If you haven’t bothered developing a monthly content marketing strategy, we daresay, you’re behind in the times. However, you can’t just create content willy-nilly. There is no true success without a solid strategy, and strategy requires forethought, not mere execution. Without a strategy, creating content is a waste of time.
Creating a strategy to produce regular marketing content that engages and connects with your prospects is like making a plan to fill your car up with gas each week. Fail to fill, and you might find yourself stranded on the side of the road somewhere.
Content Marketing Strategy 101
Before you start creating any content, there are a few things to think about.
- Who are you targeting with your content?
- Who is the audience you’re trying to reach?
- Are you shooting for more than one audience?
- What problem are you trying to solve?
- What makes you the best one to solve the said problem? (USP)
- What kind of content are you creating? Blog posts? Videos? Infographics or memes?
- Will any of this content be repurposed?
- Where do you plan to publish your content?
- Who is managing creating and publishing all this content?
You should have answers to these questions before you create a single blog post or video. Otherwise, it’s like throwing spaghetti at a wall and seeing what sticks. You’ll be creating information on a whim, with no real plan on how to distribute it effectively and engage the people you want to engage with most. Hamster meet wheel. So what makes for high-octane content?
Outline Your Rules of Engagement
Obviously, you want your content to be engaging. You have to decide ahead of time what good engagement looks like for your business.
If the content you publish doesn’t hit the goal, then you can access, figure out what worked and didn’t work, and aim higher the next time around. This is how you find out what your particular audience responds to best. When you know what they respond to, you can focus on giving them what they want from week-to-week or month-to-month.
Establish Your Content Purpose
You also have to decide on the purpose of each piece of content you create. When selling a product or service, aiming for a goal like insanely useful is excellent and helpful for your audience. But it’s not the only goal.
Sometimes content is only intended to entertain your audience or educate them on something related to your industry. Or you can get more personal and rant about a hot topic related to your market. Though it can seem counter-intuitive, the reality is that people respond to rants, especially passionate rants that stir up commiserating outrage within your community.
Rants engage people like wildfire, for good or for bad and may help to make you seem more “real” to the person on the other side of your content. Real people equals real business.
Pro Mag Style
Take a page from magazine playbooks. Magazines tend to focus on a theme from month-to-month and curate their content around that. You could do something similar, but curate your content around industry events, product launches, holidays and fundraising events, or other things relevant to your business. You can also sometimes design content around relevant global news and events with good results or relate it to something in pop culture that’s particularly hot right now, or that you know is coming soon.
Mix Things Up
Mix up your content delivery modus operandi. While it’s great to publish a weekly blog post, why not mix it up and deliver a video once or twice a month? Or you could do a live video on social platforms like Instagram and Facebook, connect with your audience there in real-time, and then republish that video on your blog as a way to repurpose some of your content.
Knock It Out of the Park
Finally, exceed expectations in the value you deliver with every piece of content you choose to publish. Don’t just throw out the bare minimum to gain visibility or connect with people. Figure out what your audience wants from you and go above and beyond to deliver content that exceeds their expectations. Customers appreciate businesses that exceed their expectations and treat them like real people. It makes them feel valued and when people feel valued, they remain loyal. Cultivating an audience and customer base that’s loyal is what it’s all about!