And Action! Let’s build a content marketing strategy
"What is in it for me?" - a question that marketers in content marketing must answer from the customer's point of view. Because without clear added value, nothing will work in marketing in the future.
In marketing, there are many different methods, tools and channels that companies can use to achieve their goals such as increasing sales, generating leads or expanding their reach.
In recent years, one area of marketing has become more popular and is now an essential component of many strategies and approaches. We are talking about content marketing.
Studies by large companies such as Gartner have found that just a little bit over 40% of B2C and B2B marketers have a documented content marketing strategy. This documentation is essential for the development of the strategy and its continuous evolution.
In this article, we take a look at content marketing, highlight the most important points for building a content marketing strategy and name reasons why content marketing should be part of your future corporate strategy.
What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is a marketing method or technique in which companies create and publish content that is intended to provide added value for the respective target group. Compared to advertising, content provides helpful, entertaining or even advisory information that is intended to appeal to the target group and can also improve the public's perception of a company. As well as the perception among potential customers.
In content marketing, one of the methods used is storytelling, marketing through "stories" around products and taking the target audience on a "journey". The use of emotions and their targeted appeal are also important components of content marketing.
A strategy step by step
At first, content marketing sounds like a sensible method of entering into an exchange with potential customers - but how exactly does it work and what needs to be taken into account?
The basis of any content marketing is a well-developed strategy in the background, which ideally has also been put down on paper. And we'll now take a look at how this works in detail.
Step 1: Determine your target group and define your buyer personas.
The essential task of this step is to answer the question: Who am I marketing to, or in other words: Who is my customer?
Buyer personas help in this step because, as an "invented person" based on real data and market research, they more accurately embody the target audience than simply describing them by socio-demographic characteristics. Good buyer personas also include desires, fears and hopes. Real comments from your community on Instagram, for example, can also help here.
Step 2: The goal
Nothing works in marketing without goals - it has always been that way and probably will remain that way. Answer as for your business : Why are we doing this?
Here you can also think about your vision and thus answer the question of where you want to go. This goal in mind will help you define the steps to get there.
Step 3: Positioning
The most important thing here is to clearly describe the unique selling proposition your business has. What is your niche and what do you do better than others are key questions.
Step 4: Determine the characteristics, messages and topics of the content
For the characteristics, you answer the question "how" you want to talk to your target audience (casual, professional, ...).
Then you turn to the question of your messages: What values do I want the target audience to associate with my brand and what do we stand for at our core? So this is aimed at the question of what is the identity of your company.
Now to an important point: the themes. Around your core products, there are always themes that are directly and indirectly related to them. Identify these themes and create a mind map or map of your themes.
Here is an example: You have an online store and sell travel accessories such as suitcases. Your target group is therefore definitely interested in the topics of travel, transport and packaging. Other topics linked to this are then where the trip could go, travel tips for different countries, tips for packing for long trips, the distinction between private and business travel, etc.
This content map can also be used to create new personas for whom you can then write a blog article, for example (Tim, 36 years old, travels a lot for work and mostly flies long haul).
Step 5: The right channels and a plan are needed
Which channels are right for you depends on your target audience. Younger customers are often on social media, whereas older customers may also take the time to write a blog post. To do this, you'll need to research and possibly look at how your competitors have implemented this.
Then you need a plan in which you record which topics you want to play out via which channel and when to which target group.
Step 6: Let's go and test, test, test
Your strategy is now in the base and can be elaborated. Test different messages and observe the behavior of your target group. This will allow you to gradually decide how to define your niche even more finely and what will generate the most attention for you.
Your strategy at the beginning is an assumption of how you want to proceed. Through observation and trial and error, you can complete and improve the information picture.
Reasons to start with Content Marketing today
Now we have learned what should be part of a content marketing strategy. In view of the existing effort, the question arises as to whether it makes sense for one's own company to develop a content marketing strategy itself.
The answer to this is a resounding yes.
Based on the fact alone that content marketing is also gaining in importance from the consumer's point of view, it is important for one's own company to think about it. But there are other, important aspects that speak for it:
A content marketing strategy is long-term and scalable.
A cleanly set up strategy is not only the basis for continuously producing new content for the target audience and thus once work and effort that can be reused and leads to efficiency in the long run. Helpful content that people search for in search engines has the potential to improve your own ranking (SEO) and thus contribute to continuous growth in search traffic. This can sometimes be a means for increasing sales.
Content marketing helps build relationships & nurture leads
Nowadays, people embark on a journey as soon as they start in a search engine. They learn that a company exists. And this is where high-quality and relevant content is crucial. Because that helps keep them staying, coming back, and increases the likelihood of a purchase. In the long run, high-quality content also serves to build trust - and that can be a developed unique selling point for why customers buy from company A and turn away from B. Potential customers who have learned something will form a bond sooner or later. For nurturing the leads you gain, that's gold.
Content marketing can be cheaper in the long run
Compared to paid advertising, content marketing can be cheaper. Organic traffic comes from a good basic strategy and continuous maintenance of rankings through quality content. For this (except for the work involved in creating it), no further budget is needed at first. So you can save budget in the long run with content marketing.
Here's a tip from us on the side: from many years of experience we have learned - a good mix is what makes the difference. Yes, high-quality content is very important - but paid distribution support can additionally work wonders here.
There are many other very good reasons to start with content marketing. The perception of the target group can be positively influenced, recognition increases, there are positive effects on sales.
Content marketing is a useful tool that should be used in a targeted manner. To do this, it must be documented and continuously adapted and improved. A frequently used quote from online marketing is "content is king". Bill Gates originally said that in 1996, describing the future of the Internet. In his version, he describes the Internet as a marketplace for content.
Transferred to today's world, this means nothing other than that the success of companies and brands depends on high-quality and relevant content.
Relevant content can be found here.