8 Steps to formulating your content marketing strategy
Updated: May 26, 2020
Content marketing have been used in the industry for a long time. It is a very common marketing strategy. The goal of content marketing is to reach your potential customers without being overly commercial. Usually providing content that are fun, knowledgeable or fact providing to engage the potential customers. Of course, content marketing is also a good strategy to maintain interaction with the current customers.
As content become overly pervasive due to the internet. People have become more and more selective about the content that they read. People only read content that are relevant to them, in other words content that interest them. Many contents don’t get the readers to read past the title. Therefore, having a well-structured content marketing strategy that you can continuously improve upon is crucial to your success.
The fist step to your content strategy is to define who your customers are?
Are you in a B2B business or are you in a B2C business? If you are in the B2B business your content may be leaning towards professional contents and facts that benefit the customer’s business. If you are in the B2C business, then your content can be less serious, more fun and interesting.
Second step is to define what is the customer purchasing cycle is like?
Is the purchasing cycle short or is it long? Does the product require much after-sales customer service? If your customer purchasing cycle is short, then your content may aim for a direct sales closing at the end. If your customer purchasing cycle is long, then your goal will be to collect customer leads instead. If your product requires much after-sales service, then you may bring up content regarding what a good job you did on after-sales service with your current customers.
Third step define the channels that you would like to place your content on
Are you going to place it on your own channel like your website and App or are you going to place it on 3rd party channels such as online social medias, magazine and banners? Different channel will provide you with different audience type. Therefore, your content should differ depending on the channel you use to market your company.
Fourth step to define the goal of your content marketing
Generally, if you are not trying to make a direct sale through your marketing channel, then the objective should be either brand promotion or member nurturing
Brand Promotion – The aim is to promote your brand to the market, many of your audience may not be your potential customer.
Member Nurturing – To target your potential customers and existing customers. To nurture potential customers to become customers and to keep the existing customers in the loop to become repeat customers.
Fifth step is to define the content category that you would like to put out.
Plan your content category, for instance at the company we categorized our articles into mainly 3 categories which are technical articles, interaction type content, and company news.
Sixth step to define the metrics that you would like to use to measure the performance of your content marketing
Define measurable metrics is very important, this helps you define where you are now, where are you trying to go and how far do you still need to go.
Let me provide a set of metrics that we have defined at our company for our social media contents
Impression – amount of exposure on the platform (note that exposure does not imply content being read)
Seventh step to categorized what your metrics imply.
In our case we categorized our metrics into shallow interaction & deep interaction. Shallow interaction imply that reader may have scanned our content but does not go into the details. Deep interaction imply that users have read through our content and have gave thought to it.
In general, for brand promotion we use metrics that indicates shallow interaction as an indicator and for member nurturing we use metrics that indicates deep interaction as an indicator.
Impression – shallow interaction
Like – shallow interaction
Click – deep interaction
Share – deep interaction
Comment – deep interaction
Eighth step is to analyze your result to find out which content category is the most suitable for the different channel and for your goals (brand promotion or member nurturing).
Below is an example of a table that our company have drawn out for analysis.
Once you find out what type of content best serve your goal, you can then create more content of this type to target your audience for better result. Besides content category, you can also try experimenting with content of different length, compare content with advertisement and without advertisement, content performance over a period of time to figure out the optimum formula for your content marketing strategy.