“Content Marketing is the Only Marketing Left”
Brands are looking for the buzzword of the year.
Guess what it is?
Brand purpose is a brand’s intention to make a positive change in the world.
“I understand, but where is content marketing trend as Seth Godin says
Axe, Unilever’s Men’s Grooming Brand, ran a content campaign starting with “Is it OK for guys to….” on Google Search requests. Brand’s purpose was breaking the toxic mentality of Masculinity with the help of resources allowing to live more freely.
Axe’s campaign led to the start of the global conversation on toxic masculinity. The brand received overwhelming social media responses under the hashtag name #isitokforguys. And of course, the brand was flourishing along with the campaign.
If it wouldn’t have been for content, attracting such a response might not have been possible.
So content marketing is here and it’s increasing with the rising voice of users on social media.
You just need a different approach to content marketing in today’s generation. It’s not only about creating content anymore. You have to build a strong foundation and a customized plan for content marketing. This article will teach you how to do so.
4 D’s of Content Marketing to Build Strong Foundation
Define Your Brand
A brand’s purpose comes out of clearly defined brand identity – what makes you instantly recognizable by your customers. Your brand’s identity increases the value of your company, motivate your employees and influence your customers.
If you don’t know what’s brand’s identity is, asking these questions will help you uncover the reality of your brand:
- Why does your brand exist in the first place?
- What’s your brand’s story?
- What problems do you solve for customers?
- What kind of experience your customers are looking for?
- Why customers should trust you over competitors?
- How do you stand out from your competitors?
- Which brands inspire you the most when it comes to offering value?
Answering them gives you a pretty clear picture of where your brand stands and where it has to go.
Determine Your Owned Media
Owned media is the content you own like your site, blog, social media channels. It eliminates paid media like pay per click or earned media like sharing by others and brand mentions. Owned media is unique to your brand. It should answer three questions relevant to your brand.
1. What value your brand offers via owned content?
2. How your content outshines the competitor’s content?
3. Why readers choose your content over others?
If you don’t have the answer to these questions, you are never going to create content that speaks your brand’s unique voice.
Began your search with what your audience is looking for and how would they love to receive it. Track your competitors’ content and how they are delivering value to their audience via content. Put the entire scenario in front to develop your owned media.
Deconstruct Business Goals
You identified your brand. You build owned media. Now to make them both work simultaneously, you need to understand and build business goals. Then only you will be able to create content that serves those goals. It’s much better than following the random path of content creation for the sake of creating it only.
Simply ask, what results you want from content marketing? What resources you will need on the content journey?
Deconstruct those goals into actions that need to be taken to reach the goal. And collect the necessary resources.
Draw an Achievement Plan
You do know that content creation is an important part of business, but a well-planned purpose is what makes content more effective for your targeted audience.
Let’s dive in deep to learn the specifics of how to create a content marketing plan that serves the goals and purpose of your brand:
5 Step Plan to Grow Further with Content Marketing
1. Set Goals
You can’t just set goals and leave them on to be followed randomly. Goals start with mission and vision, end up to a number of actions, supported by performance metrics – everything must be planned in between. Each action must lead your brand closer towards goal achievement.
This Strategic Plan Hierarchy will help you understand all stages of goals and what actions required at each stage.
According to Strategic planning, first, you set on mission and vision. Then setting Goals reflecting mission and vision.
Basically, brands visualize below given long term goals to achieve via content marketing
- Brand awareness
- Driving traffic and generating engagement
- Increasing sales
- Educating customers
- Build trust
At last, break down those goals into actions – content planning, creation, and marketing – that needed to be taken for achieving goals.
2. Identify Targeted Audience
Do you believe in hitting the target with a blinded eye? Not unless you are practicing for years. Still, the idea doesn’t applicate to this rapidly changing world and changing user behavior. That’s why you have to identify your audience to save yourself from creating just about anything with the hope that it will hit millions.
Identifying your targeted audience helps you create the right content for the right audience instead of wasting time for random content creation.
But how will you identify your audience?
The audience isn’t always buyers. They are random people who don’t have the slightest idea of what your brand is about. It is also those who know about your brand but never intend to buy anything. At last, it has a few people who repetitively buy items. Your content must serve all kinds of the targeted audience. To plan content for each type of audience, you have to understand all stages of the buyer’s journey.
As you can see, there are 5 stages of the buyer’s journey. Simply, you have to create content for all stages ranging from strangers to customers to brand advocates who sing praises of your product or services.
3. Map Out Content Production – Editorial Plan
Don’t plan to stuck between opening 20 tabs at a time, four content journals, post-it notes, and other chaos to end you up in a pile of missed deadlines, unfinished blog posts, blurring goals, and growing team tension. Plan everything in advance to avoid this horrible experience.
Basically, you have to plan what to create, when to create, by whom to be done, and deadlines – all must be in harmony with goals.
Hubspot’s templates help you create an Editorial calendar to plan your content creation, assign tasks, and complete it within deadlines.
If you don’t prefer to rely on manual templates, you can follow the Buffer’s strategy to plan and manage an editorial calendar managed at Trello.
Buffer’s Editorial Calendar on Trello
4. Deliver an Omnichannel Experience
How far is Coco-Cola away from you? I bet, it is either residing in your Fridge or resting at half-a-mile away store, waiting for you to come and grab it the moment you remember it.
Do you know why you found this cold-drink everywhere, regardless of location?
Because it’s omnipresent.
Coca-cola’s marketing tactics are not a secret. Everybody knows that it’s available online, offline, via magazines, paid ads, social media, and at every place where humans are present.
You should plan to be omnipresent soon before it’s too late. The key reasons behind being omnipresence is even you don’t know where your audience is, and where your customers are coming from. With increasing time spend on social media and the growing desire of users to travel the world, your presence everywhere is simply a necessity.
There are two ways to be omnipresence.
There are 3 focus areas of Content:
- Owned Media: Your own organic content like blogs, website, social media channels, etc.
- Paid Media: Pay-per-click, display ads, paid promotion, etc.
- Earned Media: Something that you have earned instead of creating or paying for it like shares, mentions, reviews, etc.
Suffice to say that you have to create content for all to be omnipresence.
And you have to create all types of content for all types of channels. For e.g. videos for YouTube, podcasts for audio channels, images for visual channels, long-form articles for blogs, and so on.
At last, don’t forget to identify which are the most effective channels from where you are getting the maximum audience.
5. Track Your Content’s Performance
Content is all about going through trials and errors, and stick to what works while leaving what doesn’t. Tracking content and its performance give you the right direction to walk. It also helps you eliminate waste while increasing the effectiveness of useful content.
Here are 4 metrics to track the performance of your content.
1. Consumption Metrics: Pageviews and visits reflect on the number of people consuming your online content.
2. Engagement Metrics: Bounce rate, time spent on site, time spent on pages, etc., tell the story of how people are interacting with the content.
3. Sharing Metrics: The total number of shares on social media sites, brand mentions, comments, etc., is the social engagement level of users.
4. Conversions Metrics: Combine all the above 3 metrics to determine the key sources of conversions.
Put the above 4 metrics in picture and everything else will just follow.
Content marketing is all about offering content to your prospects in a format of their demands, desires, and reading preferences. Cross-channel and multi-channel are the big supporters of content marketing. In the end, customer-centricity matters the most.