What Is A Content Marketing Strategy And Do You Need One?

Content and Coffee Podcast

First, What is content? 

Content is any form of information that a business puts together for the viewing of their audience and is meant to be of value to the people who read it. Some popular forms of content marketing include blog posts; email newsletters, videos, and social media posts. Content produced by a business is great for solving consumer problems and attracting people to their website. For example, some titles of blog posts that solve problems could be:

- What should homebuyers look for in a new house?

- 5 tips to remember before filing your taxes

- How to effectively market a small business online

 

These are all titles of potential blog posts addressed towards a target audience. Each example above is directed to a specific type of consumer - so when they click on the title from Google they end up on the business website.

 

Click here to find out how we used our own content marketing strategy to increase our ROI by 788.13%

What producing content does to help your business?

1. It develops a layer of trust without you having to speak to prospective customers. Content produced by your company positions your business as a thought leader. When consumers are looking for solutions, the content shows your customer that you actually know what you’re selling.



By producing content people will naturally find the information you are putting forward. So over time, you can reduce your paid marketing budget. Leads driven by content compound so the more content you put forward the more leads will find your business’ website.

Most businesses do not have an established online presence or if they do it’s not relevant, off-brand, and inconsistent. Running a business comes with enough challenges and posting consistently to your online channels can seem mundane especially if you don’t know what to post but here’s where a content marketing strategy can help.

Why you need a strategy:

Most businesses don’t know what a content marketing strategy is let alone why it is important. A content marketing strategy is a defined plan around what goals you are trying to hit with your content and how to hit them.

Too often businesses think that just by posting often without any research, content marketing is good. A content strategy gives your content production structure, it allows you to define an ROI, and gives a why to what you are doing. Once you begin creating your content marketing strategy it will allow you to hit those goals faster and more effectively than if you have no content strategy.

 

Potential Barriers you may face:

Content marketing is a long-term play and it is an investment in your business that builds over time. Over time your blogs will build your inbound traffic. Most of Ghostit’s leads come from older blog posts because of the compounding nature of shares and discovery. 

Knowing where to start can also be challenging and daunting, especially if you have 100 things on your to-do list.

 

Where to start?

Content marketing strategies can range from very complex to basic so here’s what you need to know to get started. When first developing your plan, try not to get too fancy. Put a system in place and stick with it. The best strategy articulates consistency.

 

Each point will be explained in more depth but here are the basics we will cover today.

1. How to get started

2. What types of content to create

3. Tools you can use to succeed

4. Channels you should create content for 5. Managing the quality of your content

6. Analytics and ROI

1. How to get started:

The best thing you can do to get started is really to think about what your audience wants. Something that you can act on today is going through problems your audience might have. 

For Ghostit some problems customers face are:

 

What kind of content should I create for my business?

How do I use Facebook to drive qualified leads?

How to measure the ROI of content marketing?

What is a content marketing strategy and do you need one?

These can all be potential blog posts that are specific to your potential customer base. By running through potential problems your audience could face you should also be able to identify your audience.

 

Here are a couple of examples of how you can define your audience.

 

Small business owners:

- Been in business for a while but not adept at online marketing

- Nice website so they care about their online presence but poor blog and social presence

- Small team 1-20

- No in-house creative

 

Marketing managers, VP’s of marketing, decision-makers at organizations

- Small marketing teams

- Individual marketers as a part of their organization who know they need content but cant produce it themselves

- Marketing teams who are paying for existing content with no strategy

- Bigger teams with no in-house creative

- Maybe tried content marketing before without it being effective (lack of strategy)

 

Professional service individuals (realtors, accountants, lawyers)

- Professionals who know they need to be online but don’t have the time to do so

- Want to stand out from their peers but not look like they are saying they are better than everyone else

- Nice website so they know online presence is important

 

Once you have an idea of who your audience is your next step would be to do some keyword research around what these people might be searching for.

 

Let’s take a look at one of the titles I mentioned above.

 

 

How do I use Facebook to drive qualified leads?

 

Keywords:

- Facebook marketing

5,400 monthly searches but a high difficulty of 66/100.

- Facebook lead ads

2,900 monthly searches with a still high difficulty of 59/100.

 

- Sales Qualified Leads

Lower monthly searches at 587 but a winnable keyword, with a difficulty of 39/100.

“Sales qualified leads” is also a relevant keyword to this example post so I need to try and work this into the title and body of the blog post.

 

So I would rewrite the title as “How to use Facebook to drive sales qualified leads.” Once you have your keywords picked out its time to write your content.


2. The best types of content to create from your strategy

Try and produce evergreen content as frequently as you can. Evergreen content is content that will always be relevant no matter when your potential buyer is searching for it.

 

Examples of evergreen content: Ten Top Marketing Tactics You Can Use Across the Year

Example of Non-evergreen content: Top Twenty Vogue Tips for 2017 fashion

 

This is not to say that time relevant pieces are not valuable or important but if you are looking to get the best bang for your buck or bang for your time try to create evergreen content.

Content marketing or content marketing strategy is not only specific to software or e-commerce business. You can easily be a brick and mortar business that cares about building your online presence.

 

A bakery, for example, that puts out a blog post every two weeks about how to bake the perfect pie would be brand-building by producing pieces that are non-technical.

 

3. The Best thing you can do for consistency:  Have an editorial calendar.

Facebook Content Calendar

Create an editorial calendar. It doesn't have to be fancy, you can literally open Excel and put however many days there are in the month. Set your frequency of social posts, blog posts, and email newsletters so you have a visual schedule of all the content you will be creating for the month. This way you know exactly what to post and when.

 

The reason you should have a consistent calendar is that too often you'll go to a Facebook page for a business and their last post was February of 2014.

 

This doesn't show relevance to the consumer, if you are a business owner and you haven't posted in a long time, the consumer could take that as “these guys don't care enough to keep their online presence up to date”. Consumers now expect that businesses will be online so if they can’t find your business it is likely they will click on the next solution, aka competitor.   

 

4. What channels should you consider when building your strategy: 

Think about where your customers hang out online. Your social channels are important but not necessarily all of them. 

Think about Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram, which platform is best depends on your business. Although, for most businesses covering LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter is usually a safe bet.

An example of this was when I was talking to an agency owner and they invested a ton of time into Instagram as a marketing channel. Since their average sale price per customer was so high (20,000 to 100,000 per contract), Instagram didn’t bring them anything because their target customer is not on Instagram.

 

 

5. How good does your content have to be?

Most people get held back, obsessing over creating the perfect piece and as a result, they never end up posting anything. This is a mistake. Each piece has to meet a certain quality level but it does not have to be perfect. You should focus on consistency over everything to build that initial base of content following your editorial calendar. 90% of success is showing up.

 

6. When to think about ROI and factor it into your plan

Content is a long-term play and not a silver bullet by any means. SEO results usually come three to six months in so stick with it. This is not a hard and fast number though if you work hard on distribution you could see results much sooner.

There are a few important metrics you should be considered when measuring your content marketing efforts.

 

Unique page views: how many new people are seeing your content

Social engagement: how many people are engaging with your content on social media

Email signups: How many people are signing up as a result of your content.

Track these over time, and label your form fields so you can see where people are signing up. In Google Analytics you can set up goal conversions, this step is a bit more technical but once you have goals set up you can monitor conversion rates and then assign a value to your sign up.

  

To reiterate here’s what you need to know to build a basic content marketing strategy:

 

1. Write about problems your audience has

2. Create evergreen content so it is always relevant

3. Create an editorial calendar so you know what is being posted and when

4. Do some research on where your audience spends their time online and prioritize those channels

5. Prioritize consistency over quality but don’t sacrifice quality. Make sure it's engaging.

6.Track unique page views, email signups, and social engagement for a base-line level of how your content is performing. We will write another in-depth post about tracking your content marketing ROI so stay tuned for that!

 

If you have any questions regarding content marketing strategy or anything along that nature feel free to email us at hello@ghostit.co. Enjoy the podcast!

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What Is A Content Marketing Strategy And Do You Need One?

What Is A Content Marketing Strategy And Do You Need One?

Author :

Stephanie Brown

First, What is content? 

Content is any form of information that a business puts together for the viewing of their audience and is meant to be of value to the people who read it. Some popular forms of content marketing include blog posts; email newsletters, videos, and social media posts. Content produced by a business is great for solving consumer problems and attracting people to their website. For example, some titles of blog posts that solve problems could be:

- What should homebuyers look for in a new house?

- 5 tips to remember before filing your taxes

- How to effectively market a small business online

 

These are all titles of potential blog posts addressed towards a target audience. Each example above is directed to a specific type of consumer - so when they click on the title from Google they end up on the business website.

 

Click here to find out how we used our own content marketing strategy to increase our ROI by 788.13%

What producing content does to help your business?

1. It develops a layer of trust without you having to speak to prospective customers. Content produced by your company positions your business as a thought leader. When consumers are looking for solutions, the content shows your customer that you actually know what you’re selling.



By producing content people will naturally find the information you are putting forward. So over time, you can reduce your paid marketing budget. Leads driven by content compound so the more content you put forward the more leads will find your business’ website.

Most businesses do not have an established online presence or if they do it’s not relevant, off-brand, and inconsistent. Running a business comes with enough challenges and posting consistently to your online channels can seem mundane especially if you don’t know what to post but here’s where a content marketing strategy can help.

Why you need a strategy:

Most businesses don’t know what a content marketing strategy is let alone why it is important. A content marketing strategy is a defined plan around what goals you are trying to hit with your content and how to hit them.

Too often businesses think that just by posting often without any research, content marketing is good. A content strategy gives your content production structure, it allows you to define an ROI, and gives a why to what you are doing. Once you begin creating your content marketing strategy it will allow you to hit those goals faster and more effectively than if you have no content strategy.

 

Potential Barriers you may face:

Content marketing is a long-term play and it is an investment in your business that builds over time. Over time your blogs will build your inbound traffic. Most of Ghostit’s leads come from older blog posts because of the compounding nature of shares and discovery. 

Knowing where to start can also be challenging and daunting, especially if you have 100 things on your to-do list.

 

Where to start?

Content marketing strategies can range from very complex to basic so here’s what you need to know to get started. When first developing your plan, try not to get too fancy. Put a system in place and stick with it. The best strategy articulates consistency.

 

Each point will be explained in more depth but here are the basics we will cover today.

1. How to get started

2. What types of content to create

3. Tools you can use to succeed

4. Channels you should create content for 5. Managing the quality of your content

6. Analytics and ROI

1. How to get started:

The best thing you can do to get started is really to think about what your audience wants. Something that you can act on today is going through problems your audience might have. 

For Ghostit some problems customers face are:

 

What kind of content should I create for my business?

How do I use Facebook to drive qualified leads?

How to measure the ROI of content marketing?

What is a content marketing strategy and do you need one?

These can all be potential blog posts that are specific to your potential customer base. By running through potential problems your audience could face you should also be able to identify your audience.

 

Here are a couple of examples of how you can define your audience.

 

Small business owners:

- Been in business for a while but not adept at online marketing

- Nice website so they care about their online presence but poor blog and social presence

- Small team 1-20

- No in-house creative

 

Marketing managers, VP’s of marketing, decision-makers at organizations

- Small marketing teams

- Individual marketers as a part of their organization who know they need content but cant produce it themselves

- Marketing teams who are paying for existing content with no strategy

- Bigger teams with no in-house creative

- Maybe tried content marketing before without it being effective (lack of strategy)

 

Professional service individuals (realtors, accountants, lawyers)

- Professionals who know they need to be online but don’t have the time to do so

- Want to stand out from their peers but not look like they are saying they are better than everyone else

- Nice website so they know online presence is important

 

Once you have an idea of who your audience is your next step would be to do some keyword research around what these people might be searching for.

 

Let’s take a look at one of the titles I mentioned above.

 

 

How do I use Facebook to drive qualified leads?

 

Keywords:

- Facebook marketing

5,400 monthly searches but a high difficulty of 66/100.

- Facebook lead ads

2,900 monthly searches with a still high difficulty of 59/100.

 

- Sales Qualified Leads

Lower monthly searches at 587 but a winnable keyword, with a difficulty of 39/100.

“Sales qualified leads” is also a relevant keyword to this example post so I need to try and work this into the title and body of the blog post.

 

So I would rewrite the title as “How to use Facebook to drive sales qualified leads.” Once you have your keywords picked out its time to write your content.


2. The best types of content to create from your strategy

Try and produce evergreen content as frequently as you can. Evergreen content is content that will always be relevant no matter when your potential buyer is searching for it.

 

Examples of evergreen content: Ten Top Marketing Tactics You Can Use Across the Year

Example of Non-evergreen content: Top Twenty Vogue Tips for 2017 fashion

 

This is not to say that time relevant pieces are not valuable or important but if you are looking to get the best bang for your buck or bang for your time try to create evergreen content.

Content marketing or content marketing strategy is not only specific to software or e-commerce business. You can easily be a brick and mortar business that cares about building your online presence.

 

A bakery, for example, that puts out a blog post every two weeks about how to bake the perfect pie would be brand-building by producing pieces that are non-technical.

 

3. The Best thing you can do for consistency:  Have an editorial calendar.

Facebook Content Calendar

Create an editorial calendar. It doesn't have to be fancy, you can literally open Excel and put however many days there are in the month. Set your frequency of social posts, blog posts, and email newsletters so you have a visual schedule of all the content you will be creating for the month. This way you know exactly what to post and when.

 

The reason you should have a consistent calendar is that too often you'll go to a Facebook page for a business and their last post was February of 2014.

 

This doesn't show relevance to the consumer, if you are a business owner and you haven't posted in a long time, the consumer could take that as “these guys don't care enough to keep their online presence up to date”. Consumers now expect that businesses will be online so if they can’t find your business it is likely they will click on the next solution, aka competitor.   

 

4. What channels should you consider when building your strategy: 

Think about where your customers hang out online. Your social channels are important but not necessarily all of them. 

Think about Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram, which platform is best depends on your business. Although, for most businesses covering LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter is usually a safe bet.

An example of this was when I was talking to an agency owner and they invested a ton of time into Instagram as a marketing channel. Since their average sale price per customer was so high (20,000 to 100,000 per contract), Instagram didn’t bring them anything because their target customer is not on Instagram.

 

 

5. How good does your content have to be?

Most people get held back, obsessing over creating the perfect piece and as a result, they never end up posting anything. This is a mistake. Each piece has to meet a certain quality level but it does not have to be perfect. You should focus on consistency over everything to build that initial base of content following your editorial calendar. 90% of success is showing up.

 

6. When to think about ROI and factor it into your plan

Content is a long-term play and not a silver bullet by any means. SEO results usually come three to six months in so stick with it. This is not a hard and fast number though if you work hard on distribution you could see results much sooner.

There are a few important metrics you should be considered when measuring your content marketing efforts.

 

Unique page views: how many new people are seeing your content

Social engagement: how many people are engaging with your content on social media

Email signups: How many people are signing up as a result of your content.

Track these over time, and label your form fields so you can see where people are signing up. In Google Analytics you can set up goal conversions, this step is a bit more technical but once you have goals set up you can monitor conversion rates and then assign a value to your sign up.

  

To reiterate here’s what you need to know to build a basic content marketing strategy:

 

1. Write about problems your audience has

2. Create evergreen content so it is always relevant

3. Create an editorial calendar so you know what is being posted and when

4. Do some research on where your audience spends their time online and prioritize those channels

5. Prioritize consistency over quality but don’t sacrifice quality. Make sure it's engaging.

6.Track unique page views, email signups, and social engagement for a base-line level of how your content is performing. We will write another in-depth post about tracking your content marketing ROI so stay tuned for that!

 

If you have any questions regarding content marketing strategy or anything along that nature feel free to email us at hello@ghostit.co. Enjoy the podcast!

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