This article was contributed by Anne Stefanyk, Founder and CEO of Kanopi Studios.
Deciding to implement content marketing is a great step in the right direction for improving your marketing strategy. Content marketing allows you to reach your target audience through high-quality, in-depth web content, such as articles, blog posts, images, and videos.
However, like any business initiative, taking up content marketing won’t be effective if it’s not goal-oriented. Content marketing is ultimately meant to drive tangible results based on your marketing and overarching business goals.
In order to drive results, you’ll want to put your energy not only into creating great content but also into making sure your content aligns with what you want to accomplish. Here are the six tips we’ll cover to help you connect your content to your marketing goals:
- Clearly define your marketing goals.
- Get to know your audience.
- Investigate your competition.
- Create high-quality content.
- Distribute your content to the right channels.
- Analyze your data.
1. Clearly define your marketing goals.
Aligning your content to your marketing goals is nearly impossible if you don’t clearly define what those goals are. To drive tangible results, you need equally tangible goals to strive for.
These marketing goals should support your business’s current overarching initiatives. Think about what your business is trying to accomplish, and break that down into marketing-related objectives, such as:
- Driving traffic to your website
- Increasing email list signups
- Selling event tickets
- Promoting a new product or service
Once you list potential goals, evaluate your list to see which objectives content marketing may be most effective for. For example, spreading awareness for a new product or service is more marketing-oriented whereas increasing revenue from that product or service might belong to your sales team.
2. Get to know your audience.
Before you create any content, it’s essential to understand your audience. Knowing your audience allows you to understand what content will resonate with them and how best to reach them.
You likely already have an audience in mind for your content, but it’s helpful to define it just as you’ve defined your goals. This audience might be the same as your business’s main audience, or it might be a subset or offshoot of that audience.
Once you determine who exactly you’re trying to reach, research that group. Put yourself in the mind of your audience. What are they interested in? What questions do they have? Nailing down these details will help you see where you can fill in the gaps.
It’s also important to find out what platforms your audience uses and for what purposes. For example, you may find that your audience uses Instagram regularly, but if they don’t interact with content from your sector on Instagram, then it may not be the best platform to use.
Lastly, figure out what your audience values. For example, if your audience is top-level executives who are super busy, keep blog posts short. Additionally, Kanopi recommends designing your website with a straightforward structure and simple navigation to help users get the information they need quickly.
3. Investigate your competition.
It’s important to understand your competition and how they operate. That way, you can see which marketing tactics work for them and incorporate them into your own content marketing strategy.
Use tools such as SEMRush and Moz to analyze the keywords your competitors are using and determine which ones would be most effective in your own online content. Using the right keywords is essential to reaching your target audience and delivering content that performs well on search engine results pages.
The goal of this exercise is not to copy your competitors but to understand the content they’re producing, how your intended audience responds to it, and how you can go above and beyond to serve their needs.
4. Create high-quality content.
Blogging is a huge part of content marketing, but there are also other types of web content you can use to spread your message to your audience. These include images, audio, and videos that can add immense value to your written content.
Blog content also extends beyond simple blog posts. Try to vary the content you provide to reach your audience in different ways. Types of content you might feature include:
Whichever methods you choose, you’ll also want to make sure the content itself is effective and engaging. You might have all the information your audience needs in a piece of content, but if it’s not holding their interest, they’ll move on to something else. Telling a story is a great way to ease into content and make the presented information more interesting.
Besides informing your audience about the topic at hand, content marketing also gives you a chance to show off your expertise. Double the Donation explains that writing blog content about topics in your field allows you to establish yourself as a credible source of information that users can refer back to in the future.
5. Distribute your content to the right channels.
You might have extremely valuable content, but if you don’t distribute it to the right channels, you’ll have a hard time reaching your audience. Take the time to look over your goals and your audience research. Determine which platforms align with your marketing objectives and your audience.
For example, let’s say you’re trying to promote a new product to an audience of Gen Z consumers. Research shows that in the last year, 46% of TikTok users in this age bracket have bought a product because they saw it on TikTok. This insight indicates that you might want to try creating TikTok content with viral potential to reach your audience.
It’s also helpful to use a variety of both paid and free marketing strategies to make sure your content gets seen. Try using a mix of your own website, guest blogs, paid social, paid search, and email marketing.
6. Analyze your data.
Lastly, you’ll want to evaluate your results. Analyzing data from your audience’s interactions with your content will allow you to make improvements and change your content marketing approach in the future.
Track your progress using Google Analytics. Through this platform, you can create goals that match your marketing objectives. Then, you can see how well your content performs compared to these goals.
You can also see how well you’re ranking for certain keywords using a tool like Moz. Moz allows you to create lists of keywords you’d like your content to rank for and keeps track of your rankings over time.
Data collection doesn’t have to just occur once your content’s finalized. It’s good practice to test your content to see what users like best. This could mean anything from running A/B testing to see how different colors impact the click-through rate of a call to action to experimenting with blog content length. The data you collect from these tests will help you better tailor your content to your audience’s needs and preferences.
To make content marketing an effective strategy, you’ll need to invest some time into it, whether that entails redesigning the way your blog looks, experimenting with different types of content, or doing extensive audience research. With a goal-based content marketing approach, you’ll be able to see your effort pay off and drive tangible results.