Content strategy is the newest trend to take online marketing by storm, and for good reason: Content marketing is both affordable and effective, making it worth the effort it takes to devise a strategy. Fortunately, it isn’t that hard to formulate a good content strategy. There are a few web marketing firm guidelines that, when followed, can make your own content marketing efforts more effective:
Think branding first.
Keeping your brand the “main thing” when devising a content strategy means that you are always asking yourself questions like:
- Does this represent the brand well?
- Is everything here consistent?
- Does this communicate the solution I am offering the consumer?
Branding is not just a throwaway marketing term; it’s everything in the new media age. Across every platform you occupy (your website, your blog and all your social media accounts), your brand and the value it offers the audience should be clearly and consistently represented.
Think audience second.
Knowing your audience has always been a marketing essential, and not much has changed there. This takes the business adage of “see a need, fill a need” to the next level. You must not only show the audience that you offer a solution to a common problem, but also show them that you understand what they want to see and hear about your product or service. Making the audience a priority means that you stay continually aware of:
- Who your targeted consumers are (i.e. business owners, parents, executives, etc.)
- The specific problem your product or service solves for those consumers
- The messaging, including language and images, that will appeal to that audience
According to one Search Engine Watch piece, knowing one’s audience should not be left up to chance. “Most businesses take confidence in gradually accrued and unofficial insights into their user base,” it says. “Without diligent research to support these impressions, you risk compiling an incomplete persona – one lacking vital and almost imperceptible user needs.” Do the research necessary to learn your demographics and their specific needs, or hire a web marketing firm that can do it for you.
Think copy third.
Content marketing doesn’t start with writing the content (aka copy); it starts with the first two guidelines here. After you have shaped your brand and identified your audience, it will then be time to craft your copy – the final stage in a content marketing campaign. This is the stage at which you will determine whether you are the best person to write the content for your website, blog posts and social media updates. Some business owners start out confidently in this step, only to find that they just don’t have the time to spend on these efforts. If that describes you, it may be time to hire a web marketing firm that can handle all your content marketing, including your search engine optimization and social media management for better visibility.
Even when following these steps, you will most likely discover that content marketing is more art than science. Nothing is a foolproof plan, but following these content strategy guidelines can improve your chances of content marketing success.