5 Content Marketing Steps to Grow Your Business

Part 3 of a 3 part series on Content Marketing

In 2020, 84% of companies surveyed by SEO and data management firm Semrush said they have a content marketing strategy. Only 51% of those same respondents, though, considered their strategy “good.” Many C-level executives are vaguely aware of the mantra “Content is King,” yet are not quite sure how to implement a successful content strategy, let alone how to measure that success. 

With more and more organizations getting on board the content marketing train, you’ll want to stand out in the crowd by delivering incisive, helpful and actionable content to you readers. It’s not enough anymore to publish any old content. Reaching your audience and positioning your organization for success require thorough planning, cooperation and good hard data.

It’s worth it, though. Below are some steps to take to ensure that your content marketing makes the strongest impact. 

Step One: Have a Plan

Before you dive into a content marketing initiative, make sure you know what you want out of your content. Your content should be a good mix of evergreen topics and seasonal or ultra-timely topics. This will make your content more adaptable and allow for flexibility in posting and re-posting. You should have clear and measurable goals, as well as a 60-day, 90-day, 6-month and 1-year plan at least. If you have long-term planning capabilities, a 5-year broad plan is a good idea as well.

Step Two: Get Everyone On Board with Your Content Marketing Plan

Too often, marketing plans aren’t shared across the board and the customer experience suffers. For a successful strategy, though, all members of your team should know about — and contribute to — your content marketing plan. An organization’s best advocate is its employees: brand messages reach 561% further when shared by employees, versus the very same message shared via official brand channels. Getting your team informed and sharing your content will boost the reach of your messages.

Step Three: Be a Leader

A strong content marketing campaign will position your organization as the authority in your chosen field. As a thought leader, you can leverage your content to drive engagement both from your current and potential customers as well as from the greater community. And, as we mentioned in our previous post, Authority and Expertise are linchpins in advancing your ranking on Google’s search engine algorithm.

Being a leader also means staying involved in your community, whether through shared content only or hands-on philanthropy. Make sure that your content includes some curated materials relevant to your audience from the field. After all, your content is designed to drive interest and lead to engagement, rather than to be directly selling your service or product. The best leaders share their knowledge willingly and for the benefit of the community. 

Step Four: Be Personal

Remember, the goal of your content marketing campaign should be to position yourself as a thought leader and to drive engagement, rather than to solicit. Your marketing should be personalized as much as possible. If you’re not sure how to manage personalized marketing, here’s a good first step

Using audience-centric language and ideas will help keep the focus on user experience, too. Your audience has different reasons for being interested in your organization. If you can understand the emotional affinities your audience has for your organization, your content marketing can speak more directly to them.

Step Five: Use Your Data

Speaking of personalization: in order to achieve that, you’ll need strong data solutions. Database analytics and root cause analysis — wherein you examine the essential causes of current difficulties in order to plan smarter and avoid them in the future — will bring your campaign an even higher return on investment. 

You’ll also want to invest in keyword research to optimize your content for search engines like Google. This Search Engine Optimization can be a tricky practice to perfect, but done correctly it can rocket your content up to the top of databases. 

Data can (and should) also be a pivotal part of your success measurement. If you’ve laid out specific and measurable goals, checking in on your progress will keep you on track for your long-term plan. 

Finally: Don’t Be Afraid to Outsource

As more organizations join the content marketing trend, it might make sense to outsource your content marketing to a professional. Content marketing professionals, whether they’re content writers, videographers, photographers or designers, can bring a range of skills to meet your marketing needs. Especially if, as many organizations are these days, your staff is struggling to keep up with demands or if you’re understaffed, it might even be more cost-effective to outsource. Trusting a marketing firm with designing, managing and tracking your content marketing might be a good fit for you organization.

And if you’d like a hand developing your full content marketing strategy, feel free to reach out to us.

Still not convinced that content marketing is worth it? SEMRush’s 2021 study found that after reading recommendations on a blog, 66% of US online consumers made a purchase. Maybe you can’t afford not to. 

Mark M Gaskill
Mark M Gaskill

EVP of Marketing Solutions

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