You’ve probably heard about how important content marketing strategy and planning is, and why it’s vital to your overall marketing strategy.
What you probably don’t know is exactly why that’s true. In fact, many B2B marketing companies are churning out a ton of content without knowing much about content marketing.
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Below, we’ll provide everything you need to know about content marketing.
Content Marketing: What You Need to Know
What is a marketing strategy for content marketing?
It’s more than simply writing a blog post each week and sending it to the world. Content marketing is the creation of content that your audience cares about and figuring out the best way to get it in front of them.
Your content marketing strategy needs to include important points such as your target audience, their pain points, the end goals, and how you’re going to measure success.
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The biggest question is whether or not all this effort is worth it. After all, creating content is enough work by itself, let alone how to develop the marketing strategy.
Here are some statistics that show exactly how valuable content marketing really is:
- Content marketing leaders enjoy year over year growth almost 8 times higher than non-leaders do.
- Content marketing is 62% less expensive than other types of traditional marketing but still generates triple the amount of leads.
- Brands that focus on content marketing boost conversions five times more than brands who do not
How Companies Implement Content
A thorough report compiled by a joint effort between The Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Profs titled Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends Report gives us terrific insight into how most companies are implementing content, and how effective those efforts are. We can use this to develop a marketing strategy sample.
According to this report, this is how often companies focus their efforts on a particular content marketing strategy:
- Social media posts that aren’t blog posts – 90%.
- Images (not infographics) – 87%.
- Company newsletters – 83%.
- Video content (not webinars or webcasts) – 82%.
- General website content – 81%.
- Blog posts or updates – 77%.
- In-person events (for example, a speech or seminar) – 73%.
- Infographic images – 62%.
- Mobile application content – 43%.
- Webinar or webcast livestreams – 40%.
Unfortunately, there’s a discrepancy when it comes to exactly how effective companies believe these efforts are.
For example, people find that in-person content events and newsletters are effective the most often, and that blogs are effective least often.
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Additionally, the platforms that companies use do not match up to how effective they find those platforms to be. Here are some interesting examples:
- 94% of all companies use Facebook, but only 66% believe it is effective.
- 77% of all companies use YouTube, but only 53% believe it is effective.
- 72% of all companies use Google+, but only 22% believe it is effective.
There is clearly a disconnect between a company’s focus and what works for them. The key is taking a long, hard look at your target audience and figuring out where they are most likely to want your content.
Also, consider that the average company uses seven different social platforms. That is too much.
Let’s take a look at this, and some of the other most common content marketing mistakes companies make when determining how to develop a marketing strategy for content.
Common Content Marketing Mistakes
Too many social networks: As previously mentioned, one of the most common content marketing mistakes is being on too many platforms.
If you have seven profiles, you’re spreading yourself too thin. Focus on one or two key platforms and build your brand that way.
Once you have a strong, engaged following, you can consider expanding a bit.
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No documented process: Another key finding from the report was that over half of all companies don’t even have a documented content marketing strategy.
This is a huge issue. Without taking the time to properly document everything you’re doing, you won’t be able to effectively measure and test your results.
With a strong strategy in place, you’ll have the framework to not only succeed, but make sure you can find ways to do even better in the future.
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Investing non-profitable campaigns: Finally, many marketing companies are making the mistake of investing too heavily into paid advertising methods that aren’t producing results.
Of the companies surveyed, only 39% found traditional online banner ads to be effective and only 46% found native advertising and print or offline promotions to be effective.
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On the other hand, over half of all companies found search engine marketing, promoted posts, and social ads to be successful.
Your results may vary, but it’s important to constantly test and measure the effectiveness of your efforts. Without the right framework, you cannot hope to achieve that.
The Difference Between Planning Content and Planning Content Marketing
Finally, it’s important to understand that planning content is not the same thing as planning a content marketing strategy.
Content planning deals with the management and development of content itself.
- Who are you creating the content for?
- What type of content are you going to create?
- Who is creating and posting the content?
- How often do you need new content?
Your content marketing strategy is a bit more involved.
Content marketing is the practice of actually using content to attract or convert customers as a part of your overall inbound marketing strategy.
- How can you deliver content to customers so they feel like they’re being informed instead of being sold to?
- What efforts need to be made to turn your content into results?
- Which customers would benefit from receiving pieces of existing content?
- How does this fit into your overall sales marketing strategy?
The difference is subtle, but if you’re able to master the strategies of both content and content marketing, you’ll be well-positioned to generate leads and drive conversions.
Developing a Content Marketing Strategy For 2017 and Beyond
Having thoroughly covered the most important content marketing concepts, it’s important to take a look at the future.
What is a marketing strategy for content in 2017 and beyond?
Here are some key tips:
- Creating and structuring content to assist with your SEO efforts.
- Shifting the focus away from text-based content and more on visual content such as images, infographics, and videos.
- Producing content as a part of a series instead of making everything stand-alone.
- Spending more time on the promotion of your content than actually creating it.
Content marketing is extremely involved, but by following the tips and strategies outlined above, you’ll have a strong grasp on how to ensure your content marketing is effective.
Feel free to comment on this article with your results!