A content marketing strategy has become a critical component of marketing initiatives. With the advent of the Internet, content has taken a front seat in customers’ eyes. People are searching and consuming more information from an array of mediums, including newspapers, online blogs, videos, social media and search engines.
In today’s always-on, customer-centric business environment, an effective content marketing strategy can set your brand apart from the competition. By providing valuable resources and content to customers, you can build brand loyalty, shorten sales cycles and drive new business.
Crafting a Compelling Content Marketing Strategy
At Walker Sands, we help B2B and technology companies incorporate an effective content marketing strategy into an existing PR and marketing program. For companies who do not have robust PR, social or search programs, we can dive in and immediately make an impact on sales and website traffic thanks to our deep industry expertise.
When you design a content marketing strategy, there are a few steps you must take to ensure success:
- Define Your Audience: You must know who your key audiences are, along with their pain points and interests. Your entire content marketing strategy should be designed around your target audiences. You may need different collateral and strategies to appeal to each audience, so it’s critical to define and understand your audiences before kicking off your content marketing strategy.
- Create Core Messaging: Your core messaging will guide all of your efforts in your content marketing strategy. These are the key takeaways you want your audience to walk away with after reading your content. Core messaging will also help you determine which contributed article and interview opportunities are worthwhile to pursue. If an opportunity aligns with your core messaging and will reach your audience, it’s valuable to your content marketing strategy.
- Develop Brand Identity: Your brand identity will influence the direction of your core messaging and content marketing strategy. Your brand identity should be simple, concise and relatable. It should sum up all of the components of your brand and define how you want customers to view your brand.
Components of a Successful Content Marketing Strategy
A strong content marketing strategy can set your brand apart from the competition, shorten sales cycles and drive new business. In the age of information and the Internet, product sales sheets and other outbound marketing are just two pieces of a successful content marketing strategy.
An effective content marketing strategy incorporates a range of tactics, including:
- Media Outreach: By working with the media and bloggers to coordinate interviews and contributed article opportunities, you can receive third-party validation of your company, products and expertise. This can carry a lot of weight in the eyes of consumers and play an important role in your content marketing strategy.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO): SEO tactics can improve your rankings on popular search engines such as Google. In a content marketing strategy, strategically crafted content on your website that is informative and original will improve your SEO efforts.
- Website Development and Optimization: Your website is an important part of your content marketing strategy. A strong website with useful resources and information about your company, products and culture will play a role in a customer’s purchasing decision. Your website needs to present your brand image accurately and effectively through your content.
- Social Media Marketing: Even for B2B companies, social media is a valuable component of a content marketing strategy. Industry influencers, reporters and your customers are all using social media to interact with brands and find information.
- Original Research and Reporting: Original data and commentary on news stories can provide fodder for your content marketing strategy. Reporters love data and customers are increasingly making decisions based on concrete statistics. Incorporating research reports and statistics into your content marketing strategy will increase your effectiveness.
It’s critical for your brand to be present and credible at every stage of the buying process, building your brand and positioning your company as the foremost expert in your field. A content marketing strategy will set you apart from the competition and make your company and product the natural choice for customers’ unique needs.