“Never, especially from those who are more powerful than you, beg for anything. They’ll offer on their own initiative and freely provide it “— is a well-known statement from The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov. That is a generally sound rule, even though Bulgakov didn’t mean it in the context of marketing. One strategy that generates the most incoming requests is content marketing. Make people come to you first and give themselves, in other words.
SEMRush found that 78% of businesses with a written content marketing strategy produced valuable, useful material. Inbound marketing costs 62% less and produces more than three times as many leads than outbound marketing. However, it’s crucial to make sure that your brand is producing content that is beneficial to your audience and capable of advancing your business’s long-term objectives. Because there is so much information available online, here are five essential actions your company should take to develop a content marketing plan that works:
1- Create your narrative.
One thing all successful brands have in common is that they present a compelling, recurrent tale. The core of a successful content marketing plan is storytelling, so it’s crucial to devote the time and money required to polish this facet of your company.
According to Psychology Today, stories encourage people to feel more empathy because they raise the “happy” chemical oxytocin and decrease the stress hormone cortisol. The proper tale still ignites that primitive aspect of the human brain that stirs our feelings and promotes a sense of deep connection to both the brand presenting the story and to one another. In essence, stories shape the way we think and give our life purpose.
Anyone can develop a compelling narrative for their product or service, and 92% of consumers say they prefer advertisements that have a narrative feel to them. A good illustration of this is Ikea. Furniture shopping isn’t exactly the most fun activity. Customers are immensely loyal to Ikea, but not because of their products’ quality or affordability, but rather because the company has crafted an immersive narrative around the aspirational joy of furnishing your house with understated elegance and items that are a reflection of who you are.
2- Do some channel and target audience research.
You need to know your audience in order to write an engaging narrative. Researching your target demographic in-depth is crucial because one of the most difficult components of marketing is regularly generating leads and visitors.
Make an avatar of your ideal client and spend some time developing their backstory. What year are they? Gender? typical income? Which professions may this person desire? What do they enjoy doing? What personality traits do they possess? The more three-dimensional this avatar is, the better you will be able to comprehend your target market.
Browse MoonPie’s Twitter to see how this should be done properly. Their target market is someone who appreciates offbeat humor and doesn’t take themselves too seriously, thus they have honed their brand voice to match that. They can therefore easily captivate their audience because they are so incredibly related to them.
3- Conceive of content concepts
Did you know that 35% of businesses, on average, employ no one specifically for content marketing? This implies that staying up to date with trends and creating continuously new content is challenging. When you don’t have a dedicated team, using tools like UberSuggest, Google Trends, and Buzzsumo is a terrific method to make the most of your content production ideas. However, your company can also take other actions.
There are numerous methods for coming up with interesting, shareable content ideas depending on your objectives and target audience. To capitalize on popular videos and memes, you can set up trend notifications on apps like Instagram and TikTok. You may also turn to your user base to develop a user-driven campaign.
With their platform Neutrogena Studios, Neutrogena is an example of a user-generated content campaign that is successful. For this, they have permitted users to submit videos that are centered on skin health. This not only makes use of customer loyalty and offers a constant source of marketing content, but it also uses few resources and has a high return on investment.
4- Make a decision on distribution.
Your time and resources are ultimately wasted if you cannot get your content in front of the right audience. There are numerous ways to distribute your content, ranging from ebooks, blogs, and podcasts to social media graphics and webinars.
Which channels you use will be determined by your objectives and target audience. However, there are three primary channels: paid (for example, Instagram ads), owned (for example, email newsletters), and earned (e.g., social media shares). A successful content distribution strategy will almost always include some combination of all three channels.
After defining your target audience and developing your narrative, the best distribution strategy emerges. These two steps help you determine the best channels for getting your content seen and shared by informing the types of content you’ll focus on.
Because your owned channels are the ones over which you have the most control, optimizing them is a critical component of distribution. The “Like Can Never Replace Love” campaign by Oracle Vitrue was a huge success because the company prioritized promotion through its own distribution channels (e.g., staff, partners, influencers and customers).
5- Analyze your outcomes
Every content marketing plan needs objectives and quantifiable KPIs to assess the success of a campaign. Start with KPIs like content impact, engagement, traffic, and sentiment. Nevertheless, they can be further broken down into more precise analytics like distinct page views, conversions, top exits, bounce rates, and social shares. Recognize that the measurements may vary depending on the distribution channel, and that it will probably take some time to establish the right baselines and KPIs for your brand (and some adjustment).
These measures might include mentions in prestigious periodicals that imply recognition among a larger audience in the instance of Casper, a startup in the sleep industry that has established its brand on content marketing. Despite having subsequent financial issues, Casper had initially developed quickly, bringing in $30 million in revenue and growing its staff from five to hundreds in less than a year.
Fast Company listed the business as one of the most creative businesses in both 2016 and 2017. The company released a number of imaginative Snapchat and Instagram stories, which caused a stir on social media, they claimed. Additionally, Casper employed journalists and disclosed the beginning of its own editorial project covering all facets of sleep. Therefore, Casper has its own identity and a place in brand history regardless of what.
Keep in mind that your material should serve a purpose and be emotionally engaging. Brands may forge sincere connections with their audience thanks to effective content marketing methods. Never be afraid to experiment with new possibilities and determine what will work best for your brand. It’s crucial to understand that content marketing strategies are dynamic, ongoing processes that will evolve over time. Therefore, in order to get a head start on the future, it makes sense to start allocating time and resources to it today.
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