Before diving in and creating boat loads of content you need to have a plan of action. This is what most businesses fail to do and they end up creating hundreds of articles, videos, whitepapers, and infographics without really knowing what message they want to convey, what actions they expect from their audience after reading an article or watching a video, and how they will eventually convert audience into customers. While some of those contents may bring in customers, most of them will be a waste of money.
At the end of this article you should be able to;
- Know what your objectives are.
- Know who you are writing content for.
- Identify strategies for distribution.
- Measure the success of your efforts.
What is or are your objectives in content marketing?
Depending on the product or service you are offering, your objective may be to introduce a product, showcase expertise, build your brand, or build a strong following in social media sites. Ask yourself what you want your contents to achieve and write them down. It is an important part of the process as your objectives will serve as your guide as you create content.
Let me give you an example
The Home Depot publishes How-To videos in their Youtube Channel like the one below. These videos enable them to showcase their products as well as expertise.
They further refined their targeting by categorizing and creating videos that appeal to different market segments.
As of this writing, The Home Depot has
35,881 99,417subscribers in their Youtube Channel. Warm subscribers that The Home Depot communicates with every time they publish a new video.
Another example of an extremely successful content marketing campaign with tons of customer interaction is Starbucks’ My Starbucks Idea. The site enables customers to share product ideas, service ideas, and even community involvement ideas for Starbucks. The company then reviews these ideas and implements some of them.
Who is Your Target Audience?
Knowing who your target audience are will enable you to;
- tailor your content to fit their needs.
- connect with them emotionally and earn their trust.
- brand yourself as an expert because you are delivering exactly what they need.
- create a following that will read every email you send and promote your company for free.
I wrote an article awhile back about identifying customers for a successful content marketing campaign. Give it a visit so you have an idea on how to really identify your customers.
Identify Key Strategies for Distributing Content
There are many types of content and you can use one or many of them to reach your customers. A good mix of these content types is advisable so you can reach a diverse audience. Your options include;
If you are a service oriented company having a blog and videos is a good start. You can create guides as blog posts and create videos of you doing them in action. This way you can showcase expertise and create a good reputation for yourself and your company.
Ask The Mechanic is a good example of a service oriented company using videos, pictures, and articles to show that they are experts in the field.
Once you’ve identified your distribution channel, plan on the frequency of your blog posts or videos. Note: whatever you create should be in line with your objectives otherwise they’re a waste of time and money.
Some bloggers publish content every day while others publish once a week or even once a month. Consider your bandwidth and your audience when deciding on the frequency of your posts or videos. If one of your strategies include a video series, decide when subscribers will receive the other parts of the series.
Different areas of distribution
I know it’s tempting to have an account on every social media site there is but concentrating on a few of them and building a good reputation is more effective. It will also help and will make your content marketing effort a lot easier if you can identify where your target market hangs out and then slowly inch your way into the community.
Here are some options for content distribution
How to Measure the Success of Your Content Marketing Efforts
Depending on what avenue you use to distribute your content, you can use different tools to measure your success. There is, Google Analytics, Facebook page insights, Rank Trackers to measure search engine rankings, etc…
But what you really want to do is take note and notice improvements in FB Likes, G +1’s, comments, views, shares, and other community involvement that tells whether people are engaging with your content or not.
And remember that the contents you create should have a call to action. If you post an article on Facebook, you can measure its effectiveness through the actions expected from your fans.
Other success indicators
Increased search engine rankings
- Know what your objectives are before creating contents.
- Identify your target audience and create a buyer persona.
- Identify areas of distribution and channels to reach your target audience.
- Set performance indicators that help measure the success of the content marketing strategy.