Are you a sceptic for all this content marketing hoo-ha? You see everyone else is succeeding around you, but you’re missing your slice of the content cake, so it must be BS, right?
And, now you’re down in the dumps with your FOMO pants on.
If your content isn’t yet feeling the love, I’ll bet it’s because you haven’t aligned it with a strategy. But, just like you wouldn’t drive from Cairns to Perth without a game plan, you don’t publish content without one either.
In this blog, we’re going to explore the ‘why’ behind your content, what content marketing and strategy actually means, and why you need it for your business.
The ‘Why’ Behind Content Marketing
Content marketing is about boosting engagement. It’s not about quick sales or selling or advertising. It’s also not about publishing content for the sake of it.
It’s about building a relationship with your target audience through trust, knowledge-sharing, and emotional connection through story.
It’s about engaging your readers and encouraging them to do something with the information you just provided them, like, Download, sign up, or comment, so you can continue hanging out.
How are you engaging with your audience?
So many businesses get it wrong and pursue the ‘quick sale’ or ditch their content marketing after only a few months because they want the instant results of advertising. Is this you, too?
Advertising has its place but it’s not with your content!
Building relationships takes time and your objective is to earn trust. Trust can only be achieved through consistent, reliable, valuable content over time that builds your brand and authority.
Now you know more about why you need it, let’s dig deeper and explore the different elements of a content marketing strategy.
Content Marketing Strategy
You must start here.
Your content marketing strategy is the ‘why’ behind your content.
Why are you publishing content? Who are you helping? What are you trying to achieve?
Generally, your objectives will be around building brand awareness and authority, boosting engagement with your fans, or increasing sales and conversions.
But if you don’t know why you’re publishing content, you shouldn’t be publishing content.
Why you need it
A content marketing strategy helps you chart your journey.
Understanding your why before you publish will ensure you produce higher-quality content more effectively because it has a purpose. Your ROI will improve as you’re publishing content aligned to specific business goals and priorities.
Your content strategy refines your overall content marketing strategy.
It’s where you will identify the types of content you will use to communicate with your audience – Will you use blogs, emails, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, SlideShare, eBooks, webinars, opt-ins, podcasts?
You must know your audience before you know your content.
Why you need it
A content strategy keeps your content decisions in check and stops you feeling overwhelmed by all those darn social media and content ‘obligations’.
How many times have you found yourself publishing content on every platform willy nilly without considering the benefit to your business and audiences, all because you saw someone else do it? Thought so.
This is your content map.
Once you identify what content you’ll publish, your content plan is where you schedule it; the days of the week you’ll publish it, the topics you’ll write about, who’s involved, and what your calls-to-action are for each piece.
Why you need it
Your content plan details how you’ll execute your strategy. It ensures you publish valuable, reliable topics – consistently.
It reduces the time you waste thinking about ‘content’ and provides a structure and process to your publishing that garners better results. You can get started with my simple content plan template.
5 Reasons Why Your Content Needs Strategy
Hopefully, now you understand more about content marketing and how you can make it work harder for your business.
You’ll move your thinking away from content being a reactive ‘must post’ business task and see it as bringing your cold audiences on a #roadtrip to get to know you, love you, trust you, and then buy from you.
Because, to merely create is not enough – you must have a plan to execute or your beautifully written content is likely reaching no one.
Let’s summarise why your content needs strategy:
Strategy defines your purpose
The primary function of a content marketing strategy is to help you ONLY publish content that serves your business and audience needs, making it easier to say no to crap that will water down your brand!
Understand why you’re publishing content, who you’re publishing it for, and what you hope to achieve.
Strategy connects you with the right audience
Spend the time identifying your target audiences. There could be more than one – you might have a specific audience for your services and one for each product you sell.
But, if you don’t know who they are, you can’t effectively market your content to them. You simply won’t exist in their world.
The more you can tune into your audience – the better you can build brand trust and loyalty.
(Tune in next week where I’ll explain HOW to identify your target audience and, once you have them, HOW to get your kick-ass content in front of their eyes!)
Strategy builds brand authority
Strategy ensures you’re consistently publishing quality, valued content. Your ideal audience will come to rely on the information you share, which will lead to trust.
Once they trust you, they will buy from you, endorse you, and recommend you.
Strategy saves time and improves ROI
Done well, and content marketing can cost 62% less than traditional marketing and generate about 3 times as many leads (Source: DemandMetric). Who wouldn’t want to improve their return on investment?
Whether you’re paying a content writer or you’re producing and publishing content yourself - when your content aligns to a strategy, you can introduce a publishing schedule that tells you what to write, when, where, and how.
Not only will you eliminate time wasted writing ineffectual garbage, but by publishing better content, you’ll achieve business goals and objectives much sooner.
Strategy cuts through the crap
Which means there’s a heck of a lot of CRAP being published online!
If you want to build a powerful brand that communicates a compelling message, you’ll need strategy to cut through the crap and stand out.
What Will You Change?
Did you identify any gaps or problems with your publishing habits?
Hopefully you’ve been convinced to spend the time and effort to flesh out a strategy for your content marketing. I like to plan my strategies quarterly (Jan – Mar, April – June) so they incorporate my major business launches and events.
I suggest blocking out three hours in your calendar to work through your strategy and a basic content plan so you can start publishing with purpose.
Can I answer any questions you might have about your content strategy?
Hit me up in the comments below or visit me on Facebook to join the conversation.