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Build a Successful Content Marketing Strategy from Scratch in 7 Steps

 


Content marketing is a term that has been used for a number of years. However, recently it has become more and more prevalent, with the topic finding its way into SEO blogs, as well as in all the literature dealing with online marketing.


Looking at the Google Trends data that I've collected below, we can see this specific growth in the number of searches for the term "content marketing" over the past five years, culminating in an increase in interest since 2011.



Build a Successful Content Marketing Strategy from Scratch in 7 Steps



From this data, we can assume that more companies are looking to explore the concept of content marketing and check if it can be used to promote their products or services.


Perhaps you yourself are in this very situation in your organization. But before diving into content development to market your company, there are a number of factors that you should prepare for in order to make the most of your time and expense. 


Rather than just “give him a chance” by planning a content marketing strategy and analyzing the results, consider building a platform from the ground up that leads to continued success in all your online marketing activities.





If you've been playing around with the idea of ​​creating content for a while and are now ready to formalize a more structured content marketing strategy, here are seven steps you need to take in order to maximize its potential for success.







1. Define your goals




Before you begin working on a specific piece of content, it is important to define and communicate your goals. This is especially important if you need to justify your budget investment to executives in your company, as this will help you determine your results later.


You can also build your content strategy with specific goals in mind - for example, increasing the number of "likes" on Facebook or increasing your database of email addresses. By setting your goals from the start, you can then focus on building your content in a way that increases the chances of achieving those standards.




Tip: While it may be tempting to analyze the direct impact of content on sales and make this one of your key performance indicators (KPIs), in reality, your content efforts probably won't work that way. 


Instead, set goals that align with your other marketing strategies, such as improving your social media presence or collecting email addresses for future email marketing campaigns.




2. Record your performance metrics




Once you've decided on your goals, you'll need to know how to track and measure your performance against those metrics.


Google Analytics is great for scoring completed goals, and Google is always adding to the available measurement features and functionality. If your intended goal is to get readers to take an action, such as tweeting your post or subscribing to a newsletter, be sure to keep track of the results of each of these events. 



This information will help you determine your conversion rate, as well as allow you to better analyze the success of each content effort and identify areas for future improvement.




3. Collect your data




The most successful content does one of two things:



  • Introduce a new concept, idea, or news story to your audience (existing or new), or
  • Redirects an existing idea to a new format.



No matter how you do it, you will need to start gathering data that will provide value to your target audience. This data should provide a unique perspective for your industry and can be collected through interviewing clients, discovering the success rate of a particular initiative, knowing satisfaction rates - anything that would provide valuable insight into a particular sector.


This may be data that you have collected from the start or existing information; But this process will determine the success of your entire campaign.




If you decide to collect your own data, you may want to use services like Survey Monkey, which are useful for creating and submitting surveys that can go out to your email database. They can also be placed on a page on your website, and you can use incentives such as discount codes to encourage website visitors to fill them out.


You can also create surveys for your customers or visitors to your website, or use social media such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to ask questions and gather data on a topic.


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If you're looking to repurpose other people's data, look for independent industry bodies known to collect relevant information. For example, internet marketer Sean Revill has produced a comprehensive list of resources for data collection efforts.


There are pros and cons to using other people's data versus collecting your own. If you use other people's previously collected data, you may lose the immediacy of producing something unique and worthy of publication. 


However, by forwarding the data, you can help expand its reach to new audiences - and if the original content author likes what you did, they may promote your content in return.






4. Select your content types




Once you have your data, you are free to create your content in any way you want. You are not limited to one piece of content either, as you can create a wide range of content depending on what you want to do with it.




For example, you could aggregate the data into an infographic that you display on your website, and then write a blog post to go along with it that discusses the infographic in more detail. 


The information can then be worked into a press release promoting that content on your website, or you can even create a guest post on a related website that discusses the data from a different angle.




5. Content creation




The topic of content creation deserves a number of its own, but for the purposes of designing your strategy, you should ensure that every piece of content is professionally created by someone who specializes in curating the particular content you are working with. For example, press releases should be written by copywriters, and designers should be responsible for infographics.




Regardless of who is creating your content, you should also take the time to write the title, as this will play a huge role in dictating the success of your campaign.


Your content should also be created in line with your overall marketing strategy. So, for example, if you're trying to promote yourself as an industry authority, the types of content you're producing should all align in favor of that goal. 



Writing press releases and producing informational packages targeting relevant news websites; Create graphical interpretations of your data that you can handle with bloggers; And be sure to dedicate a section of your website to your topic: if you use external content to promote yourself, you are likely to see visitors to your website looking for more information on the topic, and you may lose interest if you haven't aligned your site strategy with Your goals are off-site.




6. Distribution



One of the biggest problems with content marketing is that once the pieces of content are produced, they can exist in great isolation on the website they are hosted on. Distribution is everything, so you need to make sure that you draw a clear path to who you want to interact with your content.




To do this, look at your current paths to the market, and analyze the weakest areas. Can you use social media, journalism, or your current website visitors? Can you take advantage of industry authorities to share your content through their own networks? Can you reach out to the authors of your data and encourage them to promote it?




The work isn't over once you click publish, you need to make sure that you spend the same amount of time and effort that you did creating content when you start marketing it. 


For example, think about who you want to read your content, and think about where that audience is likely to be.




You also need to think about the image you are trying to portray. If you're looking to cement your authority as a financial thought leader, for example, you'll want to target respected financial publications, rather than smaller, less reliable blogs.




7. Pursue SEO




Even if you run a successful content piece published by all of your target websites, you may still have to do some housekeeping to ensure you get all the SEO credit.


Several people may post your content but not include any links back to your website, so you need to keep a list as complete as possible of the sites that have played your content.




This can be done by setting up Google Alerts that send you an email whenever your blog address is published or your company is mentioned. You can also use services like Followerwonk to track social media mentions.


Once you have compiled a list of websites that have published your content, you can analyze each of them and ensure that they are linked back to your website. If you have produced content then you definitely deserve recognition.


If you find websites that haven't been linked back, just leave an email or tweet them and ask to include a link to your website. If they use your content, most of them will be happy to do so.




Also, don't worry too much about the anchor text used in the link. If it comes from reliable sources, you don't have to worry about what the anchor text says.




Summary




If you're looking to take your content marketing strategy to the next level, there are several things to consider. Keep your overall marketing and business goals in mind at all times and make sure everything from concept to distribution is considered with these goals in mind.




Set up internal processes to make the process smoother and ensure that everyone on the team can contribute to making your content in the future successful.



Follow our simple step-by-step plan to integrate unique, impactful, and strategic content marketing into your organization. Download Launch Your Content Marketing Program.





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