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Content marketing strategy – what, how and why


One of the best ways to extend the reach of your brand is to bring it to a wider audience by applying a well thought through content strategy. What is a content strategy you might ask?

The best way to describe it is that it is your overall vision that guides the content development/creation, designed to deliver and support a specific business objective. It also encompasses the all-important planning process that follows, of what content you will use and when.

Coming up with a content strategy will help you plan your content marketing activities, and help them achieve a greater impact on your objectives. If you plan your content and marketing without a strategy in mind, they won’t have such a big impact on your business goals.

A strong strategy helps because consumers often use a business’s content to judge their trustworthiness. Get it right and you’ll find loyal consumers, get it wrong or fail to consider a strategic approach, and you’ll stand still or slowly lose the attention of existing followers.
That’s detrimental to every type of business, so can you really afford to not pay attention to your content strategy?

Once you have your strategy, consider these three points for your content creation:

Length:
Longer or more in-depth content (around 1200 – 2000 words) should increase lead generation by up to 800%, compared to shorter blog posts. 

Regular:
Updating your posts at regular and frequent intervals means you are more likely to get a stronger return.

Specific:
Making your content unique and specific will help even further, because generic content doesn’t tend to engage people, stand out from the thousands of other posts, and is less likely to rank highly. 

But although the benefits of a strategic approach are clear, applying content marketing successfully isn’t as simple as drafting a plan. There’s more at stake here.


Your content can define your reputation

What you say reflects on who you are and says a lot about your values and how you see the world around you. If that vision doesn’t align with your customers’, they are more and more likely to walk away, regardless of any price advantage you offer, quality advantage you provide or any other considerations.

The way you create content, and how you choose to distribute that content, is also an integral element in your brand’s proposition. One ill-judged blog or unintentional association and that can damage your brand irreparably – it’s the law of unintended consequences.

The more solid and consistent your brand proposition, the better clarity your content strategy will have, and the more powerful your brand will appear to your audiences. Your strategy must therefore reflect what content you want to release, how you want it to be communicated, and how channel choice and core messaging can develop your overall image.

Attention spans are short

Your content strategy will stop you repeating the same few facts over and over. That would bore your audience. It also allows you to hone relevant content that is valuable to your target audience, making it planned and consistent across a period of time, and ensures that you will really engage your audience. Not only does this ensure your content is fresh, it makes it relevant to their needs: and that makes them value it and your brand.

Telling stories

Content marketing and content strategies don’t simply mean gaining likes or getting a greater return. That’s the outcome, but the strategic focus is on telling relevant, authentic stories in the right tone of voice. Your focus is always on your target audience and what motivates them. You will create a stronger brand appeal if you plan how content will be released just as carefully as what topics that content will reflect.  


Types of content you should consider using:

 
  • Infographics. These are more likely to be shared than all other content on social media, so consider using them. They are also a great way to show digestible information about your business.
     
  • Interactive content. This includes quizzes, calculators, polls etc. and can double your conversion rate, compared to ordinary content.
     
  • Checklists. If you can find a relevant checklist to create for your audience to download this can really help you place your brand as useful and informative. 
     
  • Video. Quickly becoming the one of top marketing mediums, you can expect to attract on average 157% more organic search engine traffic.
     
  • GIF’s and Memes – This no longer just appeals to a young audience, and is a great way to show the human, approachable side to your business. Make your consumers laugh and they’ll automatically like you more.
     
  • Blogs. Known for helping place your brand as an expert. Consumers like to feel that you know lots about what you do, and blogs can help you gain their trust.
     
  • Interviews. Whether typed or video, interviewing relevant experts or even happy customers can be really useful content on your site. 
     
  • Social Media. Seems like a given these days, but so many businesses still do not have a cohesive and successful profile on the big socials.

Remember, a good content strategy helps you spread the word about your business, your company’s main values, and your advocacy in a much more cohesive manner. And that adds value, so give it some real time and consideration.

For more pointers on content marketing, digital marketing, Google and traditional marketing simply visit the Northern Business Expo on 17th & 18th March at Manchester Central. It’s free to attend and gives you key skills workshops, marketing sessions direct from Google, networking, keynotes, suppliers and much more – just get your free ticket online today!

 
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