You’re a business owner and returned from a seminar where the speaker, a content marketing expert, gave you a brilliant presentation. Thanks to important figures, convincing statistics and slides that flew from left to right, you suddenly questioned yourself. You have imagined what it would mean if you brought this marketing approach into your growing business. You have even seen yourself recruiting dozens of new customers. This is normal, hope gives life …
Back in your inbox, you therefore summon your marketing staff and explain the new lines of your marketing strategy to them. You then order the marketing manager to start using content marketing within two weeks.
All stunned, they look at each other, most of them do not even understand what it is about. Content marketing? Bêh, what is that? But since you’re the boss, they have no choice. A few days later, your blog is launched. In the process, 4 articles are published by your marketing team and you say to yourself: “Hooray, we have finally entered the trend! ”
Do you already want to get started in content marketing, create your blog and write your first articles? No, don’t do it. Take the time to read the following and you will have everything to gain.
Content marketing works, that’s right.
According to DemandMetric, content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates approximately 3 times more leads.
But for it to be effective, you don’t have to go on all fours. It would be as if you were ordering a scientific expedition without giving your team a map and a compass.
Writing articles, blogging and posting on social media is not content marketing.
Content marketing is not an isolated task. The companies that succeed in their content marketing strategy are those who have understood that the key to success lies in implementing a strategy, and this is what I’m going to talk to you about.
Why go into content marketing without a strategy is it a danger for your business?
It’s simply a:
- Waste of money ;
- Waste of time ;
- Loss of energy;
- Loss of motivation.
Watch these sports commentators for a moment on the television sets when a football match is to take place. They always talk about the coach’s strategy and tactics. You will hear them say that Zidane adopted the attack strategy with a 3-4-4 system. This is just an example because I am not a football expert. This means that the coach uses a well-considered approach and does not go into a match without having developed his team’s game plan. It’s a safe bet that if he had said to these players: “Guys, go play and make me win this team“, These would have been disoriented on the ground, Cristiano Ronaldo first.
This is how you should do it. Always think strategy, approach and tactics. This is the best way to successfully implement your content marketing. Going into content marketing without orientation is like driving a Ferrari traveling at 340 km / hour with eyes on Pamela Anderson’s chest. We’re excited by the speed, we think we’re Clark Kent in Smallville, but we don’t know what we’re going to run into. Please don’t do this.
So how do you give yourself the chance to succeed? The following 5 steps will detail the process to follow.
1. Define the audience
Wanting to get a message across requires knowing who it’s going to be for. We cannot stay in our corner, elaborate our message, share it with everyone and hope that it will bear fruit. Those who succeed in their content marketing are those who have carefully determined their audience, the part of the target that really interests their business. The path to understanding the audience is to define PERSONA.
Who is the persona?
This is the fictional representation of your target. It must have all of its characteristics.
Why is it absolutely necessary to define it?
This is the best way to draw a portrait of your target to make sure it matches exactly what your target is.
How to proceed ?
It’s very simple, just ask yourself the following questions:
- Where does she live ? Where is she working ?
- What is his worst nightmare / most beautiful dream?
- What are his received ideas?
- What are his language tics?
- What does she say while toasting? What is his obsession?
Answering these questions will allow you to know your audience more than the competition.
2. Define your goals
Not defining your goals is like applying for a position without knowing what your missions are. Most businesses fail because they don’t describe what they are aiming for, but more importantly what they want to achieve. The important thing is to always keep in mind the big ball you are aiming for. It’s this big ball that should symbolize THE WHY you’re getting into content marketing.
Depending on the nature of your business, its current situation and your ambition, you have several objectives:
- Increase your traffic;
- Develop your brand image;
- Recruit new customers;
- Generate leads;
- Create and engage your community;
- Build customer loyalty;
- Increase your subscriber numbers.
In choosing one or two goals, you need to focus on the actions to achieve them. The most important thing is not to disperse yourself.
3. Develop a content strategy
Content marketing is based on the development of an effective content strategy since the essence of this approach is to create content that will be distributed to a specific target. Getting up one morning, writing an article and sharing it on social media is by no means content marketing. So how do you lay the groundwork for this content strategy?
This amounts to asking the following few questions:
Which creates ?
This step will help to know those who will be responsible for creating your content: would it be your internal collaborators? A Provider? Each of the choices involves a different work process and costs in both.
What do we create?
Knowing what content is needed is what will be the basis of your content marketing. Without content, there is no content marketing. You should know that the content created is based on your audience. It’s a good idea to choose which one your audience consumes best and which you feel comfortable with when creating it. Several types of content are available to you:
- Blog articles;
- Video ;
- Free white;
- PowerPoint Slides.
Where do we publish?
The content created must be broadcast to your target. The good question is therefore: which channels will best deliver the content?
You have several:
- Your blog;
- Your website;
- Your YouTube channel;
- Your social profiles;
- Your newsletter.
The important thing is not to occupy all the available channels, but to choose those on which your audience is active and which you control, because each channel has its codes of use.
If you have the best content and the best offer in the world, but no one is aware that it exists, you’ve wasted your time and money. Promoting your content is the part that you need to make a point of honor. Most content marketing efforts fail because of the wrong approach to their promotion strategy or the lack of promotion altogether.
The central idea to keep in mind is simply to take actions that will ensure your visibility in order to make your content better known to as many people as possible. For this, several tactics and actions are available to you:
- Publish on social networks;
- Use Facebook advertising;
- Send emails to your contact list;
- Send emails to your contacts;
- Mention influencers in your content;
- Notify influencers of their presence in your content;
- Participate in your community: Facebook group, LinkedIn and others.
Of all these tactics, you need to choose the ones that work best for you. For more details on promoting your content, here is a guide that will help you become ROI on the web.
5. Measuring results
If you do not measure your actions, you are ignorant of your own business. Measuring your actions has several advantages. It allows to :
- Know which actions or tactics work best;
- Know what’s wrong;
- Bring corrective actions.
And when we can appreciate a phenomenon, we can easily have a precise and realistic vision of the thing. What criteria should be taken into account?
- The number of visits to your blog after a moment X;
- The number of shares of your content;
- The number of new requests for information;
- The number of new subscribers;
- The number of comments;
- On Facebook, it could be the number of new likes;
- The number of downloads of your free bonuses (ebook – template – checklist);
- In your Google Analytics, you can also see the time that visitors spend on your site, blog or article. It’s important to take a look at bounce rates, whether it’s falling (positive) or rising (negative).
With these criteria, you can easily see the impact of your new actions on your digital strategy.
Investing in content marketing is the best decision you can make for your business in 2016. Its results have been proven for a long time. However, you will not be successful if you go headlong. Developing a strategy is probably the best way to get it right and it is very simple. Determine your goals, define your audience, develop a content strategy, promote it and, finally, measure its results. If you ignore these steps, you will not be doing content marketing, but rather pole vaulting with a black blindfold.
And you, have you ever tried content marketing? What are the results so far?