There is a person who needs your product or service right now but without knowing about your solution, they instead purchase from a competitor or find an alternative. The sale is lost.
Marketers work hard to locate and reach prospective customers, But to be competitive, you need to do more than reach them. Content marketing builds engagement, trust and foundation for future sales. Content marketing generates three times more leads for each dollar spent when compared to paid search. Plus, it delivers three times more leads than outbound marketing, and typically costs 62 percent less than other traditional strategies.
Like most successful initiatives, effective content marketing begins with a plan. Everyone knows content is king, but how do you go about creating that content? This post will serve as a step-by-step strategy.
What is a Content Creation Strategy?
When developing your content creation strategy, start by determining who you're trying to create content for, what problems that content will solve, and what formats will be used. The plan should also define what channels you'll use to promote the content.
There is a specific strategy behind each of these content creation elements, which address the specific buyer, where they spend time and which types of content will resonate best with that buyer (more on that in a minute).
It's also important to match your goal to a specific strategy. Whether it’s generating leads or educating a specific buyer persona, you can better align those goals with the target audience that you’re attempting to reach.
Start With Buyer Personas
Developing a more powerful content creation strategy starts with developing accurate buyer personas in order to reach and build engagement with your target audience. According to the Content Marketing Institute, 69 percent of marketers focus on creating content for their audiences instead of on creating content for their brands. What is a persona? Ardath Albee wrote in an article for CMI that:
A marketing persona is a composite sketch of a key segment of your audience. For content marketing purposes, you need personas to help you deliver content that will be most relevant and useful to your audience.
The strategy can include a variety of personas and details for each one, such as who that person is, what they value and how it’s best to reach them. Here are a few items that are helpful to include.
- Job title. Where does he or she work, and what are the details about their role at work? For example, Mary is the marketing manager at a medium-size marketing firm, and she handles all the marketing strategy and execution of daily tasks.
- Demographics. This can include items such as the persona’s age, gender, education and family details. For example, Mary is 37 years old and attended XYZ University, where she graduated with an English degree. She graduated with honors and prides herself in finding new approaches to old problems.
- Goals and challenges. This may include things such as values and fears. For example, “Mary’s goal is to stay one step ahead and bring innovative approaches to her department, but she struggles with balancing all the various daily tasks of the department.”
The key to building accurate and useful buyer personas is taking a deep dive and truly getting to know your customers. But where can you find this information? A variety of tools can be used, including website analytics, keyword research, employee feedback and social channels. As you learn more about these personas, you can revise the sketches and iterate as you go.
Selecting the Right Content Type
The content creation strategy can include a variety of types of content based on the personas and their needs. Most marketers don’t stick with one or two types of contact; they use an average of 15 different approaches, so don’t be afraid to mix it up. Some potential content formats include:
- Social media content: For example, memes and graphics that resonate with your audience’s pain points are a great starting point.
- Blog posts: What are the largest pain points of your target audience? Create blog posts that address those points, and provide useful step-by-step guidance.
- Email newsletters: Publish a monthly newsletter that highlights your most popular blog posts.
- E-books or white papers: Create in-depth, gated content that provides more detailed solutions, studies and tools.
- Infographics: Create infographics that work well with other types of content, such as blog posts, e-books or white papers, and then cross-promote those graphics. Or reach out to influencers who publish similar content to promote the infographic.
- Webinars/webcasts: Host webinars that address problems a specific persona is struggling with most.
All of the above are viable options, but how do you know which will truly work best for a specific persona? Start by taking clues from the past. For example, let’s say that you created a blog post targeted at the “Mary” persona that served as lead generation. About 40 percent of people who read the blog post also provided their email address for a content upgrade. As a result, you learned that blog posts with content upgrades work well for this persona, so do more of what works well. Also experiment with new options and track the results to find additional opportunities.
What are the marketing goals for your company in the next year? Maybe the plan is to focus on lead generation, generate more website traffic or increase audience engagement. Whatever the goal, everything starts and ends with the customer. Dive deeper and define your buyer personas, and figure out their burning pain points and what types of content they crave most. Then use these insights to develop a content marketing strategy that will drive greater success and revenue.
Getting The Help You Need
At Samasource, our skilled content team produces engaging and relevant content that will help convey your brand’s message to the community. Creating high-quality content to enhance your marketing efforts is what we do. For more information about our content services, call us today.
From self-driving cars to smart hardware, Samasource fuels AI. Founded over a decade ago, we’re experts in image, video and sensor data annotation and validation for machine learning algorithms in industries including automotive, navigation, AR/VR, biotech, agriculture, manufacturing, and e-commerce. Our staff are driven by a mission to expand opportunity for low-income people through the digital economy, and our social business model has helped over 50,000 people lift themselves out of poverty.