that this may need improvement.
Or you can monitor your social media posts to see which types of content attract the most views and engagement, and which aren’t as popular. You can then continue creating and distributing the content types that prove popular with your audience for the best long-term results.
Content marketing is an ever-changing principle and creating a content marketing strategy certainly isn’t a one size fits all approach.
Instead, you’ll need to commit to finding out who your audience is and what kind of content they want to see from you. If you do that, you’ll be able to create a content marketing strategy that evolves with your business and results in increased brand awareness, deeper and more meaningful relationships with your customers, and higher conversion rates.
Now that we’ve answered the question, what is content marketing? all that’s left for you to do is to take on board what we’ve discussed in this article and get started on building a content marketing strategy for your business!
A content marketing strategy allows you to attract more engaged users to your brand who will convert into customers. A good content marketing strategy will raise brand awareness, attract customers, increase conversions, and build a strong relationship between you and your audience.
Great content is content that solves a problem for your audience, that hooks them in, and that keeps them engaged and interested. Your content should be unique to your brand and should help to position you as the expert in your field. Users should be able to trust your brand thanks in part to the quality of your content.
Yes! One of the most essential parts of a content marketing strategy is creating content that is unique to you and your brand. Think about what makes your brand stand out from the competition and use this to help your content do the same. Considering your business’ unique value proposition can help keep your content on-brand. Add your own twist or perspective to your content to help it attract users.