9 Steps For Creating The Optimal Content Marketing Strategy

A content marketing strategy that doesn’t engage with customers doesn’t get results.

Setting clear goals and implementing an effective content marketing strategy is key to scaling your business fast. Regardless of your experience in the industry, it’s wise to periodically reassess your content strategies to make sure they’re modern and practical.

We’re constantly refining our marketing strategies and updating our systems to get our clients better results at ClearBrand. Our recipe for success consists of 8 steps, each one outlined below.

1) Determine Your Objectives

If you begin a journey without knowing where you need to go, it’s easy to end up somewhere you don’t want to be.

Every successful company develops marketing strategies with a specific desired outcome in mind. And it isn’t simply to sell more of your products or services.

That may be a significant part of your motivation as a business owner, but it’s not what your client wants.

To define your marketing objectives, empathize with your customers. Ask yourself: what problems are they facing? What emotions do these problems cause them to feel? How can my company eliminate these problems and reduce these negative emotions?

Lay out your own objectives by completing this statement:

I want to help my customers _____ by providing __________ that solves ________ by __________.

Now that you’ve established a clear objective, you’re ready to develop a strategy to market your content.

2) Define Category Entry Points

A category entry point is a reason that people buy your product. It’s usually a specific problem they’re experiencing. Understanding category entry points for your company’s products or services lets you advertise to as broad an audience as possible.

You might wonder: isn’t this the same thing as defining an audience? Not exactly.

Marketing gurus often recommend “defining your audience” or “finding your niche.” But the problem with this advice is that it’s restrictive.

It implies that you should become more and more specific with who you’re targeting over time. But if you do this, you target fewer and fewer people over time! This makes it impossible to grow your business because you can’t increase your market share.

The beauty of category entry points is that as you define them, your marketing reach expands over time instead of shrinking. That’s how you achieve real growth.

As an example, look at Advil. The people marketing Advil understand that people buy it when they’re in pain. But they don’t only market to people in pain – for a long time, they also marketed around the idea that a daily dose of Advil could prevent heart attacks (something researchers have now begun to call into question). This vastly expanded their base of potential customers – after all, who wouldn’t want to prevent a heart attack?

Knowing whose problem you want to solve is vital as knowing how you’ll solve it, but you don’t want to limit your reach by only targeting a specific group of people or niche. Having a single category entry point is a great starting point, but you have to identify more with time in order to grow.

Understanding the different problems your customers face and the reasons they come to your company is key to generating a content marketing strategy that appeals to vast groups of people.

A marketer has an idea for a content marketing sterategy

3) Perform Market Research

Knowing what the competition offers is just as important as understanding your audience.

What kinds of products and services are currently popular in your industry? Who are the biggest players in the market? Can you filter your customers into subcategories based on defined category entry points for targeted marketing?

Use these questions to guide your market research before you start developing content. Their answers will help you decide which content to tease in advertisements, how to compete against others in the industry, and whether or not you need to reassess your defined category entry points.

For example, if you’re an online retailer that specializes in something like movies, you’ll want to advertise content that appeals to a broad range of individuals looking for new entertainment.

Several strategies could help you cast a bigger net with your marketing. You could research the most popular genres and advertise hot titles from each one to attract audiences that like specific genres. You could further expand your reach by investigating the hottest titles at the box office and developing ads that attract mixed audiences looking for modern content.

To grow your reach even further and attract older audiences, you could research the most popular classic films and base your advertising around creating a sense of nostalgia.

If you know the type of person who wants what you have to offer, it’s easier to create content that appeals to them via the category entry points mentioned above.

4) Start Developing Content

Once you have a solid understanding of your industry’s competitive landscape, you can start developing content. The key thing to remember is that all of it should work towards accomplishing the goal(s) you outlined earlier in the planning process.

The best practice is maintaining a consistent presence and strategically distributing content across multiple channels (more on those here).

5) Distribute Content

You can use your market research to decide how you’ll distribute the content you develop. Consider your audience, their age demographics, and which platforms they use most when deciding which medium to use for publishing.

For example, companies that cater to younger audiences need to establish a strong presence on social media.

Companies that cater to the elderly would need to focus on physical print marketing since older individuals often find using technology challenging.

Establishing a presence on Google is a great way to appeal to audiences of all ages and backgrounds through SEO or paid advertising.

When distributing your content across appropriate channels, always be on the lookout for ways to make it more visible. For example, Google isn’t the only company that allows paid content promotion. Check other platforms to see if they offer methods to boost your content’s visibility.

An animated graphic of different mediums for content distribution

6) Edit & Revise Content Regularly

There are no exceptions: the first draft is never good enough.

Whether writing blogs, adverts for Google, commercial scripts, or anything else, it’s critical to sit on your ideas and revisit them before publishing.

Every time we walk away from something we’ve written, we come back with a slightly different perspective. Revising your content regularly ensures that you use the most appealing language possible. Plus, if your content isn’t contributing to your goals, it can be easier to recognize what needs to change after taking a break.

It also lets you keep your posts up-to-date with current information, helping cement your position as an industry expert.

7) Develop A Schedule & Launch Content

You can’t market effectively if you don’t market consistently.

People need to see your company’s assets frequently if you want to be memorable. The best way to make yourself stand out is by increasing your exposure.

When leads think of their problem and remember the solution you offer, they’re more likely to become purchasing customers.

That means you have to develop a marketing content distribution strategy and stick to it to get consistent results.

A potential lead interacts with marketing content on an iPad

8) Measure Results

Optimizing your content marketing strategy is an ongoing process. There’s always room for improvement.

That’s part of why it’s important to start analyzing results as soon as you begin to publish content.

Keeping track of metrics like impressions (for ads), views (blog posts and videos), clicks (for ads, blog posts, and videos), and conversions helps you monitor your company’s growth over time.

9) Test & Adjust Content To Improve Marketing Strategy

To check your marketing content’s performance, check how your company performs in search engines like Google. When you run a search for your keywords, can you find your company high on the list of results? Make sure you use a Private or Incognito Window.

If so, great. You may not need to optimize anything (yet).

If not, you can optimize your website further by altering the content or shifting your SEO focus to different keywords.

This takes time, so you’ll also need to be patient. And it’s a good reason to track everything. You might not show up on the first page of Google next week, but you could still see some improvements in the meantime.

You’ll better understand how your marketing content is performing as you analyze results over time. Still, checking key performance indicators (like those mentioned above) and SEO results from the start helps you spot critical issues with performance that can be resolved on the spot.

Get A Content Marketing Strategy From ClearBrand

Developing a content marketing strategy isn’t as intimidating as it might sound when you break the process into more manageable steps like those above.

These steps will help you get started with your content marketing strategy. But depending on the size of your company and the scope of your marketing goals, you may benefit from extra expertise and assistance with planning.

Regardless of your company’s size or industry, ClearBrand has the team to develop a content strategy that gains leads and drives growth. Schedule a call with our Marketing Specialist today to learn more about the benefits of coordinated content marketing.

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