A robust content market strategy requires some serious thought. It’s not just about thinking of all the different types of content you can offer, and the various outlets you can use to share this content, it’s much deeper than that.
A content strategy requires planning and thought, it’s not just about trying to cover all your bases and hoping that something works, instead it's about research, analytics, exploration, experimentation and careful, original, timely content creation that reaches your audience and does precisely what you intended.
So where do you start? By asking yourself the following questions:
What are your goals?
Having absolute clarity around what your goals are is the most important way to define what your content marketing strategy should be. There is no one size fits all approach to content marketing, and your specific goal for your particular business means that a definite plan must be created in order for you to be at your most effective.
If you are clear on your business aims, the next step is working out how your content can support them. This isn’t without its challenges. However, by starting with the end goal, you can work your way backward and find practical solutions to help tweak your content, so it all starts pointing in the right direction.
How do you plan to track your success?
One thing that many businesses forget to focus on is how they will find out if a particular piece of content is doing its job. They spend time and money carefully pulling together an advertising campaign, designing a beautiful and informative infographic or writing a well-researched, informative piece of content, yet they forget to bother putting anything in place to see whether it works or not.
Without doing this, you cannot hope to have success with your content – because you have no way of telling what’s working or what isn’t. You need to be able to understand what’s going on with your content – is it reaching the right people? Are they engaging with it? Is it persuading them to take action in the way you’d hoped?
Remember, however, that while it is essential to focus on the numbers, only those that are relevant to you matter, and to do this, we go back to your goals. It doesn’t matter if 500 people like your post if you intended to get signups to your newsletter and no one gave you their email address. It doesn’t matter if you got retweeted a million times if your ultimate goal was to sell your product X number of times and you didn’t reach that target.
Be precise and clear on what you want to achieve and then put the right metrics in place to ensure you can measure every piece of content and its effectiveness.
What’s your timescale?
A strategy geared toward seeing results in one week won’t be the same as one that demands results in a year. Understanding time constraints and pressures, as well as the resources you have, will all affect your content marketing strategy and help you remain realistic about results.
Effective content marketing requires different strands, and ideally, you’ll have both short and longer-term goals in mind. However you do it, remember that you need to be strategic. Just randomly trying out pieces of content is not going to help you, and by taking the time to ask yourself the above questions and gain clarity on them you are so much more likely to build a content marketing strategy that works. Everything else is just wasting your valuable resources and time after all.
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