7 Steps to Building an Effective Content Marketing Strategy



By
Amy Duits
03 May 18
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7 Steps to Building an Effective Content Marketing Strategy

Content is king.”  Bill GatesI remember the first time I walked into that room. I was dressed in my favorite business attire, ready to get on to everyone. I wanted more results. I knew they could do better. I just didn’t know how. Our social media content was horrendous. It was boring, and the only thing I could think of to do, was to follow the same routines of my competitors.

I stopped in my tracks when I thought and then asked myself;, “What makes you think they really know what they are doing with their social media work.” The point of being in business is to offer a service or product in a way that gives customers value, that meets their needs in ways that the competitors can’t.

And that’s when I realized that’s what we needed to do in social media as well. We had to break away from the norm. We could do better, and we could create that interest we needed. We just had to find a strategy that worked with our business profile, one that was different from other campaigns.

Truth is building an effective and interesting content marketing strategy takes work – and more importantly it takes planning.  and that is what we are here to learn.

Look At It With A Critical Eye

How interesting and valuable is the information you post on your social media channels?

Are you getting the results you want? Are people sharing your content?

Do you really understand the concept, the idea of social media. Are you really publishing valuable and interesting information on your channels? Would you be excited to read or watch it? If not, you probably are not  getting the results you desire.

You Are Lacking a STRATEGY!

You need a STRATEGY to effectively move your content. Don’t panic! it isn’t that difficult, you just need to do some planning and fully understand the way social media works.

It Really Is A Common Problem

Most businesses, even today,  underestimate the importance of having a good social media strategy. At 5 Colors Media, we often see companies are ‘’shooting’’ too much ‘’loose’’ information into the data streams. It is content, but it is not focused to their concept, it is not in-depth and does not address their customer’s questions. Yet, they still hope that someone wants to read this simple regurgitated information. ..

And in the end…You just don’t get the results, nor the returns you are anticipating when you do this.

The key is in doing something that others are not. You have to be a little creative, and hey, we know, some of this content is already on the web. But in truth, the blame lies not in the quality of the content but in the delivery.

The lack of a strategy is the real problem.

It Is The WHY of Your Business

A content marketing strategy is basically the “why” of your business. Before you create the content, you must ask yourself this:

Why you are creating this content?

Who you are targeting?

How you will assist your audience and give them something no one else really has?

Business owners use content marketing to build a following and to achieve at least one of the following profitable results:

  • Lower costs
  • Better customers
  • Increased revenue

So let’s look at how to build the content that really does INTEREST your readers.

STEP 1: TOPICS

What is the specific topic that you want to discuss? Define the topics, hash them out with your team. Topics to think about include blogs or articles that address the audience’s questions. Put yourself in their shoes and find solutions to their problems.

Promotions are another great type of topic. Think of a giveaway or discount that will interest your followers. Think of special dates where a promotion or flash sale may bring you a lot of traffic. This type of sale is a great opportunity to grow your email list, touch base with customers and reach out to new people on social media platforms.

Remember to strategize. Plan out your topics and choose them for at least a two week period, but preferably go as far as a month or two. The idea is to have plan of where you are going and how long you will focus on each topic for.

STEP 2: OBJECTIVE

Focus on your goals for the content marketing program. If the first topic on your list is ‘’Back to school’’ you need to narrow your focus and figure out what objective do you want to achieve for this topic? So if it might be Back to School with cool school supplies on Sale.  Remember to keep your goals simple and straightforward, a la the KISS principle. Remember your results need to be measurable, without that there will be no way to quantify success. If the goal is to vague you will never reach it. Make you objective more concrete. For example, you might specify something like: to increase brand awareness by having 400 new facebook likes by the end of the week.

STEP 3: TARGET AUDIENCE

Who is your specific audience? For this area you need to think about who you are creating the content for, what are their needs, and how often are they looking to engage. The most effective content marketing has a very narrow focus. It is not simply middle aged women, rather it is a 35 year old, mother of two, who works part time in an office setting, and wants to find active ways to enjoy time with her family. If you need more information about target audiences we at 5 Colors Media recommend checking out this article: How to create personas . Once you know the  person you want to reach. It is easier to develop strategies on how to get that person’s attention, to understand what motivates them, and know how to target your posts in a very specific way.

STEP 4: SOCIAL MEDIA STORYTELLING

We have long been storytellers. We love stories, especially on social media. Just notice what types of posts you share and what you like to read – they are STORIES.

But you have to decide on what type of story you want to tell. Stories allow us to build personality and establish a rapport with customers. With a story, your customers realize you are human. They feel, dream, and begin to believe in the idea that you are selling.

Simply put. Combining an idea with an emotion helps build that customer rapport you are looking for. . The very best uses of this in social media have learned to help the customer establish an emotional connection with your brand. For more information on Social Media Storytelling, we at 5 Colors Media recommend reading storytelling formulas. You need to decide on a storyline and then determine how you are going to demonstrate that information.

STEP 5: CONTENT TYPES

There are so many different content types you can use to tell your brand’s story. Let’s take a look att the graphic below to view an extensive list of different types of content. All of these are available to you so you can build value for your readers – and the way to do that is to constantly ask yourself, “How valuable is this to my readers?”

One of the most popular types of content is authoritative blog posts which demonstrate why your company is the authority on the subject and how they can assist potential clients.  Opinion, research, or how-to pieces also work this same way.

Another type of content  is the infographics. This type of graphic allows you to present data in a visual way that is quick to understand and easy to share.

An all time favorite is videos content. Everyone loves video because it can communicate a message in a very succinct and memorable way. Get inspired by the various possibilities and gather your resources to make it happen, or hire a third party (designer, photographer, video editor, etc) to make your life easier!

STEP 6: POSTS

Time to post your content! Try to find a caption that fits in line with your objective, brand message, and story. This way it helps capture the attention of your target audience rather than being a stand alone image, video, or link. Consider whether you want to include tags or hashtags, this will often depend on the medium.

STEP 7: MANAGE

Think about how you want to manage your posts. We at 5 Colors Media are very fond of GAIN (https://gainapp.com/) because we can involve our clients in the entire process. There are other options such as Hootsuite, Buffer, Sprout Social, or you can simply opt to schedule your posts directly in Facebook. In addition track the effectiveness of your posts using app managers providing statistics on conversion rates.

Now you’re ready to tackle the job of making that really interesting content and developing a strategy that does excite you, your team and your audience.  You have created awesome content, now to get it out there where it can be beneficial to your business. If it all still feels too overwhelming, you have questions, or need help do not hesitate to contact us here at 5 Colors Media. We are here to help!

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