Consider these four steps:1. Insights andanalysis2. Defining yourgoals3. Tactics andimplementation4. Measurementand optimisation2
1. Insights and analysisUnderstanding who your target is and what they wantMe! Me!Me! Them!Them!Them!Forget what you learnt in marketing 101,advertising or even PR.The principle of content marketing isn’tsell, sell, sell.It’s “give, give, sell.”3
Understanding your audienceKnowing your audience – their needs, their wants and their pain points – is the key to any successful contentstrategy. Your customer persona should dictate what content you create, how you create it and when andwhere you share it. It’s difficult to start a relationship, or even a meaningful conversation, with someone youknow nothing about. So what does your customer base – or the customer base you strive to have – look like?Who are you trying to reach? What are their key challenges?And what type of content do they need and/or want?Look into:• Demographics, psychographics and technographics (how they use technology to consume media).• Are they one-time/casual shoppers or repeat customers?• Are they price focused or are they service oriented?• What do they do online?• Are they active on social platforms?• What’s their opinion of your brand? And your competitors?The answers to these questions will determine how you use content to generate demand.The goal is not just to understand the statistical representation of a group, but also to appreciate the subtlenuances of each potential customer and their thought processes.4
Tools for audience analysisReach out to existing customers: The simplest way to find out what they want is to ask, either in person,through surveys, polls, social media channels or focus groups.Conduct A/B tests: You can use quantitative insights on content categories, formats, times or distribution tofind out what best resonates with your audience.Use marketing automation technology: Most marketers now have access to systems such as Eloqua orMarketo – be sure to take full advantage of the progressive profiling tools on offer so you can analyse keytrends.Analyse analytics: Consider engagement patterns, where people are directed from, where they go on your site,how long they stay and what content types are the most popular. Are there any noteworthy patterns?Be keyword savvy: Using online tools such as Googles AdWords Tool shows you what search terms are popularwith your potential customers.Assess your competitor landscape: Who are they talking to? What are they talking about? And why shouldprospective customers talk to you instead?5
Focus on adding value!Now you know who your audience is, the real question is:What type of content would make your audience’s life better?Just like good brands, good content solves problems.Consumers are not interested in interruptive marketing. They want ease,interactivity, sociability and value. Forget the hard sell and focus on makingyour business a valuable part of consumers’ lives.6
2. Defining your goalsIt might seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many marketing professionals launcha new business blog or go crazy on social media spend without knowing their objectives.What do you want to achieve with content and how will you make a return on your efforts?This will vary greatly between businesses and projects – even more reason to ensure you have aclear goal to work towards. It’s often best to select a single objective for your content strategy,then consider secondary objectives if appropriate.7
Common business objectives ofcontent marketingGenerate demand: A fundamental objective of content marketing is to build brand awareness and reputation,ultimately generating demand. The goal may be you’re trying to find a more effective way than advertising tocreate awareness for your product or service. This is the long-tail strategy. Content marketing is an ideal vehiclefor that, as it’s organic and authentic – a great way for you to start driving demand.Customer loyalty and retention: The goal isn’t just to win a new customer, but to build a community of loyalfollowers. Continue to nurture the relationship with relevant content and you’ll be front of mind next timethey’re ready to buy. It’s about providing great customer service before, during and after the buying process.Visibility: People are turning to websites as their primary source of information – each day there are more thanone billion search requests on Google alone. Having optimised content on your website is great for SEO andallows you to capitalise on the largest advertising platform in the world.Lead conversion and nurturing: Create content that’s in demand and people will give up enough informationabout themselves to allow you to “market” to them. Common tactics include getting them to sign up to receivewhitepapers, subscribe to editorial-style eDMs or register for a webinar or event. Once you have the prospect’spermission – and their email address – you can use content to help move them through the cycle.Customer upsell: Sales no longer end at the checkout – content gives you the opportunity to create an ongoingrelationship with the buyer, keeping them informed about what other products and services you offer.8
93. Tactics and implementationAnd now for the fun part! You know who you’re writing for and what yourgoals are, so how are you going to achieve them?If you haven’t already done so, now is the time to define your:• Topic areas/categories and formats• Frequency• Publishing platform and distribution• Contributors• ResourcesA logical way to pull this information together is to develop an editorialcalendar.
10Editorial calendarProducer deadline Publish date Category Format Topic Writer Results15-May 20-MayGrowing Blog6 things that instantly sway customer buyingdecisions Nigel950 views; 128 click throughs,shares etc.15-May 21-MayLifestyle BlogHow to prioritise your workflow (and your life!)Neha15-May 22-MayManaging Case studyEgo: A dirty word or the key to business success?Nick15-May 23-MayMarketing Interview The ins and outs of word-of-mouth marketing Kat20-May 30-MayMoney Video Your EOFY checklist: Part 1 Anthony20-May 25-MayTechnology White paper The BYOD revolution JonathanDeveloping an editorial calendarAn editorial calendar is big-picture overview of your content schedule that helps you plan for upcoming events, holidayseasons, product launches… It also helps you manage all those deadlines and resources! When choosing topics,consider:Relevance: Choose topics related to your prospect’s main goals and pain points.Timeliness: What is relevant to your audience right now? Plan ahead by looking to topics you can return to during thesame month each year (e.g., holiday-related themes for December; tax-related content for end of financial year orthemes that coincide with major conferences in your industry).Significance: What does your company specialise in? Why would an audience listen to what you have to say about thistopic? If your objective is to establish thought leadership in your industry, be sure to stay relevant.Format: What format best suits the topic? Would a statistics-based piece be better as an infographic? Would that casestudy work best as a video? Is that topic too in-depth for a blog, but perfect for a white paper?Resources: Who is qualified to write about this? And how much time and budget will it take to produce?
Briefing your content producersWho you get to produce your content – and how you get them to produce it – is paramount to creating quality content.So what does a writer need to know?• Share your content mission statement and objectives and give a concise summary of the project.• Target audience and content reach/distribution.• Relevant URLs and content with which to benchmark.• SEO requirements: Are their any guidelines around keywords, etc?• Content format and word count.• Tone: Formal; conversational; professional…• Style: Editorial magazine-like coverage; news reporting…• Structure: Short snappy headline; paragraphs with subheads; bullet points…• CTA: Is there a specific call to action? Should they encourage comments by asking a question?• Mandatory inclusions: A particular product or service, quote someone from your business or other?• Source requirements and style: Footnotes; hyperlinks…• Do they need to include a writer bio? Will you require a photo of your contributor?• Deadlines and admin (how to submit, copyright agreements, invoicing processes).Video, infographic designers and others will also require brand guidelines and visual direction, length, size, etc.11
4. Measurement and optimisationOnce you’ve established your content strategy, it’s important you measure its success in order todetermine the contribution it’s making to the achievement of your marketing objectives – is ittruly generating demand? What’s your ROI? What type of content is working and what’s not? Andhow do you optimise this to increase ROI?Let’s go back to the start. What were our objectives?Ultimately the end goal is action, not eyeballs!Measuring page views is just the beginning. Consider:• Consumption metrics: How many people viewed, downloaded or listened to your content?• Sharing metrics: Do people like your content enough to share it?• Lead generation metrics: How often does content consumption result in a lead?• Sales metrics: You’ve come up with a strategy and implemented it, but are you actuallymaking any cold hard cash?12
Remember, content strategy is ever-evolvingA content strategy is not a single solution – running through thisfour-step process won’t guarantee your success.Content activities are scalable and can be modified to fit anybudget. You don’t necessarily need a large, formal contentstrategy that takes months to put together. But you can’t expectto get where you want to go if you don’t know where that is.Take the time to think things through. Define your audiencepersona, determine your business goals, structure yourresources and workflow. Most importantly, always measure yoursuccess.13
14Presented by King Content, Australia’s most-awarded digitalcontent marketing agency.Check out our blog for more ideas, facts and advice.www.kingcontent.com.au@King_Content