In this article, I have put together a list of the most important things to keep in mind when planning a strategic content marketing campaign.
Tips For Strategic Content Marketing
1. Know Who You Are Talking To
To be successful, you need to know how they think, speak, and feel. Many marketers think that they know their customers well, but most of the time this is not true.
Those who know their customers well are often the sales teams. This is because they are the ones who talk to leads and prospects on a daily basis and thus get to hear the challenges, problems, and excuses for not buying your services.
Therefore, you should involve your sales team in the process, not just in getting to know your customers but also in producing content that can help them move forward in their buying journey.
Create buyer personas and look at the questions your customers ask during their buying journey. You will be able to discover knowledge that already exists in your company but is rarely published online.
By publishing answers to frequently asked questions, you create content that is interesting to visitors. This will help you get more out of your content marketing strategies.
By identifying your potential customer’s pain points, problems, and challenges, you will find it easier to create content that attracts your ideal customers to your website. This increases your chances of creating new relationships and helps your leads move further in their decision-making process.
2. Have A Clear Content Marketing Strategy Framework
The work you do in creating the types of buyer personas will be valuable in developing your overall strategy for content or inbound marketing.
The strategy will be important when you carry out your campaigns. Without a clear strategy, it is easy to lose focus on results and do things haphazardly.
Remember that your strategy should be created based on your main goals. Examples of these goals include the number of new customers or sales over a certain period of time (as a result of your marketing efforts).
Companies that have a well-crafted strategy can measure exactly the number of sales a certain blog article has produced. They can also see how many customers a certain post on social media has generated.
By starting with your goals, you can create a reverse strategic plan. This plan takes into account how many customers, leads, visitors, etc. you need to get the result you want to achieve. The more interesting your content is, the more effective the strategy will be.
3. Involve The Whole Company
Investing in content marketing is not like buying an ad in the newspaper. It requires a completely different mindset and ideas from the marketing department, the sales, and the management team.
An organization that is not informed or involved in the strategic content marketing process creates a risk factor that could lead to some form of failure.
By involving the right people early in the process and thinking about how they can help with the work of producing content, you avoid the risk of failure. Remember that content marketing is a team effort.
The most common reasons for a content marketing strategy to fall short:
- The management does not understand the process or have the patience to achieve the desired results
- The marketing team, the sales, and the rest of the organization do not work together
For these reasons, a lot of companies also choose to outsource content production to external agencies. It can be an effective way to move forward, but it is still important and valuable than your company’s expertise shines through the articles or content that is produced.
Some companies go so far with their B2B marketing that they see themselves as a media company that happens to be working with services or products rather than a service or product company trying to handle content marketing.
All signs point to the fact that it is this change and approach that more B2B companies need to adopt.
The least you can do as an organization is to appoint a content manager or project manager who oversees all the content activities. This includes employing staff, collecting information, coordinating external writers, and keeping track of all the discussions.
4. Use An Agile Project Method For Strategic Content Marketing
The best way to implement your content marketing strategy is using campaigns.
Each campaign consists of several different activities that must contribute to fulfilling the same objective, e.g., attracting visitors, converting leads, and bringing in new customers with the common goal of achieving a certain number of sales.
By dividing the work into campaigns, you get an overview of what needs to be done in a systematic way. You don’t have to be distracted by tasks that are further ahead or the ones that you have been occupied with until now.
Keep in mind that it is worthless if you get a lot of traffic and don’t do something with it. It is also not very useful if you get a lot of leads and don’t have a method to convert them into customers.
Working with campaigns helps you focus on the exact parts of the buying process (based on the customer) that need to be optimized for your marketing and sales to work.
You create these campaigns to have clear goals and to be able to measure your progress. With this process, you will be able to learn what works and what has not been effective.
This means that after each quarter you can reset your goals and move your plans forward. It also means that you can learn what worked and what you should do more or less in the future. Feel free to learn more about working according to a 90-day marketing plan.
Benefits Of Agile Method
By using an agile method, which in inbound marketing is also called growth-driven design, you achieve a number of benefits:
- Take fewer chances and reduce the risk of poor investments
- Learn as you implement the strategy
- Do not lose momentum but divide the work effort at a level that suits your organization
- Build your web presence based on the customer
- Follow a results-driven approach to work
- Have a short time horizon and thus increase the chances of reaching your goals
To have clear and achievable goals, it is recommended that you start working with smart goals. Read more about smart goals here.
5. Get A System That Measures Everything
By using the same system for measurement, optimization, and analysis that focuses on the user, you get access to valuable information to beat your competition.
The result is that you can optimize your company’s marketing and sales in real-time. You will be able to do this long before the management sees any weaknesses in the analytics or fluctuations in the market.
The sales team gets leads that are ready to buy. The marketing team gets valuable information about the topics and content that generate the highest number of sales.
The content can be used to help and guide customers throughout the entire buying journey. From new visitors to satisfied and returning customers.
Examples of such systems are HubSpot, Marketo, and Act-On. The most important part is not the features of the system but how you use them.
Being able to follow a data-driven approach by measuring and monitoring each individual marketing activity is a clear competitive advantage in the digital world.
Without that, it is impossible to predict how your marketing efforts can affect sales in the short or long term.
Content Marketing KPIs Based On Users
There are many benefits of having a system that revolves around users. You can:
- clearly see what the user has been interested in, whether it is a blog article or video
- find out how the person came in contact with your company
- measure the output of each marketing activity in dollar figures
- give the sales team crucial information about a lead that is facing a buying decision
- automate communication and help your leads become more educated and trust their choice of the supplier
- test the copy and versions of the call-to-action buttons, emails, etc. to optimize your communication
By following these 5 tips, you have come a long way in understanding what it takes to set up an effective inbound marketing and content marketing strategy.