Are you running a top-notch content marketing strategy?
Before answering ‘yes’, consider this: 91% of B2B marketers claim to be using content marketing but the majority of them don’t have a clearly defined strategy.
The truth is that most of us are ‘doing’ content marketing but the level at which it’s incorporated varies drastically, as do the ensuing results.
Content Marketing Done Right
When done correctly, content marketing can bring incredible results:
- Content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing
- It generates 3 times as many leads per dollar spent
- 88% of businesses claim that content marketing assists with lead generation and boosts sales.
- On average, companies with blogs generate 67% more leads a month
How to Plan a Successful Content Marketing Strategy
Content marketing is so much more than writing some blogs or whitepapers and putting them on your site. It’s an intricate map of clearly defined content that drives every step of the marketing and sales funnel for your target personas.
Here are 4 steps to content marketing success:
- Define Clear Objectives & Get Set to Analyze
Defining goals is the starting point of any successful marketing strategy. Before setting out your plan, consider which metrics you’ll be tracking (i.e. organic traffic, leads generated, MQLs, SQLs etc.) and give a target for each one.
Implement tracking pixels for tools like Google Analytics or Hotjar in advance so you can see how many prospects are coming to read your content - and how long you’re engaging them for.
- Map Out Content According to Personas & the Funnel Stage
There are two key pillars to consider when mapping out your content matrix: your target personas and the stage of your marketing & sales funnel.
In general, the mode will be determined by your funnel stage and the topic by your buyer persona. For example: blogs, videos, and social media posts are great for top of the funnel. Webinars, ebooks, and whitepapers are ideal for middle of the funnel content and case studies and use cases will help push prospects & leads through to the sale.
Before planning the topics, you’ll need to define your ideal personas and map out themes and subjects in accordance with their pain points, needs and interests. In the planning stages, you may also want to review the content being prepared by your competitors and ensure that you’re not missing any vital themes and topics. Review the content that you already have and map it according to your matrix. Identify gaps in content and make a list of everything you still need to produce.
- Create a Content Marketing Roadmap & Distribute Your Content
Decide which channels you want to distribute your content on and plan a content marketing roadmap for at least the next 2 quarters.
At this stage you’ll also need to allocate resources and decide which content can be repurposed and what should be written from scratch. You may even want to put together a detailed editorial calendar to keep track of everything that is published, on which channel and when.
Many marketing automation platforms like Hubspot allow you to create content calendars and distribute content across multiple channels.
A word of warning - never forget SEO! Content marketing and SEO go hand-in-hand. Without SEO, you could be writing content that no-one will ever find. Therefore, your SEO strategy and keywords should be considered and selected before every new piece of content is started. Creating topic clusters and pillar pages (website pages that cover a broad topic in depth and are linked to a cluster of related content) are powerful ways to ensure that your content gets picked up by google. Watch this webinar to learn how to create pillar content that google will love.
- Analyze, Measure & Optimize
If you want to be sure that your content is hitting the mark, you need to look at the data. Set yourself a regular task to review and analyze the results of your content marketing efforts. This will enable you to understand:
- The hot topics really engaging your audience
- Content that requires optimization and improvement
- The ROI of your content and which channels are bringing the best results
Need help defining your content marketing strategy? Book a free consultation with one of our content marketing experts today.