Content marketing is the link between brand awareness and lead generation. It builds familiarity and trust with prospects by providing information that resonates – in the right format, through the right channel, at the right time.
These best practices can help you develop and deploy effective strategies for content marketing across all channels and buying cycles.
- Obtain support from your executive team, as well as other key people or departments within your organization.
- Focus on your stakeholders’ goals and pain points, even their bonus systems – those areas that affect their own success. Then introduce content marketing as a valuable way for them to get better results.
According to Ardath Albee of Marketing Interactions, “You need executive backing to fund and source a content strategy. You also need the support to ensure there is enough commitment to see a content marketing strategy through.”
- Develop customer personas. This is an effective way to uncover who your target customers are, which helps identify what topics your content should be covering.
- Map your content to the buyer’s journey. By assigning content to the most appropriate buying stage, you not only make the best use of existing content, you also discover gaps that need to be filled.
You need to understand who your audience is – and what they want and need from you – in order to gauge how much viable content you already have and what content you’ll need to create.
- Create content your customers want. When planning content, always take a customer-centric approach to best ensure you create something of value for your readers.
- Develop an array of content to deploy across multiple channels and devices. Take the time to understand which channels and formats your customers prefer, and then diversify how and where you publish your content to extend your reach.
- Don’t just create content, curate it. There’s enormous value in not only creating original content, but in curating “best of” content from across the Web.
Content marketing is about helping your current and future customers solve an issue that’s important to them. To do this, your content needs to facilitate conversations among influencers, stakeholders, and decision makers, giving them the confidence to take the next step. If it doesn’t, your content marketing strategy will fail.
- Enumerate your customer-centric themes, aligning content with appropriate buying cycle phases and audience personas.
- Provide a tentative outline of when different pieces of content will publish, on what platform, and via which syndication and social channels.
- Clearly articulate cadence; that is, the date each piece of content will be developed and distributed. Publishing your content in a consistent, timely fashion is critical.
Every good content marketing program begins with a carefully planned, proactive editorial calendar. It’s the execution plan for integrating content into a cohesive story that you want your audience to see.
- Develop Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that are tied to the business value of your content marketing program. Take a look at everything you’ll need to execute the strategy you’ve created.
Decreasing costs and increasing profit margins are as important as increasing sales and revenue. An effective content marketing program can do both. Make sure you track that and measure it over time.