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Strategy, Content Marketing

Written by Devon Zimny

Are you doing all the right things when it comes to content marketing?

Creating remarkable content? Check.

Speaking to your personas? Check.

Creating content for each phase of the buyer’s journey? Check.

Perhaps the right boxes are checked, but you still aren’t achieving the results you are looking for?

So, what’s missing? A strategic content marketing strategy.

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Without a strategy driving your content marketing, it can be easy to get lost in the tactics. This is why 58% of the most effective B2C marketers have a documented content marketing strategy in place.

Valuable content is important, but cannot function successfully without strategy.

Make sure you keep these three components top of mind when creating your content:

1. Who are you writing the content for?

You need to understand who you are trying to reach with each piece of content in order to create content that will resonate with them.  If your content is too generic, you risk not connecting with any of your personas. Your content strategy should always start with determining your target persona.  Then, dig deeper to get to know who they are. Research your persona in real time. Identifying their likes, dislikes, and needs, as well as watching the blogosphere and their social media activity, allows you to see what’s being discussed and what resonates. Bottom line: talk, watch, analyze, and we guarantee it will help your content perform.

2. How will you promote the content?

Once you have created your remarkable content, it is important to promote it!  How do you get more traffic to your content?  The answer to this one is simple: where are your personas? Do they spend time on social media?  Which platforms?  What related topics are they searching for on Google? Understanding where your personas spend their time online is important so you can more effectively target your efforts. Also, don’t forget to utilize email. Email is a great (and easy) medium to reach your customers and prospects. 

3. What happens next after someone engages with the content?

This is where having a strategy, and a plan to implement it, is key. After your persona has engaged with your content, what’s next?  Do you have related content that may interest them?  Can you follow up with other offers via email?  Thinking through the next steps will lead to better results from your content marketing program.

Developing a strategy allows you to prioritize your content, to optimize the best way to promote that content, and to track and analyze your results. We can’t stress tracking your results enough! Analyzing your data is what will help you improve your content and strategy every time.

Consider this example:

You have developed an amazing how-to guide for your mom persona, Jennifer. The guide is a valuable resource, beautifully designed, and provides detailed content that will fill a need for Jennifer and your larger mom audience. Now it’s time to share the guide you have worked so hard to create. But, what social networks should you promote the guide on? What supporting blog posts are needed to attract the mom audience? What other pieces of content are needed to move her through the buyer’s journey? What emails need to be created to nurture her?

With a solid, well thought out content marketing strategy in place, you can easily answer those questions. Not only will your strategic plan help guide you, but it will also help you measure your results so you can continually improve your overall strategy.

Having a plan in place has perhaps never been so important. Why? Well, 69% of B2C and 70% of B2B marketers are producing more content this year than last year. This means that to be competitive, and successful in your efforts; a content marketing plan is essential. Hubspot has created a great content planning template that can help guide you through the process of developing your strategic plan. And, for some additional tips on how to build an unbeatable content marketing plan, check out those tips here.

And now, we’re turning it over to you! Let’s talk strategic planning. If you have implemented a strategy to support your content marketing, what have you found to be most valuable? How has planning helped to support and increase your efforts? Please leave a comment below, and let’s discuss!