5 Key elements of winning content marketing strategy

For any successful marketing campaign there is a solid strategic plan and a brilliant execution. This is rightly said- Content is king, but well promoted content is above this. Leverage the power of well promoted content and get things done!

In today’s social web world, delivering the right message to the right customer at the right time is vital. And to reach all-important touch points we require brand-specific content strategy, tactics and solid execution.

Now a days all sales & marketing folks are believing in value based selling.

Provide extraordinary value first…then sell!

Identifying extraordinary value and communicating it successfully is content strategy. Content strategy is all about development, planning, creation, delivery & management of content and the purpose of content strategy is to create meaningful, cohesive, engaging, and sustainable content that helps brands to connect, communicate & collaborate.

Before we discuss the key construct of content strategy lets understand the content life cycle. To produce compelling and sustainable content we need to understand and follow the content lifecycle.

Now, let’s dive in to the key elements of a winning content strategy-

1.    Define Content Marketing Goals : To craft a successful content marketing strategy, we should start with defining the clear goals into the mix. Having clear goals and objectives such as the awareness, engagement, traffic to the website or the number of followers, brand want to reach during a period of time, helps us to better align our efforts and resources. Definite goals help us to generate meaningful content, set right channel distribution and measure right key performance indicators. We should define our goals using declarative statements that bring together descriptive and prescriptive aims and have tangible and measurable goals.

2.    Understand Customers’ Needs & Competitive Landscape : To create the best possible content experience, it’s vital to define your content’s target audience through building progressive buyer’s persona and what experience they are looking for, today and in the future. With the help of customer insights, you can produce more relevant and valuable content that they’ll want to read and convert on.

We should have three fold learnings to do this right-

–      Create an integrated view of your customer personas, uncover the language of your customer, how your customer prefers to consume information and what are the factors which influence their decision making.  

–      Not just the topics they are interested in, but also the formats they prefer, the level of interaction they expect, and the devices they use.

–      Determine the WHAT motivate our customers to engage with your brand, and make sure you know what you want them to do next.

Marketers should try connecting with their audience through uplifting content. This is a continuous process where you should think with an empathetic mindset and what’s important to your customers in their information journey today and tomorrow.

In order to understand the competitive landscape, we should conduct a situational analysis to evaluate how marketing is working or not working. Explore the competitive landscape and Identify the opportunity areas.

A competitive analysis identifies challenges and threats before they become problems.

3.    Identify & Align Right Skills & Resources : Executional considerations boil down to our capabilities. After defining our goals, It’s important to identify & align right skills and resources. Also understand, what are the internal or external resources we need to achieve our defined marketing goals, what is feasible and can be done (if its regulated market) and narrow down what is currently possible to achieve within your strategy, available resources and what additional resources will be required. Our first step should be to consider, If we have the talent to create and promote content, and analyse the results? What type of application/platform will you need? Are you fully utilising the technology you already have?

Resource management will help you build the efficient process for execution excellence.

4.    Create Cross-channel Campaign Orchestration : Campaign orchestrationis all about creating action plan, so that customers (potential customer) get exactly what they need, where they need and when they need, at key points in their buying cycle.

To derive the success formula for your marketing campaigns you need to lay out the entire customer experience model, from the first web search to the ongoing buying relationship.

A contextual customer focused campaign architecture is vital for your content marketing strategy.

Effective campaign orchestration will help you – Attract the right audience, at the right time, in the right place. Engage members of that audience with the right message, the right types of content, and with the right channels and devices? Convert engaged members of that audience to the next stage in the buying cycle?

We should also consider engaging with industry influencers to help us convey the brand story in a more credible way.

5.    Measure Content Marketing Success & Identify Areas for Improvement : This is vital to measure the effectiveness of your content marketing campaign. This will help us understand if the content marketing strategy has accomplished its goals. This also increases accountability and show us the improvement areas.

Remember, a key performance indicator (KPI’s) only represents the value it inspires from the real action in regards to your marketing objectives. And KPIs should be continuously monitored and reported. Marketers should track and analyse the data throughout the lifespan of the marketing campaign.

The most important campaign metric is the “cost to acquire a single new customer”. This simple statistic will help you evaluate and co-relate the marketing efforts and growth of your business. Additionally, measuring end results is important, but we should also keep an eye on trends and data throughout the campaign’s lifespan to understand and plan for better return on investment.

Customer centric content marketing strategy complemented by execution excellence and responsiveness are critical to the success of any content marketing campaign. When these three elements are combined in an integrated way, the possibilities for success will enhance dramatically along with cost effectiveness and  efficiency of the campaign itself.

Key Takeaways

–      Define objectives, understand your audiences and gather insights before constructing the plan and getting into the execution

–      Create cross-channel campaign orchestration

–      Use the long-term KPIs to figure out how prospects and customers experience your brand

–      Aim to delight your customers & prospects at every point in marketing & sales funnel

–      Raise the bar higher, build customer relationships! Our mission is to create brand promoters—not just paying customers.

Above I have talked about key ingredients of Content Marketing Strategy. Further to this, I’ll post about how you can leverage Influencers to promote and distribute your compelling content in a more credible way.

What other ideas can you add to this list that I may have not mentioned?

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