Content marketing is an extremely powerful tool when used right. It is very effective and often performs better in terms of ROI than other marketing strategies. And nowadays, it is a must-have for business as we all consume digital content regularly.
No company can successfully exist without a strong strategy. After all, it is about providing value to the audience and building trustful relations with potential and regular customers. There is no discussion about the efficiency of digital marketing. The only important question is how to do it well.
Luckily, in the technology age, no marketing campaign relies on intuition or a single perspective. Today, everything is based on metrics and objective data. According to the Content Marketing Institute study, 69% of the most successful marketers have a documented strategy. And 95% of the said marketers use metrics to analyze the performance of their pieces.
To implement an effective campaign, it is essential to understand the cycle of creation and distribution of the content.
The Content Marketing Cycle
Overall, there are many cycle variants out there. Some marketers name only two stages, others offer more than twelve of them. The logic behind it is usually the same, but different businesses put the focus on the stages that are particularly important for them. Yet, the general cycle looks something like this.
- Planning and setting goals;
- Creating and optimizing;
- Measuring and Evaluating.
These 7 stages cover the whole lifespan of a piece of content. After the seventh stage, a marketing team repeats the cycle. Now, let’s have a closer look at each of these stages and their guiding principles.
This is the first thing to do before starting any other stage. Research is crucial for a successful marketing content strategy. Your team needs to have a deep insight on several factors:
The strategy should be audience-centric. You are writing or filming for a particular audience. It means that you need to have a distinct vision of the consumers, starting from demographics, and up to behavioral patterns. One can use software tools like Google Analytics or other to get objective data on that.
It is impossible to implement all of them, that’s why one needs to know what works best. And which of these tactics can be used for your brand. According to SEMrush content marketing research, the 5 most effective tactics are SEO optimization, repurposing and updating old content, focus on visual and video content, educational and how-to guides, and customer experience optimization.
What they do and how well does it work. It is important to know what experience you can acquire from your competitors.
The next stage is to plan out the editorial calendar and the following steps. The editorial calendar includes the goals, dates, topics, forms of content, and following promotion. You can also include the keywords for each article or post.
Every piece you produce should have a purpose. Setting a goal is essential so that a piece has a clear message. It also sets the factors on which one will analyze the performance. For example, if the primary goal is to increase lead generations, this data will show well the piece achieved that. The goals can be as follow.
- Boosting brand awareness;
- Generating leads;
- Customer retention;
- Attracting a new audience, etc.
As soon as you have a plan of what, when, and why to create, it is time to move on to the next stage.
At this stage, it is all about bringing the ideas for the content. It is always good to have the whole team together to brainstorm what to create. It should be based on previous research and your set goals. Work together to understand what form is better for your brand, what topics are interesting for the audience, and how to make it engaging.
The main form of content marketing is blogging. But, the competition is quite high – only WordPress users produce 70 million new posts per month. That’s why it is essential to find a niche audience or topic that hasn’t been covered extensively. For example, try to search for long-tail keywords or look at the related searches to the main subject you want to address.
This is pretty straightforward – now it is time to bring ideas to life. At this stage, you also need to optimize the content for SEO. It means including related keywords, checking for uniqueness, and formatting properly.
Try to diversify the content itself, for example, include graphs, pictures, or videos.
The next step is to publish content. Your editorial calendar should include dates, time, and media where the content is going to be published. Choose the time based on the buyer’s persona schedule.
This is quite an important stage. No matter how good the content is, it should be promoted. Statistically, more than 90% of pages do not get organic traffic from Google. It means that after publishing, you need to have a clear distribution process, such as:
- Sharing via social media pages of the brand;
- Paid promotion on social media;
- Notifying audience via emails;
- Sharing links on related online communities, like Reddit or Facebook;
- Collaboration with other creators.
Measuring and Evaluation
The final stage is to analyze the performance of the piece. There are many marketing software solutions, which help to see engagement rates, bounce rates, conversions, and so on. Gather all the data on visits, shares, and actions. For example, if you had a CTA in your piece, collect the data on how many people actually followed it.
Analyze the gathered data and conclude on further optimization. What were the main issues? What can be done better next time? What worked perfectly? Use this evaluation for the next campaign.
The creation of effective and high-quality content takes a lot of planning and researching. And it is a great benefit – to have objective data on what works best. It helps to optimize the piece for SEO and promote it wisely. But the most important factor to remember is that you are writing for people, not machines. Give the readers emotional and informational value.
About the author
Jenine Wing works at https://essaypro.com/term-paper.html as a writer and marketing specialist. She has years of experience in content marketing and believes that it is one of the most effective strategies for business success. She is also interested in modern technology and the ways big data can change the marketing for better.