The Best Content Strategy For 2019
When you think of your online business, the chances are that you’ve dreaming big – maybe not corporate big, but you want it to succeed and grow. You want it to do more than just pay the bills. Because of this, you fully understand the importance of digital marketing and in the digital age, the importance of content marketing and strategy in particular.
Why is content marketing so important to your online business success? According to The Content Marketing Institute, “Content marketing rakes in conversion rates six times higher than other methods.” And small businesses that blog and write articles regularly convert 126% more prospects than small businesses that do not. With this in mind, it is hardly surprising that 86% of organisations in the UK used content marketing strategies in 2018. If trends continue as they are, this figure is set to grow further in 2019 and beyond.
Unfortunately, this in turn creates a problem: the growth in content marketing has meant an increase in content channels and content types. Good content marketing is becoming prohibitively complex and confusing for ordinary businesses, especially for smaller businesses that can’t afford a dedicated content strategist.
What Is The Best Social Media For Content?
Should you use social media? If so, which is better for marketing? Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter or LinkedIn?
Are you blogging and writing enough? Should you be including infographics? What is the ideal word count? How important is the headline?
Is it worth writing a press release? Do people still read magazines?
What’s the best type of content? Are people still reading blogs?
Is a YouTube account worth having? Do people prefer videos to blogs, rich media, podcasts to videos?
I can hear the screams from here! Too many options leave you struggling with your content strategy before you’ve even started. Feeling overwhelmed is a key ingredient in procrastination. The task seems simple too difficult. So, if you’ve been putting off planning your content strategy for 2019 (and if you are reading this, that is almost certainly the case, considering you should have started planning back in September 2018!) – you do need some assistance.
Content Marketing Agency Devon
1. Align Your Content Strategy With Your Business Goals
You need to establish and choose your business goals for forthcoming year if not done already. Think about what you want to achieve with your online business. Here are suggestions to help you create some workable and attainable goals.
Are you looking to grow the business and website? By what percentage? How many new customers do you think you need to achieve this growth?
Are you looking to retain existing customers? Increase the average spend of the existing customers?
Are you looking for greater brand exposure?
You will probably want to achieve all three – growth, retention, and awareness; your task now is to rank these in level of importance, so you can decide how much time to dedicate to each. For example, if growth is the most important factor for your online business, you allocate 50% of your budget to growth, with 25% each to retention and awareness.
How To Define Content Marketing Goals
Defining your digital and marketing goals will help inform and drive your content strategies in the following ways:
a. You will be able to work out whom to target with your online content. You will establish who they are (e.g. young professionals or millennials), where to find them (e.g. Facebook, magazines, etc.), and what type of content they prefer (e.g. podcasts, videos, blogs).
b. You will be able to work out which type of content is most likely to pique the interest of the right people at the right time (e.g. a “How to” guide is more likely to help with retention, whilst a blog about your services will help with growth and online awareness).
Who Is Your Target Audience?
2. Who Will Help You To Achieve These Goals?
In other words, who is the target market? Once you know your goals, you can work out how to tailor your content to the right people and where to place it for the greatest exposure. For example, if you want to achieve online growth, you can establish who your best customers are by looking at your customer list and seeing which type of person/business makes the most sales. Then, create a content strategy plan to find similar people.
Imagine your best performing customer is a young professional interested in technology. Start by making broad assumptions about the type of content they consume (e.g. tech blogs) and where they find it (e.g. LinkedIn). Use this to create online content that you believe they will find interesting, engaging and place it in the media channels you think will work for that demographic (i.e. write a tech blog and post it to LinkedIn).
As your content strategy progresses throughout the year, narrow your focus and create more relevant content as you learn more about them, what they find interesting, and where you can find them (see step 4).
3. Decide on the Type of Content to Use
There are so many different types of content at your disposal in 2019, including:
- Press releases
- Case studies
- Product announcements
Each has its own purpose and can capture people at different stages of the sales funnel.
For example, a podcast is probably more suitable as a tool for customer retention. They are often long, are not particularly salesy, and have an informative/deep engagement element to them.
Tweets & Instagram pictures, on the other hand, may be more suitable for capturing new people at the beginning of the sales funnel – channelling them to your website. They’re hooks: quick, succinct, and designed to pique interest.
Instagram works well if your product has strong visual elements, e.g. you sell food. Tweets work well with products that have a more cerebral quality, e.g. you sell tech products.
Understanding what you want to achieve (growth) and whom you want to speak to (your target audience) will help you choose the appropriate type of content for your strategy at the right time. You should and will be using a mix of content types, topics, and channels throughout the year.
Post, Test And Measure And Tweak
As you move forward through the year, you need to assess the initial assumptions made in your content strategy to see how they are working. Use metrics and tracking options on your website and media channels (Google Analytics, content scheduling platform analytics, and code tracking on blogs/press releases) to establish how well your strategy is working.
A-B testing makes sense in the first few months. For instance, run a Twitter and Instagram campaign using the same topic and see which gains the most conversions (i.e. retweets, followers and likes).
As you move through the seasons, you will be able to track how well your strategy is working and modify it accordingly. Doing more of the things that work and dropping the things that don’t. Be ruthless!
Content Marketing Key Points
Content strategy is complex, but you can cut through the confusion and create a plan that works by understanding the different steps in the process. This involves meticulous research and time. You need to spend this time defining your business goals, understanding your audience (who they are, how they speak and where they spend time), researching the appropriateness of different types of content for specific outcomes, and testing and analysing results in detail.
Implementing a solid digital content strategy means that you we be able to communicate and engage effectively with the right people at the right time. You will convey your messages in meaningful and impactful ways that help achieve your online business goals for 2019.
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