That it is important to be findable online and to offer valuable online content? Every entrepreneur today will agree with that. Nevertheless, both novice and more experienced entrepreneurs from the self-employed and SME segment struggle with successfully establishing and executing a content marketing strategy.
In more than half of the cases, companies struggle with their online presence and the digitization by simply working without a clear, described strategy. Yes, you read that correctly: more than half of the entrepreneurs do not have a clearly described, substantiated strategy for their content marketing. And that's a shame, because successful online campaigns can make or break the growth of a company - any company. But how do you proceed if you want to set up a successful content strategy? And what do you have to think about?
What is content marketing?
Step back first. What is content marketing again? Numerous websites, blogs and other sources can be found online with just as many different definitions. Basically, they all come down to the same thing about what content marketing involves:
a) content to create and to spread, That:
b) value adds for you customers or prospects;
(c) for the purpose of joining this demarcated target audience the one you want actions to be reached in the customer journey (creating awareness, interest and lead generation, consideration, purchase and afterwards also service).
According to point c, content marketing therefore by definition connects to the business objectives. That is also the direct reason that successful content marketing stands or falls with a well-thought-out, predefined strategy. In fact, without strategy, there is strictly speaking no content marketing, because its definition will not be met. Bringing haphazard blogs online - no matter how well written or valuable they are - doesn't make you engage in content marketing.
Why do you need a content strategy?
A content marketing strategy is required to speak of actual content marketing at all. Now that is obviously not an end in itself, after all, a strategy is only a means to achieve your goal: this is how you go from situation A to B. By thinking, recording and implementing this thoroughly, you do it like this efficient as possible.
The main reason is that a successful content marketing strategy ultimately helps you achieve your business strategy. If all goes well, that strategy involves a little more than just making a profit. You also want to appeal to new target groups, build good customer relationships, achieve high customer satisfaction or pursue other ideals. All steps in the customer journey, each of which requires a different kind of message and approach.
Scoring in Google requires a systematic approach
Making content haphazardly and publishing it in a continuous stream of blogs on your website, that is really no longer the way to successfully engage in content marketing. Yes, writing relevant content often and a lot is, for example, a way to become findable in search engines, but in the light of your content marketing strategy that findability is not a goal, but a means.
Moreover, Google expects a certain coherence in your content. Google doesn't take that out of you blogroll but from overviews on specific topics in which you quickly click through to underlying content. These are called in good English pillar pages, and here at Bloeise we have four of them that you can find in the navigation menu: B2B content marketing, Marketing, Trends and Entrepreneurship.
Focus on your added value
The goal should be: adding value for your customers and prospects. If you have included in your business goals that you enjoy building long-term, valuable customer relationships, you will also have to express this in your content marketing strategy. Blogging weekly about randomly chosen topics and a big one everywhere SEO sauce pouring over it is by no means the way. After all, with a successful content marketing strategy you put the target group first.
Content marketing therefore focuses on questions such as: what information is my target group waiting for? What makes them happy? How can they better use my products or services? What kind of content, and via which channels, do I need to optimally present my company or brand to that target group? And how can I stay as relevant as possible while doing all that?
Drop out or continue packing
If you stop after a few weeks, you will miss the real result.
And that is the point at which many entrepreneurs drop out. Content marketing is not something that you do quickly in between, but it takes serious time, effort and sometimes money. Not every entrepreneur is looking forward to that. That's good news for you, because where the competition opportunities are missed, of course beckons for you. It is therefore not at all strange to consider hiring someone, one content marketerspecifically to design, implement and fine-tune a content marketing strategy. That does not even have to be full-time, depending on the size of your company. What is also possible is to take hold of one content marketing agency.
What you should at least realize is that if you are active with online content, but do not use a content marketing strategy, you makes a lot of effort for little effect and therefore also misses opportunities. This applies to every industry, even if you think that your products or services are only interesting for that very small group of customers that you already know well, or that they are products that are impossible to write interesting about. Nothing is less true. Fun, high-quality content is possible in every industry and with it content marketing. Yours too.
That's how you find your voice
"Well, accounting, what can you tell about that?" Very much! Just like content marketing or scoring in Google, accounting is not an end in itself. It is a means with which a customer no longer has to worry whether invoices can be paid or hassle with the tax authorities. So that the customer can focus on what he or she prefers to do: entrepreneurship. Thinking up cool things and making people happy. Passion! That's true one boring service when accounting actually passes. What about next year's new deductions or the new scheme? They are also interesting, but only for those readers who like to do most of their own accounting. In short, don't focus on the how or what. Focus on the why. Why do you do things that you do? Why do your customers choose you? Why do you exist? ”
Thomas Lapperre, Bloeise
Different types of content for different purposes
A content marketing strategy defines which forms of content you will use, through which media you will do this and which effects you intend to use it to achieve. But what are forms of content that you have to think about, and what effects are there?
The most classic part of your content marketing strategy is the online content on your own website: the informative blog. In principle, although classic, there is nothing wrong with that. You cannot avoid providing information to customers and prospects on your own website. You want here SEO–responsible proceed, if only to be found and found relevant by search engines. At the same time, you build your brand value with this type of content. With striking content (perhaps written by a ghostwriter for a nationally known platform in your industry) you beam authority from. Ideally, you don't show the back of your tongue: there should be another reason to contact you and get more information. Good content on your own site is therefore also a form of branding.
Instead of blogs you can also think of offering for example white papers: downloadable information sources for which you first leave your contact details. This lead generation is becoming typical whitepaper marketing called: early customer contact can be followed up with nurture emails or even a direct phone call. With a problem / solution text or in-depth, for example, you offer really valuable information about a relevant topic.
"Content powers your marketing machine."
Content fills your marketing channels with valuable messages. Many entrepreneurs push all their online content through them newsletter and the standard social media channels: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, sometimes now Instagram. That in itself is not so wrong - especially when it is really interesting content that is shared a lot - but realize that you mainly reach people who already follow you: the organic reach. Only when you viral whether you invest in advertising, you will be able to reach people outside your own channels.
That will change as soon as you influencer marketing will be involved in your strategic plan. Tune the content to the channel: on Instagram you want to offer different types of content than on LinkedIn, for example. The medium is the message: Facebook asks for likeable content and LinkedIn for content around passion or productivity. Too many companies simply post the same thing on every platform. That's not very professional, and it certainly doesn't make people curious about your brand or company. Make sure you have a good storyline and offer added value. Example? The 5G campaign from KPN, which is not about expensive subscriptions, but about security, innovation and the future of mobile internet.
Ultimately, you want content as little as possible through the throats of your customers and prospects pushingbut a correct one pull to generate. You want to attract the target group and seduce it into action, interaction and contact.
Analyze your strategy and continue to adjust it
Final point of attention: devising, writing out and executing a strategy is one. But that's just the start. Content marketing is never finished. You want to continuously measure the results of your marketing initiatives and perform analyzes based on those measurements. With that knowledge you can fine-tune and improve your strategy. So don't let your content strategy die a silent death in the drawer, but keep working on it.
Social media (with business accounts) and solutions such as Google Analytics, Hotjar and Mouseflow offer countless possibilities to apply simple forms of analysis to your online content. Of course, it can also be done more professionally at a greater or later stage, with special software that is embedded in your website backend. Most importantly, you realize that you need to measure and improve.
Online content withers quickly and stagnation is rapid decline. Once your one campaign is complete, the next should be ready again. And yes, that sometimes takes time. That is precisely why a content marketing strategy is vital. You will work faster and more efficiently.