Marketing is essential for the success of any business, but as a small business owner, determining the most effective way to communicate your message can be challenging. While many marketing strategies are available, it’s important to choose the strategy that will yield the greatest results for your business. One approach that’s gained immense popularity in recent years is strategic content marketing.
This marketing tactic involves creating and sharing relevant, informative, and engaging content to capture the attention of your target audience. When you position your brand as a thought leader in your industry, you can establish a loyal customer base and drive business growth.
In this article, we’re going to take a deep dive into strategic content marketing, who it’s suitable for, and how you can develop a plan that aligns with your business goals.
Strategic content marketing is a marketing approach that involves creating and sharing valuable, relevant, and consistent content that meets the needs of your target audience. It’s important to have a well-defined target market so that you can deliver quality content to them.
By delivering content that answers their questions, solves their problems, and helps them achieve their goals, you can build strong relationships with your customers.
This content marketing strategy has the great benefit of establishing your business as an industry authority. Creating high-quality content that provides value to your audience can improve your business reputation online. This, in turn, can help you generate more website traffic, increase leads, and ultimately grow your business.
Is there a difference between copywriting vs content marketing?
Copywriting and content marketing are two related but distinct disciplines in the world of marketing and advertising.
Copywriting refers to the practice of writing copy (text) that persuades or motivates someone to take a particular action, such as buying a product or signing up for a service. This might include writing headlines, product descriptions, or ad copy that is designed to be persuasive and attention-grabbing. The focus of copywriting is on creating compelling and effective messaging that motivates the target audience to take a specific action.
Content marketing, on the other hand, refers to the creation and distribution of valuable, relevant, and consistent content with the goal of attracting and retaining a clearly defined audience. Content marketing includes a variety of content types, such as blog posts, social media updates, infographics, and videos, that are designed to educate and inform the audience, rather than overtly promoting a specific product or service. The focus of content marketing is on building relationships with the audience by providing them with helpful and engaging content that builds trust and authority.
While copywriting and content marketing are both important aspects of marketing, they serve different purposes. Copywriting is focused on creating persuasive messaging that drives immediate action, while content marketing is focused on building relationships with the audience over time through the creation of valuable content.
Ultimately, both copywriting and content marketing can be used together to create a comprehensive marketing strategy that effectively engages and motivates the target audience.
Strategic content marketing enables businesses to strategize and anticipate dependable and economic avenues for generating website traffic and fresh leads. As such, any business can benefit from strategic content marketing, but small businesses, in particular, can benefit greatly from this approach.
As a small business owner, you probably face limited resources and budgets when it comes to marketing. That’s where strategic content marketing comes in – it provides a cost-effective way for you to reach your target audience. build your brand, improve your website’s SEO, and increase your SERP for target keywords.
Not only that, but strategic content marketing can help level the playing field, allowing you to establish your business as an industry authority and compete with larger companies with more resources.
So, with these content marketing strategies, you can be sure of building a loyal audience.
Creating a solid content marketing plan is essential for the success of your business, regardless of its size or industry. When you follow a structured process, you can ensure that your content marketing efforts are well-planned, well-executed, and aligned with your overall business objectives.
Here are some of the key steps you should take to create a strategic content marketing plan:
The first step in creating a strategic content marketing plan is to identify your goals. What do you want to achieve with your content marketing? Do you want to drive more traffic to your website, generate more leads, or increase your brand awareness?
Your goals will guide your content strategy and ensure that your efforts are focused on achieving the outcomes that matter most to your business. Therefore, before you begin your content creation process, ensure that you have fully defined goals.
To create content that resonates with your audience, you need to understand who they are, what they care about, and how they consume information. Conducting audience research and creating buyer personas can help you develop a deep understanding of your target audience and tailor your content accordingly.
3. Define Your Content Strategy for UX
Your content strategy needs to consider the UX (User Experience) to create a seamless, engaging, and user-centric experience for users, where the content is easy to find, easy to understand, and aligns with the user’s needs and goals.
Not only do you need to understand the user’s needs and goals, but you need to create content that aligns with the business objectives and brand messaging too. This includes determining what types of content will be created, how it will be structured and presented, and how it will be updated and maintained over time.
A good content strategy that takes UX into consideration involves creating a roadmap that outlines how the right content will be delivered to the user in the right time, format, and place to achieve the desired user experience and support business goals.
Consider factors such as value-add, accessibility, and alignment with the brand strategy and business goals.
When it comes to creating a content marketing strategy, identifying the best channels to distribute your content is a crucial step. Not all channels are created equal, and different channels may be more effective for different types of content and audiences.
Therefore, it’s important to take the time to evaluate each channel and choose the ones that are most likely to reach and engage your target audience.
Map your content to your marketing funnel. Your marketing funnel is the journey that your potential customers go through before they make a purchase. By mapping your content to each stage of the funnel, you can provide the right content to the right people at the right time.
To measure the effectiveness of your strategic content marketing plan, you’ll need to define your key performance indicators (KPIs). These are the metrics that you’ll use to track your progress and determine whether you’re achieving your goals. Common KPIs for content marketing include website traffic, lead generation, social media engagement, and search engine rankings.
One important aspect of creating a content marketing plan is knowing the different types of content that you can create. Here are some of the content types you can create:
Blogging is one of the most popular and effective forms of content marketing. By creating blog posts that are informative, educational, and entertaining, you can attract new visitors to your website and build a reputation for your business in your industry.
When it comes to blogging, it’s important to have a clear strategy in place. One effective strategy is the pillar page and topic cluster model.
As mentioned earlier, an effective strategic marketing approach for creating and distributing content is the pillar page and topic cluster approach. This technique involves creating a comprehensive pillar page that covers a broad topic and then creating a series of related blog posts or articles that link back to the pillar page.
The pillar page serves as the hub of your content and provides an in-depth overview of the topic. The supporting blog posts or articles, known as topic clusters, provide more specific information related to subtopics within the larger topic.
This approach has several benefits, including:
- Increased visibility: By creating a comprehensive pillar page that covers a broad topic, you can improve your search engine rankings and increase visibility for your brand.
- Improved user experience: The pillar page and topic cluster approach provide a more organized and user-friendly experience for your audience, making it easier for them to find and consume your content.
- Increased engagement: By providing a wealth of information on a given topic, you can increase engagement with your audience and establish your authority as an expert in your industry.
To implement this strategy, start by identifying a broad topic that is relevant to your business and your audience. Then, create a comprehensive pillar page that provides an overview of the topic and links out to related topic clusters.
Each topic cluster should focus on a specific subtopic related to the larger topic and should link back to the pillar page. This creates a web of interlinked content that helps to establish your authority and improve your search engine rankings.
Video is becoming an increasingly popular form of content marketing, and for good reasons. Video content is engaging, entertaining, and can be highly effective at communicating complex ideas.
Whether you create explainer videos, product demos, or interviews with industry experts, video can be a great way to reach your target audience. So you can take advantage of video content and try to incorporate that into your own content marketing strategy.
Social media is an essential part of any content marketing strategy. By creating and sharing content on social media, you can engage with your audience, build your brand, and drive traffic to your website.
When it comes to social media strategy, it’s important to choose the right platforms and social media marketing tools for your business and create content that resonates with your target audience. For example, choosing a design tool like Canva to design your content marketing assets is a great start.
eBooks and whitepapers are longer-form pieces of content that are designed to provide in-depth information on a particular topic. These types of content can be great for lead generation, as you can offer them as a free download in exchange for contact information.
Podcasts are an effective way to expand your brand’s reach to audiences who prefer audio content over written material. With the number of podcast listeners increasing by 10% year-over-year in the United States in 2021, starting a podcast could help your brand gain traction.
If you have engaging people to interview or topics to discuss, podcasting can be an excellent content format to explore. Give it a try and see how it resonates with your audience.
Creating great content is just one part of the equation; you also need to get it in front of the right people. There are several ways to distribute and promote your content, including:
Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram are great for promoting your content and reaching a wider audience. Make sure to tailor your messaging and content to each platform to maximize engagement and reach.
Email marketing is a great way to reach your existing audience and keep them engaged with your brand. As you grow your email list, use it to share your latest blog posts, videos, and send out other email marketing campaigns.
Partnering with influencers can help you reach a wider audience and tap into their established network. As per reports, more than 80% of consumers state that social media, particularly influencer content, has a significant influence on their purchasing decisions. Therefore, you can look for influencers in your industry with a significant following and engage them in promoting your content.
It’s essential to measure the success of your content marketing efforts to determine what’s working and what needs to be adjusted. Notwithstanding the marketing tactics you use, measuring your results will help you ascertain the most effective means.
Here are a few key metrics to keep in mind:
Use tools like Google Analytics to track your website traffic, engagement, and conversions. This can help you understand which content is resonating with your audience and driving the most results.
According to SproutSocial, social media metrics hold significant importance as they provide evidence of measuring the success of a campaign, the performance of your social media strategy, and ultimately determine whether it can make a difference to your overall business.
Each social media platform has its own set of metrics that you can use to track your performance. Look at things like engagement rates, follower growth, and click-through rates to evaluate the success of your social media efforts.
Keep an eye on where your content is appearing in search engine results pages (SERPs). Higher rankings generally mean more visibility and traffic to your website. As such, it’s important for you to have SEO in mind when creating content. Check this content to learn the best practices in SEO to drive website traffic.
Determine what key performance indicators (KPIs) you’ll use to evaluate your content marketing success. This could include things like website traffic, lead generation, conversion rates, or social media engagement. Compare your metrics to these average conversion rate optimization statistics to start. Set goals for each KPI and track your progress over time.
As we have discussed in this article, strategic content marketing is an incredibly powerful and affordable way to engage your audience, boost website traffic, and grow your business.
From our strategic content marketing definition, we noted that by providing valuable and relevant content that resonates with your target audience, you could demonstrate your expertise and build trust with potential customers. And this is particularly important for small businesses, as it can help level the playing field with larger competitors and establish your brand as a go-to authority in your industry (it’s a key part of your SEO branding strategy too).
To get started with your strategic content marketing plan, make sure to set clear goals, define your target audience, map out your content based on where your customers are in the marketing funnel, track your key performance indicators, and create different types of content, such as blog posts that use the pillar page and topic cluster strategy.
Follow this guide, and with these steps in place, you can create a solid content marketing plan to help you achieve your business objectives and drive growth!