Failing to plan is planning to fail. We’ve all heard that saying before. And when it comes to content marketing strategy failing to plan can lead to extreme pain. As social media and content strategist Jay Baer puts it:
Content marketing strategy isn’t a nice to have, it’s a requirement.
We agree. So we’ve put together a few basic guidelines to get you started.
Feel the burn
The extreme pain of not planning your content marketing comes in a couple of forms. The pain of having to scramble constantly to come up with ‘something to post.’ The pain of looking disorganized and inconsistent resulting in a drop in traffic. The pain of confusion in your market because you keep sending mixed messages or jumping on the latest bandwagon instead of sticking to your brand message. The pain of losing traffic and customers as an overarching result of poor planning. Ouch.
Treat the pain with strategy
Your content marketing strategy should incorporate a number of things we’ve been discussing in our post. Your online presence, selecting social media, choosing content, developing story ideas, and your brand’s approach to blogging. We recommend you begin by establishing the ‘why’ behind your content marketing and creating objectives from your answers. Next, determine your key differentiators or what sets you apart from your competitors. Use this information as the foundation of your strategy. And don’t forget to include a keyword strategy that creates a synergistic thread woven through everything you post.
Treat your audience through research
Throwing a bunch of content stuff against the wall to see which customers stick is a waste of your time, energy and money. A key element of your strategy is to know your audience as fully as possible. Define who they are, what they look like, what they buy and what they need. The more vivid the picture of your customer the better. It makes the job of creating and choosing content much easier. And it attracts and engages the right customers. Not to mention delighting them with content that has some real value for their lives. Make sure you talk to real customers as part of your research. Don’t rely solely on internet data.
The Strategy step in our Five Step Process allows us the opportunity to do much of this heavy lifting for our clients. Need a hand with your content marketing strategy? It’s ok; most businesses do. Let’s get you started today.