Marketing

How to Build A Content Marketing Strategy

Content Marketing Strategy for Businesses

The world of online marketing has seen the future and the future is here… in the form of content. The release of Hummingbird confirms what we already know. Content is the future of internet marketing and will continue to be the driving force in marketing for the foreseeable future. The Content Marketing Institute’s 2013 survey reveals that 86% of B2C companies are planning to increase or maintain their current content marketing budget and 54% of B2B companies are increasing their content marketing budgets for 2013. What is it all about? We all know that Google and the other major search engines are constantly improving their algorithms. According to Google, these changes reflect the fact that content is king and will always be king. “Relevancy” is what makes the online advertising world go round. Finding new ways to create content to earn valuable links and traffic requires new strategies. Old tried and true link building strategies do not work as effectively as they did in the past. Helping companies develop a content strategy framework takes time and significant research efforts. Where do you start? Start at the beginning by researching the company for whom you are developing the content strategy framework.

1. Getting to Know You

research

Start by researching the company and examining the company’s business model. Pay specific attention to how they generate revenue:
    • Learn how the company generates revenue
  • Research the customer base to see what attracts customers
  • Learn and understand the current content process from deciding what content is created, who approves it, and how it supports the business’ brand recognition strategy, provided they have one.

2. Collect Data

There is no substitute for thorough data collection. It is vital to good decision making:
  • Competitor analysis focused on their content and user engagement
  • Keyword research and landing page metrics to see what combinations are attracting the most traffic.
  • Market research & customer surveys (Survey monkey is a good tool and offers survey template to help hone the questions you ask)

3. Prepare and Assess

Analyze the data to see how it compares to previous data:
  • Create a benchmark audit using analytics and metrics
  • Clearly define the goals for future content based on past performance, existing content organization, and future opportunities
  • Clarify goals for the content strategy. Goals should include strategies containing:
    • Increasing conversions
    • Increasing audience engagement
    • Increasing brand awareness
    • Increasing organic traffic to the site
  • Define editorial style:
    • Who will be included in content development and implementation?
    • Define all dependencies and timelines for sign off
    • Define the sites style/tone and standards of engagement
  • Define the content strategy:
    • What type and style of content will be produced for the site?
    • What are the keywords the content will target?
    • Where will the content sit on the site… in existing categories or new categories?

4. Prospect

Identify other sites and individuals that have interest in the types of content the company will produce. Look for ways to engage them and focus on developing relationships with those who have influence to promote the content.
  • You can find and reach out to influencers using tools like FollowerWork and Topsy
  • Stay informed of industry news
  • Monitor the content niche competitors are creating and how users are engaging with it.

5. Create and Promote

Using the new internal and editorial processes, begin creating the new content. The content needs to be incredible, not just good. There is a lot of competition out there, so keep your eye on the most popular and effective content. Use the following questions to assess your content:
  • Is the content relevant and informative?
  • Is the content believable and credible?
  • Is the content well written and easy to understand?
  • Is the content helpful and useful?
  • Is the content high quality?
Once the content is created, get it into the hands of those with the greatest influence so it can be spread and dispersed effectively across the internet and across industries.

6. Review and Assess Performance

Review and continual improvement are crucial to on-going success. Review how the content is performing and note lessons learned. From there, make any needed changes to the process, or to the content. Having a content strategy makes your site more valuable because content is being used to accomplish more than just establish links. Content is the cornerstone to engaging with potential customers, building relationships on multiple levels, establishing authority in your industry, and strategies for increasing brand awareness. Content will allow you to attract more traffic, improve your SEO, and earn organic links naturally.

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