“Content is king” is not a new concept, but it seems to be one that many marketers easily forget. It shouldn’t be. Quality content is one of the most important aspects in marketing, especially from an inbound perspective. Content is the driving force behind the inbound method of Attract, Convert, Close, and Delight; quality content is what moves a prospect across each step.
Before the internet, marketing was defined by physical space like the size of the ad or the amount of words, but the post-internet world of marketing doesn’t have this limitation. Instead, marketing is measured by how much attention you draw. Having a solid content marketing strategy is important to pull attention – and keep it.
Developing a plan for content creation
One important consideration for your content marketing strategy is forming a content development plan, which helps to ensure your content is coordinated and consistent. Surprisingly, only 44 percent of business-to-business (B2B) and 39 percent of business-to-customer (B2C) organizations have content development plans for their content marketing strategy. This can lead to inconsistent quality and an uncoordinated effort in reaching prospects.
A basic approach for a content marketing strategy is to Plan, Create, Distribute, and Analyze. Naturally, the first step is to plan what your content will be. During this process, it’s important to consider a buyer persona. Think about who will read the article and how they will benefit from it. Ask yourself what format will be most useful to them; would a video or a blog make your content resonate with your buyer persona more? Without taking your target and their needs into account, your content will struggle to serve a purpose.
Creating content with the consumer in mind
As you create your content, think about where your buyer persona is in the buyer’s journey. If your buyer is in the awareness stage, your content should focus mostly on informing about the problem they're facing, while solutions should be discussed if they are in the consideration stage. You should avoid mentioning your personal product or service for these two stages, as this could impact your credibility. Only during the decision stage should you mention what your business can offer the buyer.
It’s best to make your content easy to consume as well. Assume your buyer is as busy as you are; a five page ebook will probably garner more attention and inform your prospects more than a 50 page one will. It’s also vital to make sure your content is educational rather than promotional, and that you focus on information before design. At the same time, don't forget to make your content enjoyable as well. While the layout and aesthetics of content are important in their own right, the quality of the content itself is key.
Reaching your audience and re-evaluating
Once you produce your content and are ready to go, the next step is to distribute it. What good is quality content if no one knows about it? Take it to your website, email lists, and social media to help your content reach the masses. Once you’ve distributed your content, analyze it to see what you’re doing right. Check the number of visits, shares, inbound links from other sites, comments, and conversions your content is getting.
Make sure your content marketing strategy is achieving whatever goals you set for it. If it’s not working out, re-evaluate and tweak what needs to be fixed. If it’s succeeding, repeat the developing process with more quality content so you can continue to benefit your buyers and expand your marketing reach.
Since 2002, Half a Bubble Out has been dedicated to providing marketing, advertising, and small business consulting that meet the needs of our clients. We specialize in powerfully telling stories through Inbound Marketing to grow your business filled with more passion and provision. Based in Chico California, we serve clients throughout Northern California and across the country to New York.