According to the Content Marketing Institute’s B2B Content Marketing report for 2017, 63% of B2B marketers say their organizations are extremely or very committed to content marketing. Also, 85% of the study’s participants attribute the success of their content marketing program to creating better content, and 72% say a sound content marketing strategy improves performance.
To understand how best to implement your content marketing program, it helps to know the difference among relevant terms. A content marketing strategy defines why you create content, who you direct your content to, and how you will help these targets. Your content strategy goes beyond the scope of your content marketing strategy and outlines how you will create, publish, and use your content. Finally, a content plan is tactical. It documents how you will execute your strategy and assigns team members to each task.
A successful content marketing program takes time to implement. The Content Marketing Institute says it takes at least 18 months to launch a content marketing program. The organization’s research also found that businesses with documented content marketing strategies consider themselves more successful at content marketing, are less challenged by their content initiatives, and spend a higher percentage of their marketing budget on content marketing.
Components of a Content Marketing Strategy
What should you include in your content marketing strategy? Your strategy is an outline of your main business and customer requirements. It also details how your content will address these needs. Although every company will develop a unique strategy, five standard components include:
1. The Reasons for Creating Content – This section includes your business case for developing compelling content. When you communicate your vision, purpose, and risks, you better position your content program for executive buy-in.
2. The Goals for Your Content Program – What unique value will your content provide? You also want to identify the obstacles and opportunities you will face as you execute your plan.
3. The Audience Personas – Your plan must describe who you are creating content for and their requirements. A content map will define what content you will deliver during the various stages of a buyer’s journey.
4. Your Brand Story – This section highlights what messages you want to communicate. Your plan needs to list the ways your messages will differ from your competition.
5. The Channels to Leverage – Identifying the platforms you will use to communicate your brand story is critical to a successful strategy. Also, you must delve into the criteria, processes, and objectives for using each platform, as well as how you will present a unified communication across different channels.
Sharing Your Content Marketing Strategy
Everyone within your company should understand your content marketing strategy. By sharing your strategy, all team members are on the same page. You can also avoid duplicating effort and ensure your team members work to achieve the same content goals.
You can decide how to share your content marketing strategy based on your organizational structure. You might share the entire plan in some cases and targeted summaries in others.
Updating Your Content Marketing Strategy
Some components of your strategy will not change over time. Your mission and business goals remain the same even as your business evolves.
However, you must review every other component of your strategy and update as needed. At least annually, re-visit your channel strategy, core content topics, and program processes for possible upgrades. Regular evaluations of your program help ensure you achieve your content goals.
Content marketing programs help you build an audience. But, you need to deliver valuable content to the right targets at the right time. When you do these things, your content program can improve the buyer experience and generate greater revenue.
About KEO Marketing
KEO Marketing Inc., a leading marketing agency based in Phoenix, Arizona, develops and implements strategies to help clients significantly increase leads and sales.
For more information about how you can implement your own content marketing program or to request a complimentary marketing audit, contact us today.