There is no denying the importance of content in digital marketing today. Content is the crème de la crème of digital marketing so much so that you have special COO (Chief Content Officer) positions at the C-Suite level today.
Good content can make or break your brand. Good writing matters more now, not less. Our online words are our emissaries. They tell our clients who we are. In a world that’s increasingly becoming global and smaller, your words as a brand matters.
Your writing can make your brand look smart, warm, competent, and trustworthy.
Or it can make your brand look unintelligent, boring, and commonplace. Good content is the differentiator between the best and the rest in the digital marketing industry.
But, Content is the most often overlooked cornerstone of digital marketing. And that’s where most companies struggle and fail to make the cut. Thanks to poor, shoddy writing and shortsighted marketing vision.
Did you know that 91% of B2B & 86% of B2C Marketers use “content” as their key marketing strategy?
This is why Content Marketing is the reason behind many successful brands in the world today.
Choose your words wisely. Choose well. Being able to communicate well in writing isn’t just nice, but it’s a necessary component of digital marketing.
In this series, let’s start with Content Strategy. A word that’s commonly known but rarely understood. Many companies do not know how to put together a sound content strategy plan in place that helps them create a recognizable brand.
At SmartSocialBrand, top content writing service company in Hyderabad, we work closely with our clients while framing the content strategy.
We share our experience and help you get an idea of all the elements that you need to work into your content strategy in this article. Let’s dive straight in!
- Audience Persona
Audience personas or profiles are the content GPS. Without it, it is difficult to create focused content that will deliver qualified leads and converts. With massive amount of information available, it is extremely crucial to segment your content by the audience.
It’s not necessary to spend hours of time, lots of money researching and creating your audience profiles. But, all content marketers must do some kind of research before they draft the content strategy. A little bit of research can help find out your audience’s top challenges, interests, buying preferences, and opportunities
Your audience profiling need not be elaborate and time-taking with audience maps, spreadsheets, etc. A well-laid out research, where you talk to the sales, product, and customer team is key. And followed by a first or second-level audience profiling to know who is your target audience should suffice at the start. You must dive into producing content which is the main activity. You can always improvise on your audience personas as you progress further.
Audience research and persona development will surely sharpen your content strategy.
- Content Promotion
Creating a content strategy and writing original, optimized content isn’t going to work alone.
You need to focus on content promotion as well. To find that balance among various promotion channels such as search, social, and email. It’s about trial and error where you may discover that your blog is generating a lot of leads, or it’s your Facebook page that’s getting you a lot of traction from the customers.
Often companies make the grave mistake of giving the content promotion to the lesser knowledgeable SEO executives.
Content is the ownership of content marketer from its creation to its promotion.
A good content strategist will analyze the role of digital in the marketing mix. They will know how to repurpose their content in varied custom ways suited for different platforms.
A smart content marketer will know how to use their content cross-platform as they understand the potential ROI it can bring to the business.
Content marketers should spend as much time on promotion and sharing of content as they do on its creation. They will map each piece of content to the relevant groups on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter conversations, hashtags, Pinterest boards, and other social communities. Very often, the content marketers broadcast their content to either limited or the wrong kind of networks.
When it comes to content promotion, it’s important to remember that the more integrated you are with the customer touch points online, the more success your business will achieve.
Search, social and email are all important content promotion channels for any business today. It is Search and Social that helps you to get in front of the audience that you may not be engaging with on other channels. Email helps you stay in constant touch with our database.
- Content Ideation
How do brands come up with the right ideas for good content?
This is where a competent content strategist comes in.
A good content marketer will have a nose for news, a journalistic bent of mind for research, and the courage to create original, stunning content that will have customers ponder over your article and keep them hooked for a long, long time.
The best kind of content has no expiry date and will continue to see client traffic, conversations, and comments, months and years after its publication.
You can get content ideas from everywhere. It’s all around you. From social conversations, blog comments, LinkedIn groups, questions, articles, competitor research, keyword research, just about anywhere.
A visionary content marketer will know which ideas to pick, when, and how to utilize them so that a client gets ROI on content on which they spend money.
- Content Metrics
The journey doesn’t stop at content promotion.
The fun part of the content strategy lies in the metrics.
Smart content marketers will always have a hawk’s eye on their metrics.
Which blog is driving the most traffic?
How many returning visitors do you have for your website?
Is your audience engaging with you online?
Tools like SEMRush helps you get a fair idea of your search traffic.
Comments are an incredibly powerful indicator of customer engagement in digital marketing. The number of comments that your article generates is a great measure of customer engagement. A comment is the ultimate sign that you’ve engaged with your audience successfully. They have not just browsed through your content, but were inspired to share their thoughts on it. When you receive comments of any nature, make sure you are prompt in your responses, and always be kind to your customer. Even if they are wrong, your customers are always right.
For B2B clients, the lead generation numbers are the most important. It’s quite a high to see the path of a lead who has converted into a customer. It tells you a lot about which content is working and not. Whether you should continue producing similar content or change your strategy.
- Content Strategy Shelf-life
What is the shelf-life of a good content strategy?
To be honest, all content strategy is a work-in-progress. But for practical purposes, the average shelf life of a content strategy is 12-18 months. If your company keeps changing its content strategy and vision every quarter, it’s confusing to your audience and will pose a real challenge in building a real following.
Start with a clear, focused content strategy at the beginning of the year, and keep reviewing it every week or month to check if you are on track. To check what’s working or what needs to be slightly tweaked. But, have the patience, persistence, and gumption to follow through the results at the end of the year.
You can adjust your content strategy based on industry shifts and trends. Your content strategy is never done. It’s dynamic and keeps evolving, growing, and transforming over time.
We are continuously looking at what works and what doesn’t and adjusting our strategy accordingly about every 3 to 4 months. We do a major review every year, pulling together all our data to show hard facts and numbers that usually prove our hunches wrong. We then strategize our year in broad strokes and then focus more specifically on each quarter. We look at upcoming events, industry shifts, and our internal focus.
A content strategy is never really “done.” It evolves, grows and morphs over time. But, it should always map directly back to those audience profiles.
Most companies neglect the importance of good content only to regret later when it’s too late in the day.
Content strategy is a real, living thing and it shouldn’t be neglected in the digital marketing mix or ignored to the back stand.
Successful companies put content at the heart of their digital marketing mix with a highly competent, knowledgeable and visionary Content Head in charge.
If you are looking for superior content marketing services, please call our experts to discuss how we can take your brand from the ordinary to extraordinary.