Many small businesses come up with fantastic content marketing ideas, which helps even the bar when competing with larger competing companies. However, oftentimes the ball is dropped when it comes to developing a well thought-out strategy that ensures that their content is active, engaging and relevant in the long run. Given the rising importance content plays in a firm’s lead generation activities, small business owners should continuously hone their content marketing game plans in order to take full advantage of the medium. Having a well thought out, documented strategy will certainly help them get there.
Here are some questions to ask while creating robust content strategy:
What are the specific goals of your content marketing campaign?
Content marketing is more than sharing industry-specific knowledge and populating your company’s blog page. Having a well-defined business goal will help many content creators set a clear direction and answer what type of actions they want their audience to initiate after reading the content. Is your goal to showcase your company’s talents and vision? To provide a solution to an industry-related issue? To have a more direct interaction with your potential customers? To build brand loyalty and awareness? Ultimately, it’s important to smoothly shift your reader’s attention to the company’s offering as a best possible solution.
Who is your target audience?
It’s essential that the target audience is aligned with your potential customers. Content marketers often forget that the content they create should be specific to the particular audience of the business/campaign and not for everyone in the world. The messaging of the content would be completely different depending on who the target audience is. For example, if the target audience of your content is the Millennials, the released content should be relatively new and exciting, practical and realistic, and powerful enough to see genuine feedback.
What are the channels of deployment?
Once you are ready to share your messages with your audience, you need a strategic channel policy in place. This is also a time to brainstorm various ideas for how to present content and to come up with an estimated budget for deployment. Then start asking which format will best communicate your message and which distribution channel your target persona will visit.
Going back to the example of targeting the Millennials, for instance, one of the advantages would be being able to directly access and monitor their responses from their online activities and interactions. With this knowledge in mind, putting efforts into developing relationships with the audience via blogs, social media, and email newsletters is ideal. Make sure to build a content calendar to plan out the order of content releases and dates of deployment so that your content has a bigger impact on the overall timeline.
What are the resources available to better improve your content marketing?
The messaging and channels aren’t the only elements that complete the strategy. Because content marketing is easily swayed by trends and unpredictable causes in the digital space, it’s important to be both defensive and aggressive by taking advantage of the available resources. In order to identify potential opportunities and hurdles, it’s important to evaluate the strategies of the competitors to assess your content’s strengths and weaknesses.
Setting up content curation tools to monitor conversations and trending topics is another way to enable content creators to amplify brand messages and create content that is relevant to the audience. Connecting with influencers and thought leaders in the industry is another great way to acquire valuable insight or even support through a partnership.
How will everything come together?
The end goal of your content strategy should focus on guiding your audience through the marketing funnel: the top of the funnel is building awareness, the middle is helping your audience understand how to solve a problem, and the end is leading them to conversion. The strategy should do more than simply allow people to discover your topic; your content should funnel the audience to the end ideas and help them make a purchase decision.