How to craft an effective Content Marketing Strategy

As part of the Target Market Approach (TMA), content marketing is a great way to get people talking about your products, your services, and your company. Combined with Strategy, Marketing Planning and Website Optimization, content marketing is also a great way to engage your customers and maybe even create a community. (Plus, you can always use the resulting SEO boost.)

But if you’re new to content marketing, where should you start?

A content marketing strategy is a roadmap that not only tells you what you’re going to create, but how you’re going to create it, distribute it, and ultimately use it to attract, retain, and convert readers and viewers into customers.

Great content is a tremendous asset to any business. Creating and then not taking full advantage of that asset is a missed opportunity, and all too many marketers make that mistake. Using paid content to promote your content marketing across search, display, and social media networks will allow you to capture a significant volume of otherwise unreached prospects and help them turn into customers.

 Here are 5 tips to make sure your paid content promotion strategy is built for success.  
  1. Select the right content to promote

 Several factors should come into play when choosing content to promote, including budget and goals for the campaign. Typically, the smaller the budget the further down the sales funnel the campaign’s goals will be, meaning that the content needs to drive a more direct and immediate value, like a newsletter sign-up, lead, or sale.

Video content and infographics can also make for great content to promote. If you’ve spent a lot of time and effort on something that you believe has the potential to “go viral” but just can’t seem to get any traction, paid promotion may make sense. Often, these types of content just need a bit of a publicity boost to get the viral ball rolling and then the power of social media will do the rest.

Regardless of goals or budget, your content must be relevant, valuable, and engaging. Irrelevant or uninteresting content will drive low click-through rates. In the world of paid advertising, this will end up costing you much more than just your advertising budget.  

  1. Select the right network for promotion 

Choosing the right network to target is equally as important as choosing the right content, you can create great content specifically for a network, or you can choose a network and create relevant content for it. Certain content will resonate better with users on certain social media networks, so try to put yourself in the shoes of the user and think about what content interests you based on what network you use.

  1. Decide on useful measures of success (KPIs)

Using great content to drive direct response-form completions can be a powerful source of business leads. Too often, advertisers launch an ad campaign “hoping for the best,” and months later shift to “looking to improve.” Neither of these goals is sufficient, and both will lead to wasting significant amounts of time and money.

Unless you are creating a new lead type, by working backwards you should be able to calculate exactly what each lead type is worth to you and how much you should be paying for a lead. For example, if you would like to start promoting a free guide, look at your current data and calculate the percentage of free guide downloaders who turned into customers and how much those customers are worth to you.

KPIs don’t have to be limited to cost-per-lead but should provide information about your content marketing ROI. While calculating website and the social media engagement can be much more difficult, tying it all back to value created is a must. Just measuring clicks, impressions, and shares simply isn’t going to cut it.

  1. Create compelling ad copy

 A major factor in the overall effectiveness of your paid advertising campaign is ad copy. Generally, the higher your click-through rate, the less you’ll pay for each click. Testing, retesting, and then testing again is an absolute must. Your ad copy should provide a clear message, a killer call-to-action, and a relevant, eye-catching image (if applicable).

 Writing effective ad copy truly is an art — one that few get right the first time. Remove opinion from the optimization process and let your audience, through data, decide which ads perform best.

  1. Design your landing page with your KPIs in mind

The landing page of a paid ad campaign is possibly the most important piece of your ad campaign and is too often the most neglected. No matter what the goal of your campaign is — e.g., leads, sales, phone calls, video views, etc. — your page should be optimized to drive that specific action.

Your landing page should:

  • Deliver a clear, consistent message that mirrors your ads
  • Have a clear call-to-action
  • Place important elements in highly visible locations
  • Pass the 3-second test: Every site visitor should know what you want them to do within three seconds. Studies have shown that the average site abandoner does so within five seconds of landing, so communicating your message quickly and clearly is vital.

A landing page that does all these things well will set your campaign up for success from the start.

“A recent study showed that 74% of business-to-business (B2B) content marketers use sales team feedback to research their target audience, while only 42% have the customer conversations themselves. So engage with your customers!”, Jessica Wong for Forbes.

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