7 tips to creating an effective content marketing strategy in 2016

create an effective content marketing strategy with these 7 stepsIt’s a new year and we’re already one month in, but what does that mean for your marketing strategy? You may already have some marketing goals you’re working towards for 2016, and you may be well on your way to meeting them. However, are you including a strategy for your content marketing?

Often, businesses create and share content online hoping for the masses pick it up — and often, they don’t. In fact, 76 percent of B2C marketers report using content marketing, but only 37 percent acknowledge that their strategy is actually effective. That means that although they may be creating engaging, relevant content, it’s not being posted and shared strategically to find the right audience.

In the early days of social media, we didn’t have to fight so hard to get our message out into the world. Now, there’s more content and more noise to compete with. If you’re concerned that your content isn’t being marketed strategically, follow these steps to refine your approach:

  1. Document your strategy — Planning out your strategy will help you feel more focused and less challenged by every aspect of it. Start with the core outline and actionable steps. Then, build your case for using content marketing for your company, including an outline of your end goals, content you want to create, and channels you want to use or try out. Meet regularly with your marketing team to keep you all engaged with your strategy. You may find you have to adjust it as you go through the year.
  2. Develop an audience persona — You may already have buyer personas for the ideal customers you wish to attract to your business. But you also need an audience persona to help identify and effectively execute your content marketing strategy. Research who your audience is across social media channels, blog readers, and anywhere else you plan to host content for your brand (e.g. YouTube). Using this information, develop an actual persona that covers pain points, interests, and how they interact with content types and with others online.
  3. Match your ideas to the best channels — You may have the “best content ever” ready to go on every channel you use, but it will largely fall on deaf ears if used on the wrong channel. Instead of doing a mass upload to every channel, chart out your ideas and narrow them down until you match your brand’s voice with a handful of content. Then, look at what each channel is built for and if your target audience uses that channel for the content you’re providing. Finding success can be hit or miss, and you may need to try a few different combinations of channels before you figure everything out for your target audience and brand voice.
  4. Think fast — You may think that content marketing includes big campaigns complete with stand-alone content sites. However, you must make sure your content doesn’t fall flat when it comes to mobile search. Mobile is now the leader in search, and it’s important to track engagement and shares in careful detail now. Keep up with the latest updates from Google, make sure your website is optimized for mobile search and proper indexing by search engines.
  5. Incorporate the user experience — Consumers are now more discerning and wary of content thrown at them online. Without a solid user experience, your target audience may dismiss your content completely, and you’ll never see a sale. After you create your high-end content, take time to ensure your target audience easily engages with your content no matter what device they use to view it. Check that all your calls to action are viewable and easily engageable on every mobile device you can get your hands on. If it doesn’t work for your audience, they’ll dismiss it — and may never come back.
  6. Embrace social media as a channel — Instead of spearheading a content push solely on Twitter, or on the entire group of social media platforms, think of social media as one part of your audience’s omni-channel content marketing campaign. Incorporate each platform that makes sense for your audience as one part of your campaign, looking at each piece as part of the whole strategy. You want to ensure your audience experiences the same quality, optimization, and personalization regardless of where they land.
  7. Go offline — Your content marketing strategy should work as seamlessly offline as online for your target audience. Look outside the realms of social media to further engage your audience and create brand awareness by identifying what type of content works offline. It should intersect with your online content marketing and create a cross-promotional opportunity to reach your audience when they aren’t glued to their computers or mobile devices. Continue your messaging across all channels, including offline, to keep your audience engaged throughout the sales funnel.

Content marketing may seem easy, but it requires a good strategy to truly make it effective. If your business is in need of some strategic fine-tuning, contact AGENCY H Inbound today. We’ll help you evaluate your current marketing efforts and create a plan to beat out your competition.

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