What Is Content Marketing Strategy?
Content is what you write and what you share on your websites, social media, white papers, ebooks, articles and other valuable information. A content marketing strategy is using content to attract your market, build their trust, and create advocates who engage with and share your brand. This highly effective approach is how social media works for businesses globally. If you’ve ever wondered what the secret sauce to social media marketing is, it’s having an irresistible content marketing (also known as inbound marketing) strategy. By the time you’ve finished reading this blog you will know the key elements of a great content marketing strategy, the type of content you’ll want to generate, and the plan for distributing your content.
Note: For this blog post, we reference a brand who is teaching parents of non-neurotypical (on the autism spectrum) with examples of how to craft the elements of their content marketing plan.
Key Elements Of A Great Content Marketing Strategy
1. Define Your Objective: First you must know what you want your content to do for you. If you want your readers to take an action, your content must naturally cause that reaction. If you want more visibility, create content that people absolutely love sharing. If you want to sell, make sure you have content that builds their trust, your credibility, is in context, speaks to them and has a clear call to action.
2. Create Your Persona/Avatar: You want to draw in visibility but for whom? For this, we want to explore deeper the persona of your target audience. Creating a persona is far more than demographics and psychographics. Yes, you need to know how old they are, how many kids they have, what their occupation is, etc. Then get into the story of who your persona. Think of a specific person. You may even want to give him or her a name like Patty Parent. For example, if you have a business that provides specific trainings for parenting kids who are not neurotypical, your persona might be a mother of a child age 6-10 who is non-neurotypical and is concerned about unsupportive schools. Is your persona in a combined household with kids with and without autism? Is it just a single parent? By describing in detail the day in the life of a persona for each target audience, you will have a powerful guide to directing your message and copy. The idea is to go deeper into what parts of your persona’s lives your work could possibly affect.
3. Define the Crave: Once you know who your persona is, what their preferences are, their challenges, their hobbies, buying habits, routines, lifestyle, etc. you are ready to identify what they are craving. Most entrepreneurs miss addressing the crave. Instead, these brands talk about the problems they solve for clients and their approach and methodology. Sharing about how you work and the challenges and solutions may leave you wondering why prospective clients are not responding. This is because you are only half way through to your mesmerizing message. Thus, you still have the next half of the journey to developing a rocking content marketing strategy.
When you know the essence of what is most concerning to your persona and what they deeply desire, you have the opportunity to compel and keep them loyal to you. In other words, if you clearly define their values (what is important to them) and their desires and then you can directly address that in your messaging so that “they get you get them.” When they feel like your brand knows their values and desires, you create an emotional connection. Essentially and imperatively, you are then speaking their language. You create the “how did you know that I felt that way” or “I feel heard and understood” effect.
For example, is your persona overwhelmed and stressed from their fear of raising a child who doesn’t behave, think or have the same needs like other children? What are they missing (from their point of view)? Do they wish they had more skills or patience or help? Do they feel helpless, alone or inadequate? These are the valuable questions you want to answer. Address their stress, their frustration, or maybe their feelings of self-worth. These factors will be weaved into your messaging within your content marketing strategy.In your messaging not only will you provide a solution (even if it is not immediate), you will demonstrate to the consumer that you are still there for support because you reveal to them how much you understand them and By sharing about the You may also show that you have solutions for a wide range of people with the same problem.
4. Define Value (Emotion Oriented Results) They Want Delivered: A great content marketing strategy includes content that answers the most important question a brand MUST ask, “why do they care about your product and it’s feature?” Simply sharing features is the most common mistake businesses make when communicating what they do.More often than not, business copy refers to services and their features. Yes, your prospective clients will need to know you offer courses with modules that cover certain topics. But WHY do they want this and/or what will they accomplish as a result of taking such course or using your product? Will they be entertained, learn how to be more efficient, make more money, have a skill to get them a job, etc. Keep asking why would they want this to each product/service and feature you offer, you’ll get to the emotional benefit.
In our example, if you have a set of free educational courses for parents, you must address FIRST why would they take their time to watch it. Yes, they will learn about parenting non-neurotypcial children. But, why would they want learn about parenting? Because they want to raise children to reach their highest potential. Why wouldn’t they already be able do that? Because when they gain the skills and knowledge, they will have more options so they can spend less money, grow their patience through greater awareness and simple practices and know how to get the right support for their child without spending a fortune. Their stress will melt away as they build their resource arsenal for addressing the behaviour challenges and know exactly how to provide an environment their child can thrive in and become the contribution to society they are meant to be. Furthermore, point out this service helps them save time and how are they actually going to fit this into their life. Wow, now aren’t you ready to sign up for this training? Notice how by defining the value and addressing the crave, we have irresistible message.
Captivate Your Market With Your Message
The most challenging part of the strategy is determining the message that will hit home with your audience. You know how valuable your product/service/expertise is. You’ve got glowing response to your work. But have you ever noticed when trying to explain your work, the people you talk to sort of get it? You want them to be excited and enthusiastic. To get to the message that hits that emotional connection and drives them to want to know more, consider a Crave Consultation. Imagine walking away knowing what to say to turn a prospective customer into a craving client who becomes a raving fan. You’ll also know the specific content that will attract these prospective clients to your website and to call you, hire you or buy your product/service. That is the power of a captivating content marketing strategy.
It’s your turn to identify the specific results your persona/audience is craving, then you’ll know what direction your content should go in. More on the actual content below.
Present Your Information They Way They Want To Receive It
Now it’s time to think about the type of content to develop. Offering a podcast, blog and/or social media posts to educate your audience about your product or service can be a powerful piece of your rockin’ content marketing strategy. The goal is to stand out from other brands that simply present a solution in a generic format. To ensure this, you must make sure you are delivering the content the way they like it. If they are busy, give them the information in a format that they can easily digest.Is that a podcast or a blog or both? Stay tuned in and respond to their feedback regularly. Thus, find out what they think about your content. The only way you are going to figure this out is by surveying the consumers.
You need to think like a consumer, not as the expert or creator of your product/service. In your content, encourage your consumers realistically by relating to them on a personal level. In other words, give your content context. Also offer them feelings of hope and they will feel more compelled to view your content.
Sometimes podcasts are very applicable, but other times audio books can be much more accessible. You could also transcribe podcasts into blog posts. Or, you could take blog posts and make them into LinkedIn articles or slide shows. Taking the topic onto a livestream can be good if lots of people have questions. Even prerecord videos for the internet. Repurposing content can help get your message out further.
Plan Content Topics Around Your Buyer’s Journey
Plan out your content; when, where, and what are you publishing and who’s creating it. Everything has to come back to what they want right now and you will blossom from there. Simply, let your market dictate your message. If you run out of ideas, try Googling common search terms. Google what you think your audience is typing (not you as the expert). The topics on page one will give you a clue of how to optimize your content.
For example, Patty Parent may google, “how to get my non-neurotypical child to bed.” They are probably not going to google parenting tutorials for… They are googling their specific challenges and desires which you previously defined. Morph these search terms, challenges and desires into compelling article titles. For example, 5 Simple Steps To Get Your Non-Neurotypical Child To Sleep.
There are different stages in content marketing you will want to design around: the awareness phase, the consideration phase, and the decision phase.
The awareness phase is when your persona is just becoming aware of a problem to solve or something they might want to add to/remove from their life. They need information that validates their feelings and gives them a lot of education about the topics.
Then there’s the consideration page, where you answer their question “What can be done about this? For example, what are my options with schooling, treatments, therapy, etc.? You want to help them understand their choices by giving them the information they need.
The decision making stage is where your persona chooses the best option for their situation is. This is where you want explain why your brand will be most valuable. You may even compare your product/service to another. It’s also a good idea to explain why you are a credible resource.
Make Your Content Visible To Your Market (Content Distribution)
You will need to strategically place your content so it gets the most visibility to your personas in their respective stages.
Sharing your own content to social media is a hit or miss whether your audience will see it. Getting others to share your content can increase your chances of getting to the most interested people. Influencer content sharing platforms like Social Buzz Club can help grow your reach.
If you’ve done your buyer’s journey content well, you can then use social media advertising to direct specific audiences (based on your persona and or pixeled from your website) to your free downloads, blog articles with calls to action, and even sales pages.
While our strategy thus far has focused on getting content directly to your end user (personas), you might also consider others who have influence over your market and also have similar challenges. For example, educators or other people who are indirectly involved in the issue your content deals with.
In short, a great content marketing strategy clearly addresses what your audience is craving in the format they prefer it in, at the right stage/timing, in the right place.