All businesses tend to have one primary goal in mind: Growth. Growing their business by expanding their client base, reaching as many consumers as possible, and building their internal support staff.
But how do you grow when thousands of companies compete for the same goal?
Well, this is where your content marketing strategy comes in!
Your content marketing strategy makes your company unique and differentiates you from the competition. Your strategy is how you present your company to the public and is the game plan you lay out for your marketing department.
If content marketing is a new concept, check out this blog post to learn what it is, why you need it, and the benefits of combining it with a marketing automation tool. Once you’re caught up on the basics, keep reading for five steps to creating your agency’s strategy.
Step 1: Determine Your Target Audience
You can’t begin to plan your strategy until you know who you’re planning this content for. So ask yourself, who is my company’s target audience? This shouldn’t be a simple answer.
How old are your prospects and customers? What are their genders? Where do they live? How much money do they make? What’s their marital status? These questions, and many more, will help you determine who you are marketing to.
Determining your target audience will allow you to create content that resonates with those who buy your products and services, helping you to save money in marketing costs and profit from lead capture.
Step 2: Identify Your Channels
Once you know who you’re marketing to, you can determine the best channels to use to reach them.
There are many channels marketers can use to connect with consumers. The two most common channels are digital (social media, websites, email, and apps) and print (newspapers, brochures, flyers, billboards, and magazines).
In your content marketing strategy, you should clearly state what channels are going to be used by your company. This will involve a heavy analysis of your company’s target audience, what exactly your products and services are, and your financial standing.
Will you reach more consumers through digital or print media? While print ads and paid digital ad campaigns can cost a lot of money, posting content on your website, social media accounts, and email to clients won’t incur additional costs.
So, what would work for your agency? Odds are, it’s probably a unique combination of digital and print and paid and non-paid content.
Step 3: Establish Your Objectives
Before you can create your strategy, you need to determine what the end goal of your team’s efforts is. Your marketing team will then create their strategy with these goals in mind.
When creating these goals, it’s important to make them SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Sensitive. SMART goals will not only help you set goals but set achievable goals for your company.
Your marketing goals can be anything from gaining 100 new X, formerly known as Twitter, followers by the end of the year to bringing in 500 new inbound leads by the end of the quarter. All of these goals should be specific to what will benefit your company. The marketing team will then begin planning content to achieve these goals.
Step 4: Create Content, and Then Create More Content
Every marketing person knows the saying, “Content is king.” Whether you’re a B2B company or an Instagram influencer, content is one of the best weapons in your marketing toolbox. This is what your team will create to reach your goals, fit your channels, and appeal to your target audience.
You may think creating one solid piece of content is enough to get you by on all your channels, but that isn’t true. Your content should be differentiated for each channel you use. If you’re using social media to reach younger demographics, that copy should not be the same as the print ads placed to reach older demographics.
A key point to note when creating content is that your business is only as strong as your brand. So, while your content may shift depending on the marketing material or channel it’s in, it should always maintain the key aspects of your brand. (Need help developing your agency’s brand identity? Read this blog by our family brand, Tarmika, for tips.)
Step 5: Measure the Results
Now that you’ve determined who your audience is, what channels you need to use, what your goals are, and have content ready to go, it’s time to put your content marketing strategy to the test! And we really mean to the test.
After implementing your strategy, reflect on its progress after a month, a quarter and a year. Evaluate how well each channel you chose helped your sales. Gauge your original target audience demographics; were you right, or has it changed?
This reflection is arguably one of the most important aspects of your content marketing strategy; viewing real-time data will help you to improve your marketing efforts and increase revenue for your company.
Ready to create your agency’s content marketing strategy? Download the Email Campaign Roadmap for instant access to a content calendar that can help keep your monthly campaigns organized and a metrics dashboard that you can use to track the success of each campaign.
Manager of Content Strategy
Lisa Muvich, Manager of Content Strategy, leads the Applied Marketing Automation content team and directs the content strategy for the Applied Marketing Automation content library. Lisa brings over 20 years' experience creating and managing digital content across a variety of industries - software, manufacturing, financial services and insurance.