Developing and executing an effective content marketing strategy is no easy task. Many marketers share the same content marketing headache of limited resources, tight deadlines, ambiguous metrics, and siloed teams producing content and engaging consumers on their own. So how do you go about solving these challenges to achieve your marketing goals?
What you need is a framework that will bring all teams in your organization together around a central content strategy and process to produce highly relevant, consistent and focused content, which aligns with your marketing objectives and gives your target consumers exactly what they want and need.
These three steps below, according to Curata, will help you start building out this framework so you can maximize your resources to create successful content that engages your prospects, drives quality leads, and ultimately converts into customers for your business.
Step #1: Create Core Content Assets
Your big content pieces are original and unique content that directly supports your key brand messaging and positioning in your space and industry. These can include white papers, eBooks, webinars and case studies. Usually the core content assets are gated with a registration form so you can capture the prospect’s information for lead nurturing, but this varies depending on your lead generation strategy.
Since these core content assets serve as the foundation for your other levels of content you can create (which we’ll cover in the next two steps), it is best that they are created in-house by your own content marketing team and other internal experts. This ensures all content created aligns with your core business objectives and marketing themes, and that all departments within your organization are working toward the same goals and using consistent messaging when creating content.
Strategic repetition of your marketing themes and messaging across multiple channels improves not only the effectiveness of your key marketing messages but your customer experience as well. Today’s customers expect a seamless, consistent experience across every brand channel, regardless of the parts of the company they are dealing with. That’s why strategic repetition is crucial because it ensures every engagement touch point is consistent and connected to provide a positive customer experience.
Not sure what topics you should cover for your big content pieces? A great way to find out is by conducting a survey and asking customers what their toughest challenges and questions are, and providing the answers and solutions in your content. Another idea is writing visionary pieces commenting on where your industry is going, covering the biggest and emerging trends or developments your customers should know about.
Step #2: Atomize Core Content Assets
Breaking your big content pieces into smaller, more accessible formats has many benefits. It allows you to reuse and repurpose your existing content, helping to save time and resources. Atomizing your core content assets also ensures you can reach a broader audience and meet different reader needs. Not all your audience will enjoy reading white papers or eBooks, some may prefer blog posts or infographics. By delivering your marketing messages in different content formats, you can get your content in front of as many prospects as you can.
Atomized content formats may include long and short-form blogs, presentations, infographics, SlideShares and contributed posts. These content pieces are usually not gated as they are shorter, digestible formats that require less reader time commitment, and are meant to capture your audience’s attention and ultimately lead them to your gated content.
Content creation is a great way to create these pieces, in addition to developing original content. Curated content helps you expand your reach, build thought leadership and engage influencers, while reducing overall content costs. According to Curata, leading marketers use a mix of 65% created content, 25% curated content and 10% syndicated content.
Step #3: Promote Content Assets Across Different Channels
Content creation is only half of the battle, the other half is promoting your content and making sure your target audience actually sees and engages with it. These “micro” content assets should help you draw your target audience in and drive them to your atomized content, and ultimately to your gated content.
According to Curata, the five most effective social media platforms are LinkedIn (82%), Twitter (66%), Youtube (64%), Facebook (41%) and SlideShare (38%). But keep in mind that you want to promote where your audience is. If most of your target consumers are not on LinkedIn, it doesn’t make sense to spend all your resources promoting your content on there.
Your promotion strategy should include a mix of owned, earned and paid media to ensure your content gets maximum exposure and mind share, helping you reach as many quality prospects as you can. You’ll want to regularly monitor and evaluate how your promotion strategy is working (or not working) and make adjustments as needed, so you can get the most out of your marketing dollars.
What do you think? Are you currently using a similar content marketing strategy? How is it working for you? Are there any other steps or tips you would add to this? Please share your ideas below!
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Check out the infographic below from Curata summarizing these three steps on developing an effective content marketing strategy.