Steps to Take Before You Develop a Content Marketing Strategy

By: David Tile| Founer @ Article-Writing.co
Posted On: October 10, 2014

Publishing blog posts from unique content writers is one thing, but you also have to map out the other types of content that appeal to your audience and how you’re going to promote the content (more on that at the bottom of this post) when developing a content marketing strategy. Sound familiar? We’ve covered that before.

But there’s more to it than that. Think of it as “pre-reporting.” Before you develop a content marketing strategy, you have to think about your objectives, the challenges you’ll face and the types of metrics you’ll track.

Know Why You’re Doing It

What are you trying to achieve by marketing your content? You are not creating content for the purpose of having content, so make your business objectives clear. “The best and simplest way to solidify your purpose is to create your content marketing mission statement,” explains the Content Marketing Institute.You can take it a step further and state a mini-mission for each post.

Consider the Challenges

Pinpoint potential challenges. And that doesn’t mean overwhelming yourself with data – simply summarizing your key challenges on a couple of flow charts can provide data that’s considerably easier to digest, and also a good deal more persuasive. Use a tool like Gliffy to help you create simple flow charts.

“A successful content strategy always brings new insight to users,” says Jason Brewer, a writer for Convince and Convert. “Your content must be valuable by educating or informing the audience on a deeper level. If you aren’t informative, or if your content is trite, redundant, or can be found easily elsewhere, your results and viewership will suffer.”

Think About Your Metrics

It won’t matter how much time you’ve put into your content marketing strategy if you can’t tell how successful it is once everything is in place. That’s why you have to analyze your data and recalibrate if necessary.

“There are four types of content marketing metrics: consumption, sharing, leads, and sales,” explains marketing consultant, Jay Baer. “Most marketers overvalue the first two (blog page views and retweets, for example) and undervalue the last two (email subscriptions from people who first read the blog and, ultimately, sales from among that group). If you focus your metrics on behavior, rather than on data aggregation, you’ll be measuring points of greater business value.”

Don’t Forget the “Little” Things

When drafting a content marketing strategy, it’s easy to overlook the “little” things. A few points to keep in mind include:

  • Who are the influencers you’ll reach out to as part of your strategy – and are they actually thought-leaders?
  • Are you using the right kinds of keywords? What about local and long-tail keywords?
  • Are you making sure that the links you use are valid and go to high-ranking sites?
  • Is your strategy Google friendly?

“… Once you’ve been knocked into search engine oblivion, it’s nearly impossible for people to find your site,” says Jayson DeMers, a writer for Search Engine Watch.

 

The ultimate goal of content marketing is offering your target audience information and materials that will engage them and motivate them to choose your business. 

Seems easy, right? 

Often, companies will simply share general content to please everyone. But let’s be honest: you can’t win them all. And that’s okay! 

Rather than throwing a line and hoping the fish will bite, create Thought Leadership content strategically catered to your target market. Consider the people who would genuinely need or care about what your business offers, rather than wasting time, effort, and resources on creating general, unfocused content. Successful content marketing involves promoting your products and services to the people interested in the subject matter, who will read the content, click on your company website, and take action. 

As an executive of an organization, you are a valuable piece of the brand. Consumers want to know about the human presence leading companies, in order to understand more about the company’s values and goals. 

Take advantage of your position as an industry expert and share extra content to attract more attention to yourself as an industry leader and your company. Your quality content will build your reputation as a reliable voice to earn your consumer’s trust. However, if it’s not focused on your target audience, you won’t earn many conversions from your content. 

Consider these techniques to guide your Thought Leadership content so it can expand and strengthen your loyal consumer following:

  • Identify your target audience by reviewing your current consumer data and identifying who is investing in your business or reacting to your thought leadership materials so far. Look for trends to find why these people are interested and if others like them haven’t been reached yet. 
  • Conduct customer research to learn how they will respond to your thought leadership content. Request participation in surveys, polls, social media comments, and more to learn about your existing impression on your audience and how you can improve your platform. 
  • Create target audience character profiles. Identify their interests, demographics, pain points, needs, and desires, and write to them.
  • Find where your current and potential audience is active online.  Catch their attention by being active and sharing your content marketing materials on these platforms.
  • Pull inspiration from other Thought Leader examples. Research other executives within your field who implement successful content marketing through their personal platforms. Learn what qualities make their content attractive and why readers respond to it positively. These examples can offer a base for you to visualize what you want to achieve. 
  • Recognize your strengths as a Thought Leader. Often, leaders aren’t necessarily aware of the unique talents that give them an advantage in their industry until asked. Reflect on what topics you know best and how to input your insights to humanize your materials, make them original and more engaging for your audience. 

 

Case Study: How Strategic Content Marketing Can Broaden Your Audience

In our client strategy calls, our team will interview our expert clients to learn about their industry expertise and find out what’s meaningful to them, their business, and then identify who we believe to be their target audience. We use these insights to inspire our content subject matter and tone to create impactful content for their current and potential consumers.

Dr. Desai’s COVID PreCheck App Content Marketing

For example, our client, Dr. Nitin Desai, approached our strategy team to create content to promote his COVID Pre-Check app. His innovative software is intended to help employers ensure their employees who enter the office are COVID-free, providing a safe environment by eliminating the chance of spread. 

Our team of strategists recognized that with Dr. Desai’s thorough professional knowledge around the COVID-19 virus, he had the potential to become a reliable voice in a culture of people seeking answers. We created content for Dr. Desai that focused on sharing COVID-related insights to reach a wider audience, which has been a successful mission. Our thoroughly planned content reflected his industry expertise, which brought him attention from various media outlets and publications, including Forbes

By reaching out to our professional content marketing team, Dr. Desai achieved his goal of promoting his groundbreaking app, while also positioning himself as an authoritative voice in his field. Our team learned about his voice, discovered what was meaningful to him and his target audience, and optimized this to create focused, engaging content that broadened his consumer scope. 

Ready to Invest In Your Article-Writing.co Thought Leadership Package? 

At Article-Writing.co, we understand that you have a lot on your plate. Let us share your voice on your behalf, so you don’t need to add more time to your busy schedule to write your own content marketing. Our strategists and creators will develop a plan to create engaging materials to represent your Thought Leader brand through your own specialized Thought Leadership Package

Let us help you strengthen and broaden your consumer base for continued professional success. Book a call today.