Since the advent of blogs, then YouTube, and social networks, content marketing has become THE most common form of marketing for brands. Videos, podcasts, MOOCs, blog posts: all these elements are part of well-defined and measured marketing strategies by brands in order to sell their products or services. So how do you develop a content marketing strategy that works, while differentiating yourself from your competitors? Find all our best tips in this article.
Define your goals
Of course, the number one goal will always be to sell. However, your content marketing strategy will need to figure out HOW to do that by defining objectives like:
- Improve brand image: brand image is what the public thinks of your brand and your company. It is therefore important that it is positive to ensure that there is no barrier to purchase.
- Attracting prospects: prospects are people who are interested in your product, but who have not yet purchased it. It is therefore important to attract them to your sales tunnel to convince them to take the plunge.
- Improve employer brand: As with improving brand image, improving employer brand is important because it affects the image of your company. If your employees have nothing but praise for their time spent at your service, it is important to show it, because it can make the difference with your competitors, whether it is in terms of sales to your customers, or recruitment of interesting profiles.
- Increase brand awareness: brand awareness is how well known you are to the public. A brand that has a high level of awareness is known by many people and is therefore more likely to sell its products.
The above examples are common objectives in content marketing strategies, however, you can define others depending on your needs, and your overall business strategy.
Know your targets
Another element that needs to be aligned with your overall business strategy: your targets. Take them and develop them into complete personas.
Personas are fictional portraits of the different targets you aim at with your brand and products. You can, for example, decide to target with your content your current customers as well as potential customers, they will not necessarily be the same target, nor the same persona sheet.
For each persona, you need to know:
- Who you are talking to (gender, age, job type, shopping habits, tastes etc)
- For what purpose you want to talk to them (increase awareness, improve brand image etc)
- How you want to talk to them (your tone of voice, their preferred type of content, their favorite sites etc)
It's also important that there is a hierarchy in your personas: do you favor the one that represents your core target (the people you want to sell to first) with commercial content and that aims at selling first, or do you prefer to prioritize your current customers by offering them tutorials and informative posts? There are no rules, it's up to you to decide according to your strategy. However, you'll need to know your personas inside and out to create content that really speaks to them.
Decide on a budget
There are two ways to define your budget: either your budget is predefined and the strategy must be adapted to it, or your budget is not limited and must be adapted to your strategy.
In the first case, first define with your hierarchy the budget that is allocated to you, and then decide on the most important objectives to be reached, the most essential channels and the essential expenditure items. You can then add expenses, if you have any budget left.
In the second case, define your strategy carefully and establish a detailed budget to submit to your management for approval.
Here are some examples of expenses to consider in your budget:
- The cost of the creative team (collaborators, freelancers etc)
- The cost of subscriptions
- The cost of the necessary equipment (camera, microphone etc)
Choose the channels to use
To effectively choose the channels you will use, you need to adapt to the elements you defined earlier. Do your research, as Facebook and Tik Tok do not reach the same targets, for example. Make sure you are consistent in your strategy by choosing core channels that will reach your target audience and achieve your goals.
Here is a non-exhaustive list of channels you can choose to use:
- Social networks: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin, Tik Tok, Snapchat, YouTube, Pinterest. All offer different features and audiences.
- Blogs, podcasts and educative content: demonstrate your expertise, or explain your product through informative and educational content.
- Your website: offer innovative content and engaging experiences within your site to make you unforgettable.
- Digital publishing: create your own magazine, share your catalog, offer excerpts. Digital publishing offers you many opportunities for content delivery.
As you choose your channel types, you'll also be able to select the type of content you want to create based on your audience and objectives: videos, infographics, a magazine, etc.
Predefine the statistics you want to track
Depending on the objectives you have previously determined, you will follow certain statistics with greater attention than others. These are called KPIs (Key Performance Indicators), statistics that you will follow over time. They are the ones that will tell you if you have reached your goals.
Some KPIs commonly followed in content marketing strategies:
- The number of subscribers
- The number of reads, or clicks
- Engagement rate
- Number of impressions
The number of subscribers can give you an estimate of the extent of your brand awareness for example, and each KPI you choose to track should be useful.
Relevant content will have good statistics, and less relevant content will not work as well with your audience. All this will allow you to readjust your content marketing strategy at any time.
Determine a workflow and an editorial calendar
Once you have determined all the above points, you can establish a workflow and an editorial calendar.
The workflow is a document that details the chain of work between team members. It should define who does what and when. Thus, you can detail the work of each position, and when it intervenes in the research, creation, uploading or monitoring of content.
The editorial calendar is another important document in content creation. Indeed, it details each type of post on each medium and defines the frequency between each online publication. You should also prepare a precise editorial calendar that details the content for the next few months, with the release date of each, to allow your team to create everything in advance.
As you can see, developing a content marketing strategy requires a number of steps to ensure the consistency and originality of the content you will offer to your audience. However, content marketing is a creative and inexpensive way to reach a large audience in a very short time, so it is not to be neglected.
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