How to plan and build an effective content marketing strategy

The way businesses conduct their content marketing is constantly evolving. More messaging is being shared, on more channels, over more hours of the day. Consumers are flooded by promotional content, so you have to cut through the noise and ensure your content is directly targeted to your audience through an effective content marketing strategy. 

With 70% of marketers actively investing in content marketing, it’s critical you develop a good strategy to compete. Your content marketing has to be of interest to your audience and give them something they need to turn their head.

“Content marketing is the marketing and business process for creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.” ~ Content Marketing Institute

What does good look like?

Content marketing should be a fusion between brand purpose and what customers want. At the heart of it, your strategy should be your organisation’s ‘why’. Why are you doing what you are doing? Who you are you trying to help? How can you help your audience in a way your competitors can’t?  

With content marketing, organisations can take centre stage as experts in their field, educate their audience and gain trust, and, in turn, raise brand awareness, increase sales, attract new customers and keep existing customers engaged after their purchase. Instead of simply promoting products or services, content marketing provides truly relevant and useful content to prospects and customers to support them with solving their business issues.

To devise an effective and fruitful content marketing strategy, you should ask yourself these three simple questions in this order:

  • What are you trying to do? E.g. Educate our audience about a specific topic
  • Why are you doing it? E.g. To address a particular pain point for customers
  • How are you going to do it? E.g. Produce a guide to combat these issues

All too often companies start with the ‘how’ and which means of communication they are going to use without looking at the granular detail of what and why they are doing it in the first place. It is these two things that will inform your ‘how’. 

To achieve a robust content marketing strategy you should:

  • Document a clearly defined strategy and timeline that is linked to business objectives
  • Appoint a team responsible for executing your plan
  • Plan your themes in accordance with what your customers and prospects will need to help them solve their own issues 
  • Consistently publish quality, topical content across a multitude of channels appropriate to your audience
  • Balance owned marketing with paid and earned media

Should content marketing be communicated internally?

Yes! So often organisations that don’t communicate what they are doing to their own workforce. This is counterproductive. Think about the size of your workforce and how many people could be advocates for your content marketing plan. 

Brief your workforce on the plan. It can help keep employees invested and working towards the same goals. In some cases, it may be appropriate to share your full strategy with colleagues. In other cases, small targeted, bite-size summaries may suffice depending on how your strategy will impact them.

Join the dots

No content marketing should ever be executed in isolation. The power behind it lies in a consistent, joined up strategy so you should have an appropriate team in place to deliver it. 

Create a plan and ensure that everything you do connects. For example if you are creating a white paper, host it on your website with a series of SEO considered blogs to promote it, include timely promotion on social media channels as well as sharing it in customer and employee communications. 

Join the dots and always think about the bigger picture. 

We’d love to help you up the ante with your content marketing strategy. 

Get in touch to see how we can help. 

Sabrina Stubbs