Your content marketing strategy should be based on original research. Research helps you produce quality online content. Content quality is a compelling factor when potential customers are making decisions about which products or services to purchase, and where to purchase from. According to Content Marketing Institute, the top two influences on consumer decisions are word of mouth and original research.
An online marketing strategy is a plan for what, where and how often you publish that content. To create a successful content marketing strategy you need to:
You may think you have no money for a content marketing budget. However, a well-researched strategy will make you money. When you spend money to outsource to , you stop losing online revenue. You can even measure the Return on Investment (ROI) of your strategy.
For example, you can use your Content Marketing Strategy to:
Use SMART goals for sales and marketing to help align these two essential departments when executing your content marketing strategy. SMART goals make your business objectives reachable. So what are SMART goals and why do sales and marketing need to implement them? Following a SMART goal approach helps you and your staff envision success because they’re:
Implementing SMART goals align your sales and marketing departments so they can take action and achieve better sales together, which is beneficial for the company as a whole.
Implementing SMART goals benefits your content strategy and execution aligning your professionals to work better to generate more qualified leads and reach sales objectives. Here’s how your sales and marketing departments can use SMART goals. To:
Implementing SMART goals asks your sales and marketing departments to align to build stronger teams individually and a stronger business, as a whole.
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You are not alone. 94% of B2B content marketers feel that the effectiveness of their organization’s content marketing strategy is sub-optimal, according to CMI’s 2016 industry survey. 50% of B2C marketers have a Content Marketing strategy that is not documented, as reported by 2015 B2C Content Marketing Trends – North America.
Too often, a content marketing strategy is not a strategy at all but “a way of sounding smart or leader-like and used to avoid necessary choices,”
Frank Cespedes in the Harvard Business Review
Your strategy may be:
Stop focusing on the strategy and start goal setting. We’ve all heard of SMART goals. We know we are supposed to use them to lose weight, study for exams and plan our careers. But did you know they also work for content marketing? In his article, Here’s Why Your Content Marketing Strategy is Totally Failing, author Neil Patel states, “If businesses would forget about “strategy,” and instead pick real goals, I think that content marketing would explode in effectiveness”. Clear, concise, written goals ensure effective communication within the marketing team, one integrated focus for all departments/activities, and vision cohesion throughout the entire organization.
“SMART goals are powerful, unstoppable, and ready to push your marketing efforts to new heights of success,” declares Neil Patel.
#1: Be Specific with Your Goals
Make a list of the types of content tactics you will use. Define those tactics. Be precise. Select 1 or 2 main tactics to dominate your content marketing, but keep your overall strategy diverse to increase the chances of appealing to a larger percentage of the target market at all stages of the buying process.
#2: Make Your Goals Measureable
If you have measurable goals, then it is easy to evaluate your Return On Investment (ROI). Measuring your ROI is an effective way to define success. David Meerman Scott uses AdWords equivalency to measure ROI. Scott Severson tracks specific keyword data and measured SEO-click value in dollars. Other suggestions to measure ROI can be found in this HubSpot article. Pick a method that works for your business and stick with it.
#3: Verify that Your Goals are Attainable/Achievable
Are your expectations realistic? Can you achieve them in a reasonable amount of time? You need a clear definition of your success so that you know it is possible to achieve it. Your content will be directly tied to an attainable goal and how that goal will be measured.
#4: Confirm that Your Goals are Relevant
To be relevant, your goals for content marketing must be tied to your overall business goals. Neil Patel likes to think of content marketing as a funnel. “The skinny end of the funnel should be the company’s business goal,” he describes. Goals can involve after-sale activities such as customer satisfaction and retention too.
#5: Bind Your Goals to a Time Frame
A smart goal has a logical endpoint when you know definitively whether it has been achieved or not. Your goals should evolve as your business does. Although each goal will end, you will have multiple goals that overlap as part of your overall content marketing strategy. Neil Patel reminds us, “Content is a way of serving customers, and customer service is a never-ending process”.
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http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/2015/09/b2b-content-marketing-research/ (CMI 2016 industry survey **Note: Neil says 9% but study says 6%)
2015 B2C Content Marketing Trends – North America: Content Marketing Institute/Marketing Profs (2015 B2C Content Marketing Trends – North America: Content Marketing Institute/Marketing Profs)
https://hbr.org/2014/12/stop-using-battle-metaphors-in-your-company-strategy (Harvard quote)
https://www.quicksprout.com/the-complete-guide-to-building-your-personal-brand-chapter-2/ (target market)
http://www.webinknow.com/2013/05/building-inbound-marketing-assets-are-not-marketing-expenses.html (David Meerman Scott)
http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/2015/06/measure-content-marketing-roi/ (Scott Severson)
https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/measure-content-marketing-roi (Hubspot article)
The infographic was published in #SaleWritingToday (Tangible Words’ Paper.Li issue of articles that are aligned with our content marketing goals for best practices) on June 4th and I shared it on my Linked In profile and Twitter.
FYI Paper.Li curates these articles on our behalf based on our Twitter Feed. It’s a neat shortcut to make sure I don’t miss any “hot topic” articles each day, without spending tonnes of time surfing Twitter. I do a lot of my professional development to make sure Tangible Words is following best practices on Twitter, and I rely on the people I follow on Twitter to share good information with me so I can continue learning. It’s part of our Continuous Improvement Plan at Tangible Words.
Infographics are getting a lot of attention online these days, and for good reason. Infographics are a pretty neat way to share some complicated information in a way that is very “internet-reader-friendly.” But despite all the appeal of Infographics – like any “cool new thing” online – it’s quickly catching on and people are forgetting some pretty important website copywriting rules – in terms of upholding the expectations of online readers. But before I talk about what’s good about info graphics–and the dangers to avoid, let’s get one awkward thing out of the way.
An infographic is a VERY visual display of an idea, argument, or definition. I suppose some people will say it’s also a way to display a whole bunch of statistics – but if you’re in that camp – jump to the Infographic Dangers Should You Avoid in our next article.
Because online readers are nearly always skim-reading, visual images have a tendency to stand out really well. (That’s why as website copywriters, and in our E-Writer Content Marketing Training Programs, we always recommend that you use Graphic Text, and not just a whole bunch of long essay-like paragraphs on your company websites and your business blogs.)
Because an infographic displays information in a logical sequence, you still manage to understand a complete idea, but it’s like training-wheels for online readers. You don’t have to try to separate the ideas in your mind in each sentence. (And on that note, my English Teacher Literacy Expert wants to interject: “that’s actually a main reading hurdle for less experienced readers.” As you read, strong readers are always forming mental pictures of each explained idea. They compute each sentence before moving on to the next, and do the same with paragraphs. But there are fewer strong readers in 2013 — especially online–than there are better readers. Hence why “literacy” has become such a hot-button topic in Western Education the past 10-12 years.)
60% of learners tend to be visual learners (instead of auditory or kinetic learners). That means most people like visual displays. Complement that fact with the idea that we’re moving too fast online to read slowly, and that illiteracy is a bit of a pain point–and you can see why Infographics are becoming so popular.
Instead of writing a text article, an infographic takes the same ideas you would normally have to explain in a text-based article and turns every idea into a visual display. Each idea is separated by colours and complemented with a graphic, wherever possible.
Thus, infographics are a great way to do content marketing because you can explain an idea visually and more people are likely to give it a quick skim – and still be able to digest it – getting your message across to potentially more people.