1_Content_strategyDeveloping a successful content marketing strategy is highly individual, and what is right for one company may be wrong for the next. Keeping that in mind, we‘ve tried to collect some key issues you should think about in order to develop such a strategy and be successful.

Defining goals and the role and value of content marketing in the overall corporate strategy

You won‘t be able to head in any direction worth your while if your goals are not crystal clear, so know well what you want to achieve, be it raising your level of recognition, introducing new products in the most effective manner, establishing thought leadership or looking to generate sales leads.

Content Marketing should help win and engage new customers and deepen the loyalty of existing customers. It should also result in closer customer relationships.

If you have a good content marketing strategy - and good content - it will result in higher levels of recognition, higher brand equity and higher ROI.

What good content could and should do

The most traditional content would be the distribution of information, i.e. articles, news, PR, advice. Entertainment is the next big content category, and needs no further explaining. An important thing to keep in mind is that you want to get the consumer emotionally hooked with what your content has to offer.

Further, your content strategy will also help your company to be found more easily amongst all that‘s available on the world wide web. A number of questions can help you here, e.g. which issues and topics could be the most interesting for your target group? And do you have resources to provide for that interest? You should also define the keywords necessary (e.g. using Google alerts) to find interesting content for your target group. Can you produce summaries of this information to make it easier to consume? What kind of entertainment is preferred by your target group, and what makes them laugh? How can you touch them emotionally? Are you offering new products or services?

Defining relevant content channels

Nowadays no one who wants to be taken seriously can do without a company web site, so that’s hardly worth mentioning, but do you have a blog? And what about your presence on social media platforms like Facebook and Google+ and activity to promote your content there? Are you actively micro-blogging on Twitter and Pinterest? Do you have a YouTube account, and are you using this channel effectively? What about networking on Xing and LinkedIn? Are you making the most of PR and available press platforms? Would paid content platforms be an option?

Well there are tons of questions to consider, to no surprise, since there are many types of content, such as white papers, case studies, research and articles, short texts (e.g. tweets, Facebook posts etc.), eBooks, videos, podcasts, presentations, infographs, and photographs.

Content marketing tools

There‘s a wide range of solutions, platforms, and communities on the market, and you should take care in defining the above, to be able to choose from:

  • Content Management Systems, e.g. Typo3, Joomla and other commercial solutions;
  • Blog Software, e.g. in house solution, WordPress, Movable Type etc;.
  • Social Media Tools, e.g. Hootsuite, Twittdeck, Seesmic etc.;
  • Analytics / Social Media Monitoring, e.g. Google-- Analytics, Facebook Insights, Hootsuite, Sysomos, Radian6, BrandEye and more;
  • Newsletter solutions, e.g. MailChimb, ConstantContact, CleverReach;
  • Landing page platform, e.g. Unbounce, Premise;
  • Survey platform, e.g. Survey Monkey.

Publishing frequency

High frequency content should be published several times a day on twitter, Facebook and other social platforms. Blog posts would be of medium frequency, and should be at least weekly. White papers, videos and podcasts should be published at least once each quarter. Press releases depending on events, campaigns and innovation. The publishing frequency is highly individual, and depends strongly on the type of company and its goals. These recommendations are general and would be applicable to a lot of company strategies, but you should evaluate the right frequency for your company with care.

Measuring the success of content marketing

At C-Level, analysis and metrics of content marketing should provide in depth information about the increase in newly gained customers and the cost per new customer and brand recognition. Content analysis should comprise of leads generated, costs per lead, number of blog readers, number of newsletter subscriptions, fans, followers, etc. On a daily business level, web traffic, blog traffic, re-tweets, likes, share clicks, CTR are of importance.

Using content marketing for SEO

You should consider a keyword system for your entire content - keywords in page titles, page descriptions, headlines, links etc. The links connecting web sites, blogs and external content platforms should also be kept in mind.

By Anjum Siddiqi