Marketing content without strategy is plain stupid
What is a content marketing strategy and why is it important? It’s a question I hear a lot.
To ace your marketing content endeavours, you need to have a strategy. Content marketing is not as simple as slapping up blogs and hoping for the best!
You have to incorporate so many different elements AND it needs to be on a cycle of repeat.
Plucking ideas out of the writerly blue sky will only last so long. And without a content plan, there is no guarantee the ideas you do think of are actually driving your customers to purchase.
So what is a content marketing strategy?
Marketing content needs a back bone. Content speaks to your customers at all stages of their journey with you.
It grabs them before they know you exist. It educates them that you are a potential answer to their Google search and consumer problem. And it gives you the ability to meet any objections your customers may have about choosing your product.
Content marketing woos your customers away from your competitors by building a story that relates better to their experience.
It gets them coming back between sales. And it may even calm them down when stuff goes wrong.
As a content marketer, you need to write content for:
- The soon-to-be customer who hasn’t even heard of you yet
- The potential customer who is comparing you with the other options
- The new customer who is still feeling your business out
- The continuing customer who has purchased who could become loyal
- The loyalist who champions your brand
- The lapsed customer who you need to remind on occasion
- The angry customer who has hit some kind of roadblock with your business
- The saboteurs who may not even experience your product but heckle anyway
- The influencers who share your product with friends
- The people in your customer’s life that may be the ones making the purchase (such as a parent to a child or a boss to an employee)
And this messaging needs to weave and repeat throughout the various stages of growth.
Even the best content writers often fail to remember that the audience may not be sick of hearing about the early stage stuff. Or they could suck royally at being able to write a blog piece that calms the customer pool down after a bungle.
Overcoming these kinds of problems all comes down to your content marketer presenting a super strong content strategy.
90% of free form writers, bloggers and even copywriters will pluck subjects from what they feel like writing as opposed to slotting into a wider blogging strategy. Without that strategy, you can be spending a whole lot of money and time on writing that only works on a blog by blog (as opposed to a story) level.
Content plans are built to deal with your customers in such as way as to reach them at each stage while providing a roadmap for their journey of trust with your business.
A decent content marketer is considering important aspects like:
- What is my client’s ROI for the overall content strategy?
- Have I adequately met SEO and/or brand personality requirements?
- How does this relate to consumer education and/or their response to the brand?
- What are we trying to sell?
- What action do I want the reader to take as a result of reading this piece?
- How will this content be distributed and do I need to factor that into the writing?
- Who are the audience and how do I make the story relate to them?
THEN… they attach the tone, the beauty, the interest and the delightfulness that gives story the shine it needs to keep the reader engaged.
This is how you answer that “what is a content marketing strategy?” question
No such thing as writing for writing’s sake when writing marketing content
Think about how you consume content on the internet. We cherry pick a lot of what we see on a blog by blog basis. But in order to create a truly good impression and hit the customer in their various stages of sales cycle, you need to be building towards a story that keeps going.
Stuff that glares and blares “Hi, I’m marketing content. Come buy something!” rarely gets a favourable response.
You have to have content that has a geeky behind the scenes approach that covers off your SEO and branding requirements while weaving in the sales messaging.
Your content marketing efforts should be cutting down your customer’s need to call you to find something out by lifting the bar in terms of education. At the same time, it should be encouraging your customers to come back and stay in touch.
It should also be giving your customers the reason to justify spending money on your products to themselves and anyone who holds the budget to make those purchases happen. And it should be drowning out the voices that say “don’t buy that!” when it comes to saboteurs, competitors, trends and all the rest.
I’ve said it before – content marketing takes time to work. It’s a long term strategy that requires patience and big picture planning. Blogging for your business is about writing a long running series. It isn’t about popping up one blog and the money flooding in.
If you or your brands want content marketing, hire a content creator. Hell, you know where I am going with this. You need to hire me.
You can see the difference in approach by checking out my sales page for my content marketing plan. And you can see the rules of this applied to the very blog you are reading right now.
Get in touch with me. We can talk marketing content and get your business blog out of a reactive, writing for writing’s sake state.
And we can get you into some solid content marketing strategy and start planning for a sustainable relationship with your customers.
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