Content marketing is not a new concept, but the fact is that this type of marketing is getting very popular in the last couple of years. It seems that marketers and business owners have realized how beneficial content marketing can be. Thanks to content marketing you can develop long-lasting and strong relationships with your target audience, boost brand visibility, enhance brand recognition and awareness, build trust and loyalty, establish credibility and authority and much more.
As we already said, a growing number of businesses and marketers are becoming aware of the importance of content marketing. According to some statistics, eight out of ten companies agree that content marketing is more important than push marketing. So, it is no surprise why so many companies are trying to develop content marketing strategies that work.
If you have performed some research you have probably read some great stories about the effects of content marketing on ROI, brand awareness, web traffic, lead generation, backlinks and inbound links and other things that can improve your business. There are some success stories of big brands that use content marketing as part of their general marketing strategy. However, many website owners would love to know how the implementation of marketing strategy works. There is only a small number of sources where you can find useful information about this and this is the reason why we have decided to create a detailed guide that will help you get the most from content marketing.
Making an editorial calendar
An editorial calendar is a term used to describe a type of calendar that defines and manages the process of content creation from its initial phase (idea) to writing and publication. For starters, make a table or document in Excel and make sure to include all the marketing activities that you are planning. You can create a 1, 3, 6 or 12-month schedule.
First of all, make sure to pay special attention to important events like the beginning of the summer season, Christmas, New Year’s Eve and other similar events because they usually have an impact on almost every business. There are some periods of the year that are specific to certain types of businesses so take care of them too.
Next, you should perform a thorough research of your industry. Try to find out more about the important events in your industry. Are there some changes in the law, major conferences, awareness days etc.
In the end, analyze your goals and milestones for the near future, important business days, service or product launch dates, scheduled sales and special offers and analyze your general marketing strategy too. Any information is important for content marketing so don’t skip anything.
Based on this information, it would be much easier to find inspiration for campaign ideas or themes. If you believe that there is something in the upcoming period that deserves special attention focus (launching a new product that brings your business to another level) try to find ways to present that in your content marketing campaign in a better way. With the help of these campaign ideas or themes, it will be much simpler to create adequate plans for blogging, press releases, social media and content marketing elements in general. Of course, all these elements are used as part of a comprehensive marketing strategy. Obviously, your strategy will be more effective if you fill the area beneath monthly information with the plans for every element we’ve mention in order to achieve the best integration. Be prepared to make changes to the editorial calendar because there are always some new developments that can affect your plans. In other words, don’t forget that once completed, the editorial calendar can be changed and there is nothing wrong with that. This calendar serves as a basis that will help you implement the content marketing strategy in a better way. In the end, you won’t use all the events, dates and information found in these calendars. Additionally, you may use some brief marketing campaigns based on the situation at the moment.
When the calendar is finally completed, share it with your closest associates and ask them to contribute with their review. Maybe you’ve missed something or maybe the things can be organized in a better way.
Analyzing and Conceptualizing
Implementing a strategy successfully is the main objective of every business owner and analyzing and conceptualizing your content marketing strategy is one of the most important parts of this process. According to experts, this is the stage that is crucial for this process.
During this stage, it is highly recommended to call your team and the managers of the digital channels you will use and any other creative member of your company. Based on the information you get from all these people and with the help of analysis, you should be able to design effective marketing campaign ideas that can be implemented in your content marketing plan. Remember that you will need to use these ideas in different channels.
At this point, you will need to take a few things into consideration. First of all, you will need to analyze your resources. For instance, you must find a good company that can create video content. You must also have a good designer. Focus on the data you have and the ways in which it can be used.
Next, you must check the options for the type of content marketing campaign you can utilize. For instance, many people choose so-called user-generated campaigns where business owners simply share the idea and clients/customers unleash their creativity to make videos, vines, and images. Others opt for fun presentations, infographics and similar types of content. Another important thing is to make sure that you have set at least approximate duration for the campaign you want to run. Sometimes these campaigns last for a couple of weeks, but sometimes they last for a few months.
Many businesses want to create a viral campaign thanks to their content marketing pieces, but this shouldn’t be your primary objective. It was proven that it is better to focus on your target audience because the quality of traffic plays a crucial role. You won’t experience drastic changes if you increase your traffic with people who are not genuinely interested in your products/services. You need serious leads that promise a high level of conversion.
Finally, you should remember that we are talking about the implementation of content marketing strategies. This means that your strategy will include more than one campaign. So, don’t use all the campaigns in one place and in one way. There are many cases when only one piece of content, be it a video or an article, can achieve amazing results even though you didn’t expect much from it. Instead of directing all your efforts, money and resources on a single campaign or on a single channel, diversify and the results should be better.
When your campaigns are finally conceptualized, you should consider the practical details of these campaigns. For starters, you must find the best ways to market the content designed for marketing on a wide range of digital channels. Is there an opportunity to submit a press release with interesting images or even an infographic? Calculate your budget precisely and try to leave a certain amount of money in order to boost social media posts (sponsored posts). Some marketers use email marketing campaigns to support their content marketing strategy. Additionally, you should think about the promotional steps you’ll take. As you are probably aware, these promotions can be used on different marketing platforms. Even if you have spent a lot of time and money on creating a solid content campaign, you won’t feel almost any benefits in case you are using inadequate promotion.
Needless to say, you must think about your budget, the paperwork and the final approval (if needed). And it is not just the publishing of these content campaigns. You must learn how to measure the effects, so you can use your experience in other campaigns. A strategy is a plan of action that will help you achieve an overall aim. By analyzing the effects of your campaigns (changes in web traffic, social signals, brand recognition/awareness and sales) you will be able to measure the effects in the right way and make the necessary changes to make your next content campaign even more effective.
This is by far the most entertaining and inspiring phase. This is where you and your team unleash your creativity to create the best content for marketing purposes. As previously mentioned, articles, blog posts, graphic, animation, reports, videos, photos, images are some of the options you have. You can use some of them or all of them. It is up to you to select the best option. In case you choose a user-generated marketing campaign, you must be sure that the terms and conditions are prepared, that the social posts are written and the press release list is well-organized.
It’s good to point out that while the creation stage of the campaign is on, you will most likely find out that you won’t be able to follow your initial plan. Of course, these “deviations” are minor and they should not affect the progress. Improvisation is part of the implementation process, so be ready for something like this. Making quick decisions and being agile is a top priority when it comes to content marketing. You will need to tweak and adjust your campaign according to the things you’ll encounter on your road to success.
Final implementation and adequate promotion
Obviously, the final result is the mark of the success of your planning and efforts. This means, that the final stage is all about publishing and sharing your content marketing pieces on the Internet. Just like in the case of the stage where you were focused on the creation of content, this stage may bring some difficulties and obstacles. As you know, you should be flexible and adjust the plan and everything will go well. You should not let these obstacles discourage you or disrupt you. Think about your final goal.
If you want to implement the content marketing strategy successfully, you will need to constantly monitor the campaign and make changes whenever it’s required. For example, in case you are noticing a change in web traffic even though you are using social media platforms, then you must check your campaign. Analyze the links in the updates and the hashtag you are using. You can always create sponsored posts just to check whether everything is fine. Don’t forget that social media platforms have accurate analytics tools too.
Another common problem at this final stage of implementation is a high bounce rate. Put yourself in the shoes of visitors and see what’s wrong? Are there too many ads on the page? Is the pop-up window annoying? Or maybe you have selected a wrong combination of colors?
Furthermore, there are situations when visitors are not active in the campaign. In cases like this, it is usually sufficient to write a different, more effective call to action. On the other hand, you can’t go wrong if you try to use a better incentive.
When the content marketing campaign is finally finished, you must spend some time analyzing the effects and results. There are different metrics you can use, but this question should be answered in the planning stage. Don’t forget that the most useful content is the one that is not affected by time (timeless content). This is a great way to measure the success of your campaign months after it’s finished. The best pieces of content will attract almost the same amount of traffic for months.
Implementing a content marketing strategy is not a simple task, but by following our how-to guide you should be able to achieve the best results. Take every stage seriously and invest all your resources in it. A good content marketing strategy promises a high ROI.