Content marketing is more than just drafting a whitepaper or posting occasionally on a blog. Instead, there should be a cohesive strategy around how content can support and strengthen your marketing communications efforts.
Creating quality content that aligns with customers’ needs and interests attracts inbound traffic, which can then be nurtured, converted and developed into advocates for your brand.
Interested in developing a content marketing strategy? You’ll need to start by asking these eight questions.
What business goals can be supported by content marketing?
These goals will help you address what you want to accomplish with content marketing, such as brand awareness or lead nurturing. From there, you identify the measurable objectives and develop the tactics that need to be executed in order to meet those objectives.
What keywords do you want associated with your brand, product or service?
Content marketing allows you to leverage the connection between your company and these terms, which is especially critical in SEO.
Who are you trying to reach?
You are likely trying to reach multiple audiences and influencer groups. It is critical to understand these various personas — including their roles in the buying cycle — to create impactful content.
What are customers looking for from your content?
Having a better understanding of the answers, solutions and information your audiences are seeking from you allows you to create content that will provide value and resonate with them.
What action do you want them to take?
With content marketing, it often makes sense to work backward — identifying what you want the end user to do and creating the piece of content around that desired call-to-action.
Looking forward to the into execution phase, there are three additional questions that help ensure that the great content you’re creating is accessible, scalable and positioned for long-term success.
Where will you house content?
Having a single “hub,” such as a blog or page on your website, enables customers and potential customers to easily access content.
How will people find your content?
Without dissemination channels, your content won’t have the impact that it could. Driving traffic through social media, public relations efforts and owned channels such as customer newsletters significantly increases the reach of your content.
How can we support ongoing content development?
Content marketing is not a campaign to be turned on and off, and the biggest obstacle to overcome is typically a lack of content. Identifying sources of content – both internally and externally – that can contribute on a continual basis will help alleviate this issue. For example, one of our clients identified several subject matter experts within their company whose expertise aligned with their messaging platform. We are now using those individuals as sources of content as part of their integrated marketing and PR strategy.
This list is not exhaustive — each of these questions leads to additional points to discuss and every company will have considerations for their particular business segment — but it serves as a starting point to developing a robust, strategic plan for content marketing.
Are you asking the right questions when it comes to planning content marketing?