Content marketing has become a top priority for brands and marketers across the world, but that doesn’t mean that everyone is doing it right or that we have even begun to reach the potential of what can be achieved via a good content marketing strategy. Every day, new case studies arise and new channels are born at an incredibly fast rate. Keeping up is not easy, but understanding what constitutes a good content marketing strategy is key.
And it’s a lot more than simply creating content and publishing it. Doing just that won’t get you the results you need and may feel like a waste of time or an endless chase for traffic, leads and attention. But by taking a campaign-focused approach, you will see the results you’re after, and this is where that very important word ‘marketing’ comes in, and is one that is often forgotten about.
So, what is content marketing?
Simply put, it’s a combination of editorial, marketing, PR, SEO and social media activities that work together to produce engaging, attention-grabbing, high-quality content to achieve a set of goals. The content itself can be anything from blog posts (like this one), to videos, images, webinars, whitepapers, infographics, GIFs… the list goes on!
Although the creation of this content is a very important element of the mix, it’s not content marketing in its entirety. The distribution and amplification of content play a key role in determining success.
Sounds obvious, right? But if your content doesn’t meet all three of these, then it probably won’t do as well as you’d hoped.
There is an overwhelming amount of content online so yours needs to be worthy of people’s time. If you wouldn’t give your own content the time of day, then you can’t expect your audience to either.
The third point is key. Creating good content is a good start, but it’s just that: a start. And this is where distribution and amplification come in. Having a solid campaign plan in place before you begin will make sure you don’t leave anything out and none of your precious time (and money) is wasted.
How do you create a content campaign?
As with any campaign it starts with a very simple question: what is your objective?
And then we add another set of questions:
- Who are you and what makes you special?
- Who is your target audience?
- How much resource do you have? (time, people, budget)
On the surface, these seem like easy questions. But answering these can be tougher than you think, and being specific is key. For example when answering ‘what is your objective?’ it’s no good just saying ‘new business’, you’ll need to be more specific. Are you trying to reach a new set of customers? Are you trying to promote a new product or service? What type of customer are you looking for? A loyal long-term customer? The type of customer who will tell their friends about you? And on the subject of customers, when answering the question ‘who is your target audience?’, more often than not I hear very broad answers like ‘male millennials’ or ‘young females who shop online’… this won’t work.
Again, specifics are important here. Think about more than just gender and age, and ask yourself:
At what stage in their life are they?
How much disposable income do they have?
What social media channels are they on?
How much time do they spend watching TV?
Do they even watch TV anymore or do they just Netflix?
Do they go to the cinema? The theatre? Concerts? Museums?
Do they like to travel? If so, luxury or budget?
Do they like to cook? Or do they prefer eating out?
Do they Instagram everything they eat?
Do they own a car?
Do they own a home?
All of these questions may seem strange and irrelevant, but by getting to know your audience in such a specific way, you can understand the type of content they would find valuable and be the one to deliver it.
From there, we begin to understand what type of content we should be creating, and in what format. We uncover what channels we should be distributing to and how we should amplify. Just like that, a campaign starts to emerge and all the pieces of the puzzle suddenly fit together and make sense.
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Author: Joana Ferreira