It’s amazing but true that less than 50% of B2C marketers have in place a clear content strategy. The number is even lower for B2B marketers. And it is this very absence of a strategy that is the reason why marketing initiatives so often fail.
Without a clear strategy, marketing efforts are far less effective than they might be and can even face significant problems in executing their marketing tactics. Below are for useful tips that can help you and your business create a content marketing strategy so that you can be better connected to current and potential customers.
Establish SMART Goals
As a part of your marketing strategy, you need to develop concrete goals. Poorly defined and difficult to measure goals will make it virtually impossible to track your progress. When establishing these goals, it’s a good idea to use the S.M.A.R.T. approach.
Specific: Avoid vague objectives like “increasing our brand awareness” and “growing our client base.” Establish specific goals, such as “doubling the size of our email list in the next 6 months” or “increasing our website hits by 50% this year.”
Measurable: Creating goals that can be measured numerically makes it easy to track progress.
Achievable: Don’t set up impossible objectives for your staff.
Relevant: Any goals you establish should be relevant to your company’s business statement.
Timely: establish a clear timeframe for reaching these goals, breaking it down into a series of milestones along the way. Milestones help you in identifying what progress you’ve made toward the ultimate goal.
Create Data-Based Personas
Businesses often make the mistake they know their customer base perfectly, which means they feel they have no need for a document describing user personas. Having this clearly described persona will help you and your business in crystallizing your thoughts and will also let you better target your audience in your marketing strategy.
These personas can be created simply by looking at your present online followers and customers. Of course, these personas need to be more than just demographic information – like age, location and gender. It should create a picture of your ideal customer by describing his or her role as it relates to the buying cycle of your business.
Based on the specific persona you create, you can carefully target all of your marketing content. In fact, as you are creating such content, you can reference your target persona to help you guide the tone, nature and voice of the marketing content.
Content Creation Streamlining
Another important strategy tip is to streamline the process for creating your marketing content by setting up an editorial calendar. Lay out your marketing calendar well in advance and add new ideas regularly – either quarterly or annually. The precise process you use depends on a range of factors, such as resources that you have and the makeup of your team. But regardless of the process, you can always look for ways it can be streamlined. Identify and address any bottlenecks.
For instance, you may discover that the approval process for your marketing content is making it difficult to publish it in a timely manner. Establish a single arbiter to make a final decision about when things will go forward. Don’t rely on your own knowledge in looking for bottlenecks. Check with your staff to see what they have to say about speeding up your marketing process.
Measuring the Progress
All the changes in the world won’t matter if you don’t have established criteria for measuring your progress. Obviously, if the majority of your marketing content is web-based, the focus of your measurement criteria should be on using web analytics tools.
Carefully evaluate your KPI’s (key performance indicators) regularly to determine whether you need to update your content strategy if your marketing efforts are ineffective. This includes looking at the quantity of traffic, the sources of any traffic and the time on page numbers. Since there are any number of metrics you could use, ensure that you are looking at KPI’s associated with your specific goals so that you can incorporate this data into your marketing strategy.