Content marketing is high on the agenda for many companies but in reality not a lot of them are sure why.
Earlier this month we talked about what elements of a digital strategy to focus on in 2017 and unsurprisingly, content marketing made the list. Here we delve a little deeper into what we mean by the term and how to make a start on creating an effective strategy.
What does content marketing mean?
In this instance we are talking about content marketing in its purest form. Creating content that will reside on your company's site for the purposes of:
- Building awareness of a service or product you offer
- Developing your or your company's authority in your industry
- Creating helpful, informative content that will aid your clients
- SEO benefits
B2B markets will become a lot more astute in 2017 if they hope for any success with content marketing so you need to ensure you are ahead of the curve.
How to create your strategy
The creation of a strong yet flexible strategy is the key to success. Firstly consider frequency, how many times do you think your site can actually be updated per month? Think about what resources you have and be realistic about how much content can be created.
Resources can be wasted on creating a deluge of content for content's sake.
Focus your attention on creating content that's exclusive and helpful, that contains nuggets of information and inspiration that could only have come from your organisation.
To start your strategy it's useful to plan the whole year and plot into each month:
- A theme of content to focus on
- A spotlight industry - think about your clients' needs throughout the year and also about low hanging fruit, when are your (potential) clients most likely to need your products/services and which ones? Create timely content around these
- With regards to the above, you may want to showcase particular service or product each month
- Any internal comms you'd like to bring to the fore, perhaps interviews that champion members of staff
- Any events or significant dates for your company, this could also include seasonal events but also conferences, big industry relevant events etc.
The above points will aid in creating a monthly strategy. In a more granular plan and actually getting into the creation of content, you may want to also consider the following:
- SEO aims - what terms are you looking to rank for in Google? Does the subject matter your penning address questions or searches your target audience are likely to use?
- Don't just write, create - Not all content has to be a blog post, you can create videos, image posts and infographics
Once you have your plan in place you simply need to delegate the creation of content to your team or create it yourself. Remember to always seek the input from the most knowledgeable member of staff on any particular subject matter and consider adding quotes from them within your content.
How to report on Content Marketing
Measuring the ROI of everything is important, especially when you’re working with slim profit margins, content marketing is no different.
In terms of a purely branding exercise its always muddy waters when it comes to ROI as adding to your brand's 'halo effect' can be very hard to track.
If you're looking for some numbers to show off or trying to set a benchmark for your onsite content, it's always best to consult your Google Analytics. There are various KPIs you can use on your site to prove the usefulness of your content:
- How many users entered your site through your blog and through which posts?
- How long did users spend on that page/how long in comparison to the site average in that period of time?
- What is the bounce rate of your blog content/in comparison to the site average?
- How many other pages did users view when visiting the site through the content on the blog? - This KPI is especially important to prove how invested users are in your brand or services in comparison to users who, for example, come straight to your home page
- Conversions -
- If you have an e-commerce site, you can gain some pretty cut and dry ROI insight from tallying up sales from users who have visited your site through your blog content. Simply subtract the cost of your content marketing endeavour and you've got a number to work on
- If your site is non-transactional, there should still be goals set up, on your Contact Page or perhaps brochure downloads. You can apply either an arbitrary number to those goals or, if you know the average value of a new lead, you can subtract your content marketing from that total for your content marketing ROI
If you stick to the above bullet points you can create a pretty robust and surprisingly insightful monthly or quarterly report.
Don't forget, the most important part of the reporting process is to refine your strategy going forward.
Use the information taken from all of the above KPIs to ascertain what type of content does best. Take your best performing content and consider:
- The time of day/week/month it was posted
- It's length
- How many images/videos there were
- How you seeded it across social media and within digital PR
From these points you can create a more refined and honed ongoing content marketing strategy.
For more information on creating your strategy or making sense of your reports you can contact us.