Nearly all of us are spending more time online these days, both for work and for entertainment purposes. The smartest companies have learned to capitalize on this by employing content marketing services to help reach audiences and convert them into loyal customers. Here are some tips for planning your content marketing strategy so you can get the most value out of your efforts.
Content Marketing Services: 6 Essential Planning Tips
1. Define What Makes Your Company Unique
Chances are, there are other companies that make products or offer services that are similar to yours. It is very important to identify precisely what distinguishes your company from your competitors, as much of the content you create will be designed to drive this message home to consumers. While this may be an easy question to answer for some companies, others may have a more difficult time, and it usually comes down to asking the right questions.
Does your company deliver a better product or higher quality service than your competitors? Or perhaps your prices are lower, and you provide consumers with the best value. It could also be things like having a distinct brand voice, which allows people to personally identify with your company culture, lifestyle, or ideology. Content marketing services can help you ask the right questions so you can identify exactly what makes your company unique.
2. Determine Your Target Audience
In order to create impactful content, it’s important first to understand the people who will be viewing it. Your target audience includes both existing customers and those you hope to reach and is best defined by creating a buyer persona. This is essentially a description of a customer who is best served by your company – how they spend their days, what challenges they face, and how they make decisions.
It’s important to keep in mind that your company may have multiple target customers for different product lines or marketing campaigns, so you’ll want to create buyer personas for each. You can use demographic and psychographic profiles to then determine what kind of content will be most effective and how it should be presented to best attract these target customers.
3. Identify Which Problems You Will Be Solving
Once you’ve determined who your target audience is, it’s time to identify their so-called pain points. Simply put, your target customer has a problem that you will be solving for them. To illustrate with a basic example, let’s say you are an automobile manufacturer that sells high-quality off-road vehicles, and your target customer is an adventure seeker. Your vehicle helps them get to places they can’t get to with other vehicles, so this is the problem you are solving.
Identifying specific customer pain points can be challenging as it often requires detailed marketing research and analysis. This is another case where content marketing services can help, as they have access to the appropriate data tools and perform these tasks on a regular basis. Identifying customer pain points helps you craft content that will speak directly to this pain and propose the solution they’ve been looking for.
4. Understand the Sales Funnel
The sales funnel refers to a customer’s journey in the sales process, with awareness, evaluation, and purchase as the three steps to making someone your customer. Understanding this process is key to your content marketing strategy as it helps shape the goals for the content you will create. Traditionally speaking, content marketing has been viewed as sitting at the top of the funnel, meaning it is designed to create awareness and customer outreach.
More recently, content is being used deeper into the sales funnel. In fact, some argue that there is a fourth step in the funnel known as delight, which comes after a purchase and addresses building brand loyalty. This means making customers feel good about their purchase and wanting to continue buying from you. A good content marketing strategy can therefore be valuable in every step of the sales funnel, from lead generation to purchase and brand loyalty.
5. Formats and Platforms
As you’re creating content, you’ll need to think about what format it’s going to be in and where it’s going to be published. To do this effectively, it’s important first to understand where your target customers spend their time, so you can efficiently capture their attention right where they live. Are your customers the sort of people who listen to podcasts or spend a significant amount of time watching videos on Youtube?
Once you’ve determined which formats you want to focus on, whether it’s podcasts, videos, articles, or newsletters, you’ll also need to think about where to publish and share your content. Again, you’ll want to research which channels and platforms are popular with your target demographic. For instance, if you’re targeting a younger demographic, you may want to focus on platforms such as Instagram and TikTok that are popular with younger users.
6. Plan To Analyze and Refine Content
Once you’ve created and posted marketing content, you’ll need a plan in place to measure how well it’s performing and make any required modifications. There are many useful tools for tracking performance that measure things like traffic, views, and conversion rates. Determine which of these are most important to you, then designate a person or team to monitor this data on a regular basis and suggest changes as needed.
Using valuable analytics data, you may find that one type of content or platform is very good at attracting attention but not necessarily effective at converting viewers into customers. These reports will tell you what kinds of content are resonating with your target customers and can also give you a clear indication of what channels or platforms are better to invest in as your content marketing strategy develops and shifts in the future.
These tips are critical planning steps in the early stages of outlining your content marketing strategy. Addressing these points will prepare you to make intelligent decisions so you can get the most bang for your buck. Contact Anthem Software for everything you need in planning and managing a successful content marketing strategy.