Did you know that every day on the internet:
- There are 4.75 Billion pieces of content shared
- There are 1.8 Billion photos uploaded
- There are 700 Million Snapchats
- There are 500 Million tweets
Marketing, as we know it, is being transformed right in front of our eyes. More and more messages are being promoted every day, on more channels, and as a result, consumers are learning to simply tune out the noise.
Because of this, brands must leverage content marketing to deliver the useful information necessary to educate and build trust with their audiences. But they often fail to document what they are trying to achieve, how they will get it done, and what measures will prove success.
Recently I presented to more than 600 attendees on a Webinar: “How To Plan And Build A Successful Content Marketing Strategy.” I covered:
- The key factors for content marketing success
- The core components of a content marketing strategy
- I answered the main questions of how to build a solid content marketing strategy
I shared my secret that effective content marketing was relatively simple:
“The buyer journey is nothing more than a series of questions that must be answered.” ~ IDC
I shared the Content Marketing Institute’s more formal definition of content marketing:
“Content marketing is the marketing and business process for creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.” ~ Content Marketing Institute
I showed the Venn Diagram I use to define content marketing in every presentation. Content marketing is the overlap between what a brand knows and what their audience is looking for. It does not seek to promote the brand and just talk about itself (lame). And it does not seek to simply entertain (ineffective). Instead, effective content marketing seeks to help educate the buyer in their journey. It seeks to make the customer the hero!
And I shared the rallying cry for why we need to change:
“We have to stop interrupting what people are interested in, and be what people are interested in.”
I also showed how important content marketing is to the modern buyer journey:
The 6 factors to content marketing success:
- Document content strategy
- Have someone in charge of content
- Consistently publish quality content
- Map content to buyer journey
- Balance Paid, Owned, Earned Media
- Track Content Marketing ROI
Here is what an effective content marketing strategy framework looks like:
The Content Marketing Roadmap
A content marketing strategy effectively answers a key series of questions about your marketing strategy, your website, target buyers, SEO, your budget, the business case, the approach to thought leadership, the content, distribution and measurement.
I provided an example and a template for anyone to develop their content marketing mission:
Your Content Marketing Mission Statement
Become a destination for [target audience] interested in [topics]. To help them [customer value].
This will help us [your content marketing goals]
- Earn your audience’s attention vs. just buying it
- Reach, engage and convert NEW buyers
I provided a spreadsheet to help anyone measure their content marketing results:
Content Marketing Dashboard and Reporting Template
Download the Content Marketing Measurement dashboard template.
The Content Marketing “Unique Point of View” Trap
This is so common I almost once lost my job over it. You see I had a manager who only wanted content that presented a unique point of view. However the focus on this is self-serving. And today’s audiences see right through it. In order to win trust, you have to sincerely answer a customer question.
The 3 Steps to Building Your Content Marketing Strategy
- You have to develop the why – the business case for why you need a new approach
- You have to define how you will achieve this goal
- You have to show what business outcomes you will measure
Content Marketing Budgets
I also talked about the budgeting process for your overall budget and for your content budget. I suggest starting with the “rule of thirds.”For Overall Budgets:
- One-third of your budget on technology / infrastructure
- One-third of your budget on content
- One-third of your budget on paid distribution
For The Content Budget:
- One-third of your budget on original content
- One-third of your budget on refreshing evergreen content
- One-third of your budget on employee activation or co-created content with employees, influencers, customers
This also works when you consider the Hollywood model of budgeting for movies where 50% of the budget goes to production of the content and 50% of the budget goes to distribution.
One comment about the “rule of thirds.” The mix ends up being different for every brand. The point is to start with this as a budget assumption. Once you start publishing and measuring results, you can optimize the budget for superior content marketing results.
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We can create quality, optimized content for you to publish on your website every single week. We’ll also promote your content for higher visibility and track your ROI so you know exactly how it’s performing.
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