Content is king, we have repeated this for a long time now, in the world of web communication: but for content to really succeed in ascending the throne it is necessary that they are planned, reasoned and organized, as well as well as well-written and functional. We need, that is, to implement content strategy and content marketing tactics, two activities that have common traits and that we can integrate to achieve our goals.
What is content marketing
Content marketing simply is the creation, publication and distribution of quality and valuable content in order to acquire customers and bring revenue to a website. It works because it does not directly sell a product or service and can be considered as organic marketing: it means offering valuable resources to people in order for them to recognize our brand as a reliable solution for their needs and desires.
How content marketing works
This form of marketing involves the creation and sharing of media resources and editorial content of various types, such as articles, news, videos, guides, infographics, pictures, ebooks, but also webinars, seminars, podcasts, social media messages and so on.
The aim is to capture the attention of the end user through the free offer of interesting content that does not necessarily have an advertising character, but informative or illustrative, and that can however create interest for the product or service we offer, attracting potential clients.
What is this tactict for
Through the new contents we can reach new people and users, gaining their attention and transmitting something of us, our brand and distinctive corporate skills. In this way, we can enhance our web reputation and strengthen brand awareness, improving the publicâ€™s perception and consideration they have of our capabilities and services.
Among the other general goals that can be achieved with Content Marketing there precisely are the acquisition of new customers, the activation of lead generation and customer retention (ie the loyalty of old customers).
What is content strategy
If all this represents the means, the basis on which true success is based is the strategy, or – better yet – content strategy, the planning of all the stages of the path that must guide us towards the achievement of the goals of our site and our activity.
Doing only content marketing is like taking a trip without a predetermined destination: it is not enough to create a powerful brand and bring a real ROI, but we must first work with rationality and strategy, so to exploit the characteristics of this tactic and emerge in our field.
The basics of content strategy
Without the right strategy, we would waste valuable time and energy writing content that will almost inevitably bring a mediocre ROI. On the contrary, we can make each of our content a well-shaped puzzle piece, which will help us to create the story and message of our brand.
It is a recent guide from Searchenginejournal to clarify how content strategy works and how it can make our content marketing campaign more effective, outlining the five main points on which we need to focus our attention.
Detecting the reason of publishing
Every content we publish should be focused on achieving a goal, and an effective strategy helps us to determine it exactly. For example, lead magnets expand our mailing, emails bring clicks on the site, blog posts allow us to strengthen authoritativeness in an industry.
But all this content should be created at the right time, put in front of the right audience and measured to see if they worked. We cannot think of creating and “randomly” publishing, because this non-strategy will never bring us closer to the marketing goals we set ourselves.
Determining the target
Part of the content strategy is to find out exactly who our audience is, by answering questions like:
- Which are their main sore spots?
- Why are they reading our content?
- How can our product or service help them improve their lives?
If we write in a generalized way, without having any reference recipients in particular, our piece will lack real feeling and substance despite its beauty and formal correctness. On the contrary, if we write a message to someone we know deeply, we will generally be able to make words and phrases more alive. Also, because we know this person well, we know what he wants or needs to hear.
To improve our content strategy, then, we can apply some suggestions that help us to speak to our audience. First, we can create content personas, i.e. “imaginary characters” to direct our contents to, based on the specific information collected about our audience.
No less important is to understand the buyerâ€™s journey, so to know where they are when they read our content: they may be at the moment of awareness, consideration or decision, and we should then know what could drive their actions into each of these stages.
Choosing the type of content
The content strategy is also to determine which is the best type of content to publish among those available, their length, the medium on which we publish and so on. We must therefore examine in depth the needs and goals of our website and brand, find out which type of content best meets our needs, where we should promote it and which is the right program to create and publish it.
Deciding who creates the content
At first, especially if we have small activities, we might think of writing all the content ourselves, but this choice cannot last forever nor is the best ever. Experts recommend to set a budget to entrust the creation of high quality contents to professional copywriters, to involve other copys in the project so to maintain the constant flow of publications, to eventually hire a content manager to set the editorial calendar and so on.
Measuring the campaigns’ success
Strategy also is being aware of how every content we publish is going, evaluating the effects of publications and knowing if we are achieving content marketing goals. We have to ask ourselves and check if blog posts attract the attention of readers, if emails are bringing clicks to the site, if case studies are converting potential customers into real ones and so on.
Content strategy is therefore also the ability to read and interpret the metrics that determine the success of contents, such as bounce rate, time on the page and scroll depth.