With content marketing being the best tool in a company's capture and conversion toolbox today, developing a great content marketing strategy is a must. The best content strategy is always centered on audience and platform and tells a compelling story. To get started with developing a content marketing strategy, it's important to first understand what content marketing is and why it works.
Creating a Content Marketing Strategy
The Content Marketing Institute provides one popular definition of content marketing: "a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience – and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action."
To break that down a bit, content marketing is creating things like blog posts, tutorials, eBooks, videos, infographics, webinars and other types of content that provide value to your audience as a way that builds a strong relationship with target consumers. Once a consumer has a relationship with a brand -- once they see the brand as a trustworthy source of information or a consistent source of entertainment -- they are much more likely to buy from that brand.
Consumers find good storytelling endlessly compelling, and will regard brands that engage with them on this level more positively, eventually influencing their purchasing decisions or even turning them into promoters of your brand.
However, simply starting to publish content is not sufficient to garner marketing success. To reap all the benefits of content marketing, it is vital to have a content marketing strategy.
Getting Started with Content Marketing Strategy
When content marketing is done well, it works because it is part of an overall strategy that takes into account the target audience, what platforms they use, and how they use them. In addition, it serves up content that the audience finds interesting, entertaining, helpful, engaging, or informative. In order to do this successfully, you need to follow certain steps in setting up your content marketing strategy.
First, identify your audience. Who would benefit from using your product, and why? What is important to these people? Where do they spend their time, online and offline? What are their social media usage habits?
Conduct research to get a solid understanding of your target audience. The key to content marketing is to make an emotional connection with your audience, so understanding them as individual people with needs and wants is essential.