Top Content Marketing Strategies and Tactics
Content marketing is a special technology for the formation and dissemination of information in order to attract the target audience. The main objectives of this approach are to encourage consumers to take specific actions and engage them in a conversion scenario. In other words, content marketing provides potential buyers with information in the right place at the right time.
Content marketing allows you to establish a “conveyor” and deliver relevant and relevant information to the target audience. The strategy provides an opportunity to combine goals and means. At the same time, goals depend on business objectives and usually consist of increasing sales or maintaining their level. Under the means understood the choice of content format and distribution channels.
However, this only happens with the proper use of the tool. To obtain the desired effect, a combination of the advantages of the strategy and practice of content marketing is required.
First of all, there should be an understanding of the below points –
- Features of content that will really work for the interests of the business, taking into account the understanding of the needs of the target audience. For example, in one case, it is necessary to provide potential consumers with more information about the company’s products, in the other – to actively stimulate the target audience to make a purchase, in the third – to convince of the benefits of using the company’s products.
- Frequencies of using certain marketing techniques. This factor can be not only a strategic but also a tactical task. From the point of view of strategy, the factor of timeliness is important; the publication calendar helps to take it into account.
- The main platforms for publishing content. Content distribution should take into account the preferences of the target audience in choosing a particular platform for communication.
All these issues are covered by the content marketing strategy: a set of measures aimed at studying the information needs of the audience, creating relevant publications and promoting them.
Without a strategy, a company runs the risk of distributing its content in the hope that it will reach a potential consumer in one way or another. But it’s not at all a fact that this will really happen. The strategy makes it possible to create content based on clear planning, effectively promote it, measure the effectiveness of its actions, use the information obtained using metrics in order to increase the final result.
Key Elements of Content Marketing Strategy and Tactics
Each company has its own characteristics, and therefore the strategy cannot be universal. However, there are basic elements on which the strategy and practice of content marketing are built.
Content Marketing Strategy Planning
Any action begins with an idea, and brand or product promotion is no exception. The basis of planning a content marketing strategy is the basic understanding on which the relationship between the supplier and the consumer around the product is built:
- Understanding of the problems, goals, way of thinking of the buyer;
- Understanding the product as a means of solving consumer problems;
- Understanding the essence of marketing in terms of assisting the buyer in solving the problem.
There is such a thing as a sales funnel – the degree to which the buyer is ready for targeted actions. The first step in the direction of the transaction is the awareness of the existing problem, the second is the search for recommendations on how to solve it on the Internet. Further, the consumer realizes the availability of alternative options for solving his problem, makes an informed decision regarding the choice of product and makes a purchase.
When planning a content marketing strategy, every question that a consumer has at any stage of a sales funnel turns into an informational occasion for creating useful and relevant content.
Setting up of business goals in content marketing
Content marketing goals should provide a competitive advantage for the business. The specific formulations and analysis of the real market situation are important here. These goals may include:
- Increased traffic;
- Increase loyalty;
- Brand awareness;
- Cost reduction of leads.
The strategy and practice of content marketing are built in such a way that the achievement of goals means the achievement of a certain result.
Increase Site Traffic
To increase site traffic it is necessary to determine the appropriate content on the desired topic, to determine a key request. After publication, results are monitored, the number of transitions to the post, indicators of social activity are analyzed. If the indicators are not high enough, optimization is required. Content should be ranked in search engines for key queries and contain relevant keys with sufficient frequency so that search engines show it as high as possible in their rankings.
Practicing marketers use many different programs to analyze the content of the site. Such tools make it possible to analyze the content, and, if necessary, optimize it by examining the data for keywords.
When SEO-optimization takes into account the following points:
- Quality of content;
- User interaction with information;
- Technical indicators of pages;
- Number of images;
- Fragmentation of content.
Optimization eliminates common errors that impede traffic growth. This may be problems with the download speed, lack of a mobile version of the resource, meta tags mismatch with the content of the page.
Increase in Brand Loyalty
Each buyer prefers certain brands, appreciates them for quality, design, popularity or other characteristics. This is called loyalty. Not only an increase in sales volumes but also additional benefits for the business depends on this factor. With such an interesting audience, an organization can afford to reduce promotion costs, set the best prices, maintain a customer base in times of crisis, and not depend on the actions of competitors.
Effective implementation of a content marketing strategy allows you to increase loyalty in several ways:
- Attract new customers while stimulating existing customers throughout the sales funnel;
- Represent the company as an expert in its segment due to relevant content;
- To expand the scope of the brand’s impact on the target audience through publications on different platforms;
- Increase the number of potential buyers who avoid traditional advertising but value useful content.
The main advantage of the content marketing strategy is the formation of brand commitment, not even at the time of the purchase, but long before this action.
The first step to increasing brand awareness will be the analysis of changes in interest in the company in the network. An increase in the popularity of the brand is indicated by an increase in direct traffic, numerous reviews, and user publications on social networks.
To increase recognition, you need only two factors: placing the content in places of maximum concentration of the target audience and creating a positive image. External publications, for example, on industry sites, are perfectly able to cope with these tasks. Due to high-quality external links, the site ranking is further increased.
To increase brand awareness allows contextual and media advertising, promotion in social networks and instant messengers. The main task of the marketer is to select exactly those methods and such content that are most consistent with the tasks and specifics of the company. Another important nuance – the strategy and practice of content marketing involve a huge variety of tactics. However, the actual execution largely depends on the budget for content marketing.
Reduction in Cost of Leads
A well-built content marketing strategy allows you to attract more customers without increasing advertising costs. This effect is obtained by reducing the cost of lead – Cost-per-Lead. Depending on the situation, there are various ways to lower the cost of lead while increasing the effectiveness of advertising. The main conditions here are:
- Unambiguous understanding of conversions at different stages of the sales funnel;
- Optimization of conversion paths for each stage of the sales funnel;
- Optimization of the advertising campaign itself;
- Removing sources of inappropriate traffic;
- Redistribution of traffic into “working” conversion channels.
Identifying the Needs of the Target Audience
The success of a content strategy directly depends on understanding the needs and interests of potential buyers. To create content that is interesting to the target audience, it is necessary to clearly represent the social status, profession, age, education, place of residence, hobbies and preferences of customers. Quality content should help people solve their problems.
Creating a portrait of the buyer, marketers are working on segmenting the target audience, identifying sustainable trends for each segment. Thus, lists are formed according to the basic preferences and existing needs of potential customers.
Assignment of Practical Tasks for the Implementation of Content Marketing
Depending on existing needs, the practical goals of a content marketing strategy can be:
- Successful launch of a new product on the market with a quick start to sales;
- Expanding the reach of the target audience;
- Sale of their products;
- Getting advantages over competitors;
- Increasing the number of orders and sales.
The practical implementation of the tactical objectives of content marketing consists of several stages:
- Analysis of keywords for a specific topic from the calendar;
- Choosing a format for content;
- Preparation of technical specifications for creating content;
- Minimizing the cost of creating and distributing content;
- Content management on selected platforms;
- Organization of curation and syndication of content;
- The attraction of influencers;
- Maintaining a dialogue with the target audience that responded to the publication;
- Analysis of the client’s travel map on the company’s website;
- Generating a report on key indicators.
The Choice of Platforms for the Implementation of Tasks
A content platform is an online resource where users can see or hear content, study it and interact with it. These are sections of corporate sites, blogs, individual online magazines, social networks, forums, etc.
To select the optimal platforms, knowledge of the functioning of all existing content distribution channels is required, as well as an analysis of the effectiveness of the distributed content at various sites.
Creating an Editorial Calendar for Implementing the Strategy
A well-composed editorial calendar for implementing a content strategy will help you not to miss anything. Such a document usually indicates:
- How often content will be published;
- Planned volumes of content publication;
- Ways to organize content in the company;
- Responsible staff for each type of publication;
- Formats of the placed content.
It is important that the editorial calendar is in line with the daily routine of the target audience.
Defining Metrics to Evaluate Strategy
The collection of certain data depends on the chosen strategy and practice of content marketing. The effectiveness of the company’s own website, promotion on social media or on third-party sites is evaluated by various metrics.
There are several formats for metrics:
- Blog Performance Report;
- Assessment of interaction with content;
- Lead Generation Analysis;
- Social metrics;
- Traffic measurements;
- SEO metrics.
Any activity in the field of content marketing can be analyzed, you just need to choose the right metric.
Budgeting for Content Marketing
The calculation of the budget should be fully justified. The basis of planning is the assessment of the financial capabilities of the company, the definition of the main directions of promotion and the setting of advertising goals.
Based on the company’s sales data for the previous period, the profit for the next year is forecasted. Expenses are deducted from it and an approximate assessment of financial opportunities is obtained. The budget for the content marketing strategy is based on the forecast of the company’s revenue growth due to increased conversions at each stage of the sales funnel.
For operational control of the effectiveness of spending the budget on content marketing, content analysis is used.
The purpose of content analysis is to collect information about published content for the subsequent study of qualitative and quantitative indicators. The methodology for studying the data obtained is selected based on the characteristics of the strategy and practice of content marketing in each case.
The benefits of content marketing include extensive planning, performance analysis, and optimization opportunities to attract new customers and increase brand loyalty.