Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last year, you know content marketing is the BIG thing in digital marketing today. But, do you know how to optimize content marketing strategy to reach your goals?
I ran across this infographic the other day and thought it made a good start on how to optimize content marketing strategy and it’s only 7 steps!
7 steps to optimize content marketing strategy
Step 1. Goals
Any marketing strategy revolves around your goals so your first step is creating goals — preferably SMART goals. You need goals related to market performance, such as leads and sales, but you also need goals related to your marketing funnel. A marketing funnel reflects HOW your network gets to the point where they’re a lead or sale.
Here’s one example of some factors you might include in your goal setting as they impact market performance.
At this point, it’s also a good idea to create KPI’s (key performance indicators) that you’ll use later to evaluate how well your content marketing strategy is doing.
Step 2. Research
Now it’s time to research your target market. Develop a deep knowledge of the folks who are likely to buy your product or service — what’s important to them, how do they live their lives, in B2B you need to also understand who is involved in buying and what the process looks like.
Then, segment your target market into subgroups — segments — if appropriate. We talk about creating personas to reflect these segments. You’ll later create content for each segment. For instance, a client sells novelty t-shirts. His target is primarily teens and young adults, so we create content they’ll find interesting and using language that resonates with them. We also create content for their parents who we attract to buy the shirts as gifts. Obviously, this content is different.
You’ll also want to research what others are talking about in this space, as this helps in creating content. Note, this research is an ongoing part of an optimized content marketing strategy because you’ll want content that’s topical. Use keywords that represent users searches to optimize your organic search traffic and even help with paid search.
Step 3. Plan
I find a content marketing calendar invaluable in creating consistently high quality content on a frequent basis — normally 2-3 times per week. The more detail contained in your content marketing calendar, the easier you’ll find the next step — creating content. I like to include a working title (which may change before publication), keywords optimized, target market, desired actions and outcomes, and images I’ll use in creating content.
A good content marketing calendar ensures you don’t face a blank screen, which often creates writers’ block and makes content creation harder. But, don’t be afraid of varying from this calendar as outside events dictate.
Step 4. Create content
Value should be the overarching goal in your content marketing strategy — value for your audience. Only after you provide value can you THINK about gaining value from your audience. Most experts recommend an 80/20 distribution between content your audience will find valuable and content you’ll gain value from.
I focus most of my attention on creating content for my website since that’s where visitors can perform in ways that help reach my goals — such as becoming a lead or consummating a sale. I use Slideshare and YouTube to host content I’ll share on my website. I use Instagram to host videos I’ll upload to other social networks as part of my content creation strategy.
Curating content is equally important. I scan my RSS feeds daily to schedule content for shares on my social networks. Again, focus on value. Plus, content curation helps build a network of folks you can use to help amplify your content.
Step 5. Share
You’ll want to share your content across your social networks. Ensure you optimize content marketing for each social platform and don’t over share your content, which just looks spammy.
Step 6. Promote
Carefully promote your posts using email marketing, paid promotion on social networks, and PR.
A more successful strategy involves energizing your social network to amplify your content. Often, this involves a tit-for-tat after you’ve shared their content or provided some other service. Engaging your audience is also a good way to amplify your message.
Step 7. Analyze
Use the KPI’s created earlier to monitor your performance. Keep doing things that work and tweak things that DON’T work or get rid of them.
Do you need help to optimize content marketing strategy for your business? Whether you need a complete content marketing strategy, some help with Adwords, or some consulting to optimize your existing social media marketing, we can fill your digital marketing funnel. We can help you do your own social media marketing better or do it for you with our community managers, strategists, and account executives. You can request a FREE introductory meeting or sign up for my email newsletter to learn more about social media marketing.
I love it, even content marketing best practices start with “What are your goals?”, that just makes so much sense to me, I wonder how I ever thought any other way had any validity.
And posting content on a schedule, as opposed to watching the trendbots every day to find something to write about – excellent idea. These plans are ours, we make the goals, do the work, examine the outcomes and adjust as necessary.
A great article, thank you for taking the time to put it together and share it with us.