All too often in marketing, the adoption or maintenance of certain tactics gets handled haphazardly. You might hear thought leaders sharing content marketing tips, and be inspired to use content more in your own business. Or maybe you see that your competitors are getting major engagement on social media, and feel like you have to do the same to keep up. There’s nothing wrong with these motivations exactly, but they can lead to the creation of tactics without a real content strategy - which will never work. Here’s a look at how to reach customers with your content, by first figuring out its purpose.
What Is Your Goal?
Whenever a business launches into tactics before strategy, the goal behind their efforts is often half-baked at best, non-existent at worst. Don’t let this happen to you. Before you start implementing or improving your own content marketing, first think through what you’re hoping to gain by this approach. Do you want more brand awareness? To build trust with your buyers? To educate prospects about your solutions? Setting a clear goal will help you connect the dots between the idea of a content strategy and the realization of the results you’re hoping to achieve.
Every Piece Needs A Purpose
If you decide to use content to educate your audience about what you have to offer, the next step is to map out which types of content you’ll provide and how often you’ll provide them. This is also when you’ll review your buyer personas to make sure that the plan you’re creating is going to deliver pieces of content that resonate with them. Then, take this further and match content to every stage of the buyer journey. Do you have each one covered? If not, you know where to focus your efforts. Once you’re clear about the goal and how to reach customers with your content, get specific on the topic categories you’re going to zero in on. Again, let’s say your goal is to educate customers. This is great, but remember it doesn’t mean that you can’t switch up your topics occasionally to keep your buyers from getting bored. It just means your content will have a North Star. For example, you might use three of your four monthly blogs to share something technical about your products or invite readers into aspects of your services that are less well-known (e.g. educational pieces). Then, you could reserve the fourth monthly post to be something more upbeat and fun, like insights into your team members or internal culture. This way, every piece of content that you create has a larger purpose that supports your content program’s overarching goal.
Don’t Forget To Repurpose
When you’re developing your content strategy, keep in mind that there are highly efficient methods to develop content - and not-so-efficient ones. One of the best ways to cut down on the time and resources it takes to produce content is by starting with a longer-form asset, and then pulling snippets from it to use in shorter-form channels. For instance, you might write a whitepaper and then repurpose each section into a blog post, from which you pull a few quotes for social media. You can also repurpose content, regardless of length. If you went on a business podcast to talk about how you run your operations, for example, your team can transcribe the podcast and create an article based on one of the topics covered. There’s really no end to the ways in which you can repurpose content and be ultra-efficient, so get creative and always look out for opportunities. When it comes to reaching customers and getting results with content, you need a content strategy first. Follow these steps to ensure your strategy is connected to your goals, and that every piece of content produced has a purpose. Want to work with a team who understands how to create and use content strategically? Let’s talk!