More and more companies are investing in content marketing but many fail. Having a documented content strategy can be the crucial difference ...

Content marketing requires strategy

More and more companies are investing in content marketing but many fail. Having a documented content strategy can be the crucial difference between success and failure.

Right now many companies are investing in content marketing. Everywhere content is being created for different platforms and for different target groups. Quantity is good but it isn’t everything, and a lot of content never reaches the right target group through the right channel at the right time. Often this is because a company has been careless with their content strategy from the beginning.

The Content Marketing Institute’s latest annual report makes it clear that companies with a documented content strategy are far more successful than companies that lack a strategy. Of the companies with a documented strategy, 60 per cent consider their investment in content marketing effective. 62 per cent of the most successful companies say they follow their strategy very closely.

Conclusion: to be successful with content marketing, you need to have a documented content strategy.

5 steps to a successful content strategy
It’s tempting to just dive in. You have ideas and you think you know how to reach out. You have a good idea of your target group and can guess what type of content they want. But instead take a few steps back and think before you start.

1. What is your objective?
What do you want to achieve with your content marketing? Do you want to strengthen your brand or change perceptions of it? Do you want to establish yourself in new markets or with new target groups? Do you want to increase conversation about your brand or generate sales? By formulating your objective, it’s easier for you to direct your content marketing to the right target group.

2. Who is your target group?
You certainly roughly know about the target group you are reaching out too. You know where they live, how old they are and which newspapers and magazines they read. But what else do you know? Do you know what they crave, what they do in their spare time and what they dream about? The more you know about your audience, the better adapted your content will be.

3. Where is your target group?
Knowing which channels and platforms your target group can be found on is vital for reaching them with the right message. Start with the channels that are most important for your audience and concentrate on them. Trying to be on every channel simultaneously with relevant content is usually difficult, expensive and unnecessary. For certain target groups and companies, social media is important. For others, newsletters are more relevant and sometimes a printed magazine is the best channel.

4. What content does your target group want?
If you want your intended audience to choose your content, it must be good. It must be able to measure up to the best titles on the magazine shelf, the most popular podcasts or the best programmes on TV. It must also be tailored towards your target group and the channels where you choose to communicate. The content should help you achieve your objectives, but it must do so on the recipients’ conditions.

5. What are your goals and are they realistic?
Finally, it is important to set clear and realistic goals for your content marketing. No matter what the objective of your investment in content marketing is, it is crucial to have clear targets and regularly measure your effectiveness at meeting them. Content marketing can be used for rebranding, brand positioning, generating conversation and increasing sales, but the results are usually not as fast and immediate as traditional marketing. Having sustainable long-term goals is crucial for the success of content marketing.

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