Any savvy marketer knows there is a lot more to content development than writing a blog and haphazardly publishing it to your company’s website when you have time. To create and execute a content marketing campaign successfully, your content should have a carefully crafted purpose and be planned out well in advance.
Great content delivers the exact information your prospective customers need, when and where they need it — and one of the best ways to accomplish this is with a full-fledged content marketing campaign.
For many business professionals, this process is much easier said than done. Below, we’ll explore a few basic steps to get your 2020 campaign started:
1. Consider Your 2020 Goals
At this point in the year, your team has likely already mapped out a strategic plan for your organization in 2020 — from strategizing how you will manage your online reputation and what (if any) leadership changes will take place, to new technology you will implement to streamline processes.
Before planning your content marketing campaign, it is essential to consider the goals your team has set in place for the new year, and how your content will complement them and drive results.
If you have not already, identify your focus for 2020. Are you targeting a new market demographic? Have you made changes to your products or services that you plan to promote? Are you offering a new promotion?
The answers to these questions will dictate your focus. From there, you can identify the keywords someone might use to search for information about your services and what blog content would resonate best with your target audience.
For example, when one of our clients, an alternative online ratings platform, set a goal to change its core messaging, our agency shifted the company’s entire campaign. The client wanted to shift from promoting how alternative ratings can drive new leads and instead focus on how the ratings market is transforming to meet the changing needs of today’s consumers. Our team took this fresh messaging and developed blogs, emails and social media posts to complement and promote the client’s new focus with great success.
2. Research Your Buyer Persona(s)
Never lose sight of your buyer persona(s) when planning your content. While you now have a primary focus in mind for your content, it is still important to consider the pain points your prospective customers are experiencing, and address these challenges in all pieces of your content accordingly. If your content does not speak to your persona, your campaign will likely suffer and may not drive the ROI you desire.
According to HubSpot, “A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers.”
Research the market demographics of your audience. Take into consideration customer demographics, behavior patterns, goals and motivations. Be as detailed as possible. What social channels do they use regularly? Where do they like to spend their free time? What products or services are most valuable to them? What’s the most challenging aspect of their daily life that you are trying to solve?
These questions will not only help you determine who your content should be targeted toward and how it should be promoted, but they will help you craft specific blog and offer topics that position your business as a valuable resource.
For example, with the alternative ratings platform, our research found that its buyer personas — decision makers and senior-level marketing managers — were not only struggling to understand why alternative ratings were important but also why their internal online reputation management efforts alone were not yielding the results they desired.
3. Plan Your Content
When I talk about content marketing, I do not just mean blogging. While blogging is an integral component of your campaign, your strategy should also include social media, emails and drip campaigns, downloadable offers, and landing pages.
That being said, a campaign often begins with engaging blogs that then lead prospective customers down the marketing funnel. With your 2020 focus and buyer persona in mind, it is time to determine a series of blog topics that support and promote your goals while addressing the pain points of your target audience.
For example, when the alternative ratings platform shifted its messaging, our team developed an extensive list of blog topics to support the change. Instead of topics like “Five Ways Alternative Ratings Can Drive Leads to Your Business,” we brainstormed topics like “Why Subjective Ratings Are on the Downfall, and How Your Business Should Respond” and “Why Your Online Reputation Management Efforts Aren’t Working.”
These topics not only promote the company’s new messaging, but also address some of the core pain points of the company’s buyer personas.
Once you have your blog topics in place, things should begin to flow more easily. From here, you will develop supporting social media posts, targeted email campaigns and downloadable offers that help tie these pieces together while promoting your organization’s products or services.
Planning What Works Best For Your Business
While the basics of developing a strategic content marketing campaign are similar across various industries, the implementation of this strategy will vary depending on your business and location and the market demographics of your audience.
Ultimately, you must map out what will work best for your organization and buyer persona(s). Setting up and growing a successful content marketing campaign takes time, patience, creativity and organization. If you follow these steps to get you started, executing your strategy for the new year won’t be as daunting as it seems.
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