Content marketing was hot in 2013 and it looks like that isn’t going to change in the new year. In order for your business to develop a successful online presence, creating and sharing targeted, good quality content is crucial. If you haven’t yet developed a content marketing strategy for your website, there’s no time like the present to get started. Below we’ve outlined step by step how you can go about developing your 2014 content marketing strategy.
Identify Your Target Audience
In order to be able to create the right content, you need to know who you are creating it for. If you’ve been in business for a while, you’ll likely know who your target audience is. Online however, things may be a bit different. For example, your business might sell its products or services to people of all ages, though online, your target audience might mainly consist of your younger customers, while older customers might be better targeted through other marketing channels.
Figure Out Where to Find Your Target Audience Online
Once you have identified who your most important target customer is, you need to figure out where they are spending most of their time online. Do they mostly spend time on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Tumblr, Pinterest, etc.? You’ll want to focus on the most important online marketing channels first and tailor your content for consumption on these channels. If your target audience spends most of their time on Youtube, you will want to focus more on video content as opposed to written content for example.
Create Your Plan
Now that you know who you are targeting with your content marketing and where you’ll be mainly posting your content, you have to start creating your content marketing plan. Before starting to churn out articles or videos, think about what kind of content will resonate with your target audience and what services or products your mainly want to promote. Then create a plan for what your content will mainly focus on. You may want to have one focus for the whole year, or change it up every week or month, depending on the type of business you run.
Execute and Share
You now have a general idea for what your first campaign will revolve around, which means it is time to actually start creating content. Make sure that your content is compelling, well-written or produced and highly shareable. Share your content on all of the important online channels that you identified before. Make sure to follow up to see if there are comments and respond to them if appropriate. Being responsive and/or stirring up discussion will help you get more shares for your content.
Measure and Adjust
It is unlikely that all the content you create will be successful. That is why it is very important that you measure how well different pieces of content are doing and adjust your strategy accordingly. Try to find a pattern in the content that is most successful and adapt future efforts based on these insights. Keep measuring and improving. Content marketing is an iterative process that you’ll get better at over time.
Content marketing is not easy so don’t get discouraged if your first efforts aren’t getting the results you had hoped for. As long as you keep measuring and improving you should see more success over time. Also, if you manage to create great content, this may keep bringing visitors/leads to your website for weeks, months and even years to come.
Zane Schwarzlose is a writer at Fahrenheit Marketing, an Austin Internet marketing firm. Zane thinks taht content marketing can be especially effective in some niches.