Looking to expand your marketing opportunities? A 2018 Pew Research study showed that 81% of U.S. adults go online daily. This shows a clear opportunity for businesses to reach a variety of audiences online. It also means that you’ll face a lot of competition.
A solid content marketing strategy can position your business as a leader in your market. It gives you the chance to show your credibility and authority. Your competitors will try to do the same, so it’s more important than ever to have solid content marketing objectives.
Find out how your business can leverage a successful content marketing strategy.
Evaluate Your Business Objectives
Any digital content strategy should be tied to your overall business objectives. Using a targeted approach ensures your efforts are well planned and aligned.
To start, think through your mission and values. Are you trying to help people solve a problem with a unique product? Are you helping other businesses through a service?
Your business objectives should always be tied to your mission and values, but they may change from quarter to quarter. At the end of the day, every business wants more sales and revenue, but you can’t always start there.
If you’re a new business or just entering a new market, you may need to focus on brand awareness. On the other hand, you may have a well-known brand but are struggling with lead generation.
Whichever objectives you prioritize will help provide a guideline for your content strategy.
Set Measurable Goals and KPIs
Your content marketing strategy needs to include SMART goals. These are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-specific. Each SMART goal you set should also have key performance indicators (KPIs) that you can track throughout the campaign.
Let’s say your objective this quarter is lead generation. An excellent SMART goal would be to increase form submissions on a landing page by 25% from the previous quarter. Your KPIs for this goal would include page traffic and form submissions.
These goals should be simple and easy for your whole team to understand. These goals will likely involve more people than your content team. You’ll need to make sure your marketing team, web team and sales teams are all aligned as well.
Identify Your Target Audience
Once you have your objective and goals, determine the audiences that will help you reach success. Consider your current customers. Who has already converted through purchasing your product or service? What is their average age and gender? Where are they usually located? Do they fit into a general income range?
Gather as much data as you can from your previous efforts. If you’re just starting, consider putting together focus groups or gathering relevant market research. After you have a general baseline of demographics data, you can begin developing buyer personas.
Your personas should include accurate data or assumptions about their behavior and motivations. Are they single moms looking for help in some way? Perhaps they’re young adults getting ready to enter college. Your personas will be unique to your company’s mission, vision and offerings.
Understanding your audience will help you evaluate the content marketing channels you need to use. One of the easiest channels to get started with is your company blog. A blog content strategy can help you rank organically on Google and allow more customers to find you while they’re searching for help. You might also benefit from a video strategy on YouTube, downloadable e-books or white papers, or podcasts.
Audit Your Performance
Review your past performance before moving forward with a new content strategy. This will show you areas where it’ll be easier to improve rather than starting from scratch.
You can evaluate performance through a variety of tools. Google Analytics is free and easy for most businesses to get started. Through Google Analytics, you can see how many people have visited your site, which pages they stay on, where they convert, how they landed on your site, and much more.
If you have a lead generation form on one page that isn’t working as you’d hoped, there may be a higher-traffic page where you can move it. From there, you’ll know to optimize the content on the more successful page.
You can also evaluate your search engine optimization (SEO) through tools like Google Search Console. With Search Console, you can see which keywords and terms people use to find your site. Knowing these terms allows you to create specific content that answers users’ questions.
Develop a Content Framework
Successful content marketing objectives always involve a thorough content creating process. This is usually known as a content framework, and it ensures content creation is a unified process rather than an afterthought.
Your content framework needs to include a timeline for content creation and assigned roles. Team members should understand what they’re in charge of and when it’s due.
Your framework should also include a set of steps, such as ideation, internal review, research, writing and editing. These steps may evolve and change according to your team members and resources
Create Your Content
After all the planning comes the content creation. Make sure your team follows your content framework to understand what they’re producing and when.
As you’re creating content, keep your objectives top of mind. Try to include as much timely, relevant information as you can to make it as engaging as possible.
Whether you’re creating a blog, podcast, video or another type of post, keep it clear and concise. Even if you’re targeting audiences who are experts, they’ll get distracted easily if your content is difficult to understand.
Optimize Your Content Marketing Objectives
Your marketing strategy steps should always include optimization before cycling through the process again. After you’ve created and promoted your content, evaluate the performance based on your objectives and KPIs. Even if you didn’t meet your goals, there’s always a lesson you can implement moving forward.
Creating content marketing objectives requires research into your market and business initiatives. With a thorough content marketing process, you can reach your audiences like never before.
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