Gone are the days of pushy outbound calls and unsolicited newsletters . Reaching audience has never been trickier as marketers understand that a one-size-fits-all approach is no longer relevant – audiences now want personalised content that speaks directly to their issues, habits and affinities.
With 41 per cent if businesses being able to tie revenue impact directly to content, this means that the need to serve really compelling content is even more critical to attracting and retaining audiences across multiple digital touchpoints. However, many businesses are aware that their content marketing is far from optimal and that many are struggling to create a strategy. So what is the first step in creating a stellar content strategy?
Step 1: Define Your Objectives
An effective strategy is built on clear objectives.
Take a step back and think about your goals: are you looking to generate leads, boost engagement, or increase brand awareness? All of these objectives have two things in common – they rely on great content and a great strategy.
This requires that you track, measure, and analyse audience data in order to get a precise picture of the type of content they engage with, and therefore create personalised content that will resonate with audiences. With the amount of content you need to create today, you need the insights data provides to be rapidly available, shareable, and actionable.
Step 2: Unify Your Content Feeds
From Twitter to YouTube, brands tend to utilise multiple channels to address different audiences and content formats.
Marketers need to be responsive and work with the most up-to-date data sets. If you have not connected the data from your individual channels, you may be missing out on the insights that make the difference between success and failure.
Tracking and measuring content across every single one of your channels is crucial, but it takes a lot of time and work to get the full picture without this data being connected in one place. It is therefore imperative to unify your content feeds and connect your data on a single interface.
Step 3: From Chaotic to Crystal Clear Collaboration
Break down the walls between team members, teams and departments.
Collaboration becomes effortless when each stakeholder knows what is expected of them and when they have to deliver. Centralising all your content activities – from ideation to execution – in one place is essential to enable a free flow of insights available to everyone.
Organised teamwork is also essential to keeping everyone on the same page. When you have designers, social media managers, copywriters and product teams all working on campaigns, it is important to set up centralised workflows for smooth collaboration and to avoid duplication of tasks, and bottlenecks.
Step 4: Access a Constant Flow of Great Content Ideas
Every content marketer knows what a challenge it can be to constantly come up with fresh content time after time, and brands have to compete with the over two million pieces of content published every day.
According to our findings, 90 per cent of brands try to make do by duplicating the same content across all their platforms.
That’s a problem. Especially, if we were to assume the content is not being personalised or redesigned for each unique channel audience.
As mentioned previously, the more personalised your content is, the more active, engaged, and loyal your audience will be. There are many facets to content ideation and creation: finding sources of content inspiration, seeing what is popular in your industry or region, and identifying current content trends are all things any content marketer should do.
Step 5: Optimise Your Paid Promotion Strategy
It is rumoured that only 10 per cent of brands’ Instagram followers ever see their posts, and this figure drops to 6.4 per cent on Facebook. This signifies that social media platforms have moved strongly towards the prioritisation of paid content on social media.
Relying only on organic social promotion works up to a certain point, but with a choice of paid solutions featuring advanced audience segmentation and targeting, pay-to-play is becoming essential to getting the right content in front of the right eyes.
In determining an appropriate paid strategy, brands have realised that it makes no sense to guess which content will perform best. As such, post prediction tools are useful when considering how to manage your paid ad budget. A good prediction tool leverages your audience data and instantly identifies which of your posts will perform best in the near future, allowing you to boost engagement while simultaneously saving budget.
Additionally, benchmarking your ad accounts against your competitors or against the wider market helps you find out how your ads perform in terms of cost and effectiveness against the median in your industry, region, or country.
The increasing relevance of content marketing means brands are embracing the latest trends and technology in order to stay ahead or keep up with competitors. Progress is moving faster and faster, especially with martech and AI solutions making things possible which were impossible only a short time ago.
In a nutshell:
- Set your objectives. You don’t know where you’re going without them, and you need to track your progress.
- As with any other marketing activity, a structured, data-based approach is key to tracking, measuring and analysing audience data to get insights that drive the content marketing strategy.
- Connect your social platforms’ data in one place, alongside competitor insights. Only then can you fully understand your audience and serve personalised content they will engage with.
- Team workflows must be clear, structured, and managed from one central point to keep everyone on the same page and working from the same key insights.
- Your paid content strategy has to be strategic and insights driven. Ad budgets have to be optimised for maximum ROI.
Co-written by Christopher Crawford, Socialbakers