Most marketers agree with the established wisdom that content marketing is one of the best ways to promote a brand online. It’s relatively easy to get started, making it accessible, serves as a complementary strategy for other channels (such as email marketing, social media marketing, and even paid ads), and has the potential to bring you a great return on investment (ROI).
That said, content marketing can also be expensive. It’s expensive and time-consuming to create a quality blog from scratch and reach out to new publishers on a regular basis. And there is no guarantee of results; It’s possible to spin your wheels by consistently writing content, while attracting little to no actual traffic to your site.
Make your content marketing strategy worth the investment
Given these limitations and possibilities, how can you ensure that your content marketing strategy is worth your investment?
The Big Picture of Content Marketing Strategy
Let’s start by looking at the big picture. If you want your content marketing approach to be worth the time and effort, you will need to focus on:
- Preparation and focus. You can’t just jump into content marketing without a plan and expect to see decent results. If you want your investment to pay off, you need to take the time to properly prepare and focus on specific goals.
- Quality. There are millions of people competing with you in the content marketing space. If you want to stand out or appeal to your specific audience, you will need to ensure that you invest in high-quality work.
- Cost efficiency. You should also avoid overspending. You can spend tens of thousands of dollars a month with a high-end content marketing agency, but is it really worth the money? Not all investments are wrong.
- Continuous improvement It is almost impossible to perfect your strategy out of doors. Instead, you will have to gradually adjust your strategy until it serves you the way you need it.
Before you spend a penny on content marketing, there are a few important pre-planning steps you’ll need to take:
- Set your goals. Content marketing is not a magic door to business improvement. Your strategy must be specifically targeted if you want it to be successful. What exactly are you trying to achieve and how are you going to do it? Do you hope to become a trusted authority in the eyes of your users? Are you interested in generating as much traffic as possible? Want to focus on on-site conversions?
- Understand your audience. If you want your content to work, you need to engage your audience; it can’t be a generic fluff. That means your first job will be to identify the audience you want to target and work to better understand them. What do they want to see in the content they read? How is this audience segment different from the others?
- Have a plan to climb. Anyone can start a blog. It takes a tremendous amount of focus and resources to run a large-scale content campaign. How are you going to get from point A to point B?
Too many newcomers to the content marketing game think that the path to success is to produce as much content as possible. They are not entirely wrong; more content is generally a good thing. But if you want to stand out and be successful, your work must be of high quality. It doesn’t matter if you’ve written 1,000 articles if all those articles are junk. In other words, you have to prioritize quality over quantity.
These are just a few of the ways you can do it:
- Be original. Don’t copy what someone else is doing and don’t add redundancy to an environment that’s already saturated with repetition. If you want to stand out, you have to do something original (even if that means taking the risk of doing it).
- Work with professionals. You need expert content creators on your team if you want a chance to be successful. Depending on your budget and the state of your business, that could mean hiring a content marketing company to do the work for you, better training your internal staff, or simply hiring more professionals to join your team.
- Cater to your specific audience. It’s tempting to write general content that could hypothetically apply to anyone, but it’s far better to narrow your focus and increase the specific relevance of your audience. Write content specifically designed for your audience segment.
- Do your research. All your content should be as well researched as possible. You should back up your claims with specific facts and links to further reading, and present all sides of the argument that you can find.
- Climb the editor ladder. It is not enough to plan your content marketing strategy at the moment; you have to prepare for the future. When publishing off-site content that links to your site, you’ll want to start with things that are easy to reach (like local publishers and those highly relevant to your niche) and gradually reach out to the most prominent and highest-traffic publishers.
From there, you’ll want to sculpt the profitability of your content strategy, reducing your costs as much as possible without affecting the quality and effectiveness of your work.
- Eliminate tactics that don’t work. Pay attention to target media, channels, topics, and keywords that just don’t work for your strategy. If they are costing you money and time without adding something valuable to your campaign, remove them.
- Focus on the ripe fruit. Look for opportunities to attract your audience without competing with aggressive competitors. High-volume, low-competition keywords in search engines, for example, create perfect topic ideas in your content marketing strategy.
- Reuse and reuse old content. Over time, some of your content will become out of date, out of date, or even out-of-date by your most recent work. Instead of disposing of these old materials, try reusing or reusing them; it is a form of recycling within your online marketing strategy.
- Link content marketing with other strategies. One of the biggest advantages of content marketing is that it has incredible synergy with other marketing strategies, such as SEO and social media marketing; be sure to use it to its full potential.
Finally, you will need to remain flexible and set the stage for continual improvements in your content strategy:
- Experiment with different mediums, styles, and angles. Make sure to run experiments regularly, if not constantly. It should produce content in different media and styles. You should create content from different topics and angles. You should post to different publishers and through different channels. You never know where your next big break will come from.
- Measure your results thoroughly. As you experiment, measure your results thoroughly. Pay attention to how many readers you are attracting, how much traffic you are generating, how many conversions you are getting, etc.
- Incorporate lessons and keep growing. Take a closer look at those results and prepare to adapt to the lessons you learn along the way. For example, you may find that your video channel is not generating traction, but your audio interviews are a success; you can easily reallocate your budget from here and promote your audio interviews even more.
- Gradually invest more. As you learn more about your audience and your content capabilities, you will be in a position to invest more and see an even greater return on your investment. Scaling gradually gives you the best possible opportunity to grow efficiently.
The idea of writing content to attract more people to your site is very simple. But execution is much more complicated, especially if your end goal is to get the highest ROI possible.
Fortunately, as long as you pay attention to these key areas and are willing to keep changing your approach (slightly) as you grow, you will eventually determine a strategy that works for your brand.
Image credit: sam lion; pexels; Thank you!