A good plan counts in every business. Developing a strategy is especially important for marketers working in the Internet field.
This is because it is very easy to succumb to marketing inventions and newer and newer tools made available online.
Of course, there is nothing wrong with the tools themselves, but if their use is not accompanied by any strategy, it will be difficult for such a business to predict real success.
In order to understand the concept of strategy, I will start by explaining how strategy differs from tactics: strategy is a project, and tactics is a tool for its implementation.
Strategy is like a battle plan and tactics like a weapon to win.
In football, the strategy may be to weaken the opponent, for example, and in tactics, a series of specific moves or passes to limit the role of the opposing team’s forwards.
In content marketing, the dominant goal of the strategy will be to make potential consumers aware of why your services are the best. Tactics include blog posting, webinar organisation and bulletin mailing. Tactics support your strategy. Note that each tactical action has a specific goal and is focused on achieving it.
Strategy is very important. Without it you will blindly take different tactical actions to see which one works best. Ultimately, on the basis of many attempts and mistakes, you will be able to more or less determine the direction of action and the goal you are aiming for. This way you will create your undocumented strategy.
It is worth noting that according to the reports: Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Profs’ 2015 B2B and B2C Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends Reports, on average half of marketers do not have a documented marketing strategy in place.
Creating a strategy at the very beginning is easier and more effective than designing it step by step while working on a specific project. Below you will find the foundations needed to create an effective content marketing strategy. Think about your goals and resources to better understand how to create it.
Define business objectives
Your goals must be specific and measurable regardless of whether you want to double your revenue, enlarge your subscribers’ base or be on the cover of Forbes. Specify where your business should be in 3 months’ time. If you set up this relatively short period of time to achieve your goal, you will have no excuse to postpone your work.
It is also important that these goals are not too many: focus on a maximum of three at the same time. Each additional one will distract you unnecessarily. Think about what will be the only thing that will completely change the perspective for your business.
Identify who your current recipient is and who is ideal.
It’s time to think about who you are doing it all for, i.e. who your ideal consumer, customer or reader is.
Is your ideal reader just beginning to take an interest in a particular subject or is he looking for more advanced knowledge? Is it looking for economic solutions or does it expect such solutions of the highest quality regardless of the price? Do you think technically and like diagrams and specialist analyses, or maybe you expect everything to be explained to him like an eight-year-old?
Think where you can meet him – both online and offline. Is he a reader of specific blogs? Does it use specific tools on the web? Specify its demo- and psychographic profile. Think about what he thinks and what his aspirations are.
If you run a one-man business or manage a small B2B company, try to define who your client is. Is it a company where 2-3 or maybe 20 people work? Does it provide advisory services (legal, accountant) or does it operate in the commercial sector (clothing store, sale of construction products)?
Did you know that you can also determine your ideal consumer, customer or reader using the 80/20 rule? The principle, also known as the Pareto Principle, assumes that 80% of profits come from 20% of customers. So think about which 20% of consumers, customers or readers generate 80% of your earnings. Try to attract more of these people.
Investigate what has worked so far
Audit your content. The simple Content Auditor tool by Kapost will help. It’s relatively easy to use – just enter the address of the audited website and you’ll get the results in just a few moments.
The tool will certainly be helpful, although it will not provide you with the detailed information you need to conduct the target analysis.
If your website has less than 100 pages, you can use the free version of the tool. The extended version of the tool will cost you $125.
The same results, although free of charge, can be achieved by using the tools together: Google Analytics, Google Webmastertools, SharedCount analyzing the number of content sharing and BuzzStream allowing you to extract page titles and their assigned metadata.
Then sort the collected information. Focus on the most visited pages and think about how you can optimize them for your business purposes.
Check if you haven’t omitted any important topics that you should have written about, and you haven’t done so yet. Look at your content through the eyes of the consumer or the customer: will they look for information to complement your texts elsewhere, or are they comprehensive enough? Are your customers looking for different types of content?
Is it easy to reach this content? Is the website updated and optimised on an ongoing basis?
Decide which marketing tactics to try out
Did you have a podcast recording on your head? Did you postpone the organisation of the webinar? If you have 3-5 ideas that you think have a future, it’s high time to put them into practice.
Check if they are worth the time and energy invested in their implementation. Again, it’s time to take a closer look at how the competition works – is there anything that works particularly well for it? Can its tactics be effective for you as well?