When is the last time that you’ve sat down and evaluated your content marketing strategy (be honest, here)? Chances are, it’s been a while! And yet a great content marketing strategy will not only help to build new business relationships and create a sense of loyalty to your brand, it will also allow you to position yourself as a thought leader (or an authority) within your area. Moreover, a truly great content marketing campaign gives you the opportunity to sell your brand and to give value and knowledge to your target audience. In order words, a great content marketing campaign is vital to your success!
The thoughtful design and and rollout of your content marketing campaign is important to its success. Arguably the most important question a content marketer can ask is: why exactly am I creating this content? Put another way, simply posting new blog posts and sharing a some relevant articles that you saw on social media without planning it out just isn’t going to cut it. You shouldn’t create a piece of content without first setting goals, otherwise you won’t know what to measure to determine if it’s been successful! Also, the ability of your team to evaluate content marketing activity from design to distribution is crucial. Your team can use analytics to identify problems (and opportunities!) in your content strategy.
Let’s take a look at the TOP 3 WAYs to start developing a great content marketing campaign right away:
1) Clearly define your goals and objectives.
It’s going to be very difficult to reach your content marketing goals if you don’t know what you’re looking to achieve in the first place. Because different types of content work better in pursuit of some goals than others, it’s important to clearly define success from your organization’s viewpoint first, so you don’t waste efforts that don’t line up with what you want to accomplish. Take some time to brainstorm with your team here and work to develop ideas and themes for your marketing materials.
What you’re trying to avoid here is writing content marketing without a defined purpose or goal, and still hoping to see positive results. A recent article from Forbes on Content Market campaign points out that “Without the well-defined goals and strategy that come from a decent understanding of content marketing, your content is just noise — noise that neither you nor your customers will be satisfied with. Whether you’re cooking up a blog post or compiling a masterpiece for The Wall Street Journal, you need to know that piece’s purpose. What should people do after reading your post?”
2) Develop a content calendar.
Put simply, a content calendar is a shareable resource your team can use to plan all content marketing activity. The benefit of using the calendar format, as opposed to a long list of content to be published, is that you can visualize how your content is distributed throughout the quarter (or the year). This allows you to:
- Plan content around key events in your industry or important dates (Do you have an upcoming conference to attend? Is there a holiday coming up?)
- See where you have gaps in your content plan, and come up with creative and effective ways to fill those gaps with different types of content.
- Ensure you have your content ready in plenty of time to publish on a consistent and regular basis.
- Make sure that you have a varied and interesting set of content marketing materials (long form articles, short blogs, email marketing, white papers, a video presentation, a podcast, etc.).
3) Track and analyze your efforts.
How well did you do on your content marketing campaign? Well, without continuously analyzing your efforts, your team won’t know how your campaign did. Having a bird’s-eye-view of your social media activity helps put things into perspective.
You’ve already identified goals, developed your content calendar, and have started releasing your content marketing materials — now it’s time to make sure you made the right decisions. This can be tricky to figure out, because about almost half of content marketers are unsure if their social strategy actually created revenue for their brand. This is why having clearly defined goals and well structured content calendar will help. There are all sorts of programs and tools (including free ones!) that your team can explore to help track and monitor this progress. For example, Google Analytics helps you see which posts drove the most traffic, conversions and overall revenue.
As we’ve shown in this article, an effective content marketing campaign can be tricky to pull off, but is absolutely worthwhile to the success of your company. Defining goals, creating a content calendar, and then measuring and analyzing the results of your campaign will help you to stay on track and hopefully increase your bottom dollar.
But you don’t have to go it alone.
Let the professionals at Hashtag Creative help your content marketing efforts. We work effortlessly to create amazing content that will turn strangers into paying customers through social media, email marketing, blogging great content and tracking all your actions in a whole new way. Reach out to us today to get started!