Five steps to effective content marketing strategy

by Stratton Craig

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On average, the most effective content marketers use 15 different tactics to drive engagement1. Daunting? We know that trying to do too much when you don’t have the groundwork in place is a one-way ticket to a big marketing flop. Follow these five steps for content creation and you’ll see results.
Document the strategy
What do you want to achieve? Don’t know? That’s where you should start. 60% of B2C marketers that are most successful have a documented content strategy2. You need to establish what your goal is to devise an effective content plan. Think about who your target audience is, what topics are relevant to them, the platforms to use and the tone of voice (we’ll come back this later). Then set KPIs and work out how much time you have and if you need any extra resource. Documenting your content strategy is the essential groundwork that ensures your content creation reaches the right people and makes the right impression. So set aside a decent amount of time and get your colleagues on board to help.
Meaty content
Consider creating fewer but more substantial pieces of content that people can get their teeth stuck into, present you as an expert and offer something to your audience that actively helps them. They become more like a product than a savvy piece of marketing, drawing people back time and time again. Think eBooks, whitepapers, guides, templates and podcasts. Jason Miller, Global Content Marketing Leader at LinkedIn, calls these ‘Big Rocks’ and exclaims that a 56-page eBook titled ‘The Sophisticated Marketers Guide to LinkedIn’ has provided the best leads for two years.
Make it personal
Advertisers have been targeting people for years; cookies aren’t new and we’ve all know what it’s like when the kettle or lawnmower you’ve searched for follows you around the web. Targeting your audience is also important for content marketing strategy. You can send certain articles to specific people you know will be interested, optimise your meaty content at the right time to reach your target audience and recommend other articles they might find valuable.
Strong writing
Whatever you do, it’s got to be well written. This step starts with your tone of voice where you define your brand’s personality and how you’re going to reveal this through your writing. If you don’t have a tone of voice or style guide, consider attending a workshop. A few general tips would be to try to write in the active voice, avoid jargon, get to the point, keep it streamlined and get a proofreader to check for any typos, spelling or grammar mistakes. If you wouldn’t consider yourself a great writer, then get help – it’s fundamental to the success of your content creation.
Once you’ve documented your content marketing strategy you’ll have a set of KPIs to monitor. These KPIs should be based on what you want to achieve, be it increased leads, engagement, enquiries or something more specific, like a newsletter sign up. You should keep check on where stats are improving and where they might be missing to tweak the content or strategy. Another way to keep track is through content tagging. It’s also worthwhile adding links in your content so you can monitor what your audience is finding most useful in the content. The most important aspect of monitoring is to react by adjusting your strategy so it achieves your goals.
These five steps are just the start and there are plenty of other tactics out there to make your content more effective. For more tips, ideas and support with content marketing strategy and content creation, visit here.

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