Your content marketing plan needs to be better than ever for 2017. Nearly one-third of B2B marketers are spending 25% or more of their budgets on content marketing. You need to take the time to either create or revamp your content marketing strategy to make your company stand out in a crowded marketplace.

The best content marketing strategies all start with a brainstorming session about the purpose and response that best reflects your business goals.

What Is A Content Marketing Strategy?

A content marketing strategy is often confused with the general term of content strategy. The content marketing strategy analyzes alternate ways in which content marketing can be utilized across the customer cycle. Simply put, creating a content marketing strategy looks at how content marketing can be used in a strategic way with and for other marketing strategies that the company has in place.

Determine The Company’s Objectives For Content Marketing

This is crucial for any marketing strategy and this doesn’t change with content marketing. What is the purpose of doing this? Are you trying to create brand awareness, improve customer retention or generate leads?

If you don’t know why then you shouldn’t move any further until you do unless you want to throw your money away.

Create What Will Make Your Company Stand Out

The best content marketing strategies have one thing in common. And that is, that they are not common to one another. Your content marketing distribution needs to be unique. The content itself needs to be unique to your company, even if you are just revamping it.

You have to give your customers a reason to switch to your business. If you simply copy the competition, then the customers will just stay with the company that they are more familiar with.

Collect Data On Your Content Marketing

The objectives that were determined above will ultimately dictate your metrics. These metrics can range from consumption, sharing and lead generation, to sales and return on investment.  If you don’t put these metrics in place, there is no way of knowing if your contents of your marketing plan are actually working, and whether or not they need to be revamped.

Chances are you won’t get it right the first time, but there is no need to feel discouraged. The real success story is that you are actually taking the time for your business to amplify its achievements —no matter how they are measured.

Define Your Audience

Your core objectives dictate your audience, which is why we mentioned that you can’t successfully move any further without figuring them out. Once you determine your target audience, create personas and research to determine optimal content types and ways they consume it. Get to know your personas as well as you know your closest friends and family.

Determine What Audience Needs Are

Now that you know who your audience is and everything else about them, you need to determine what you can do for them. The best content marketing strategies revolve around what your customers need and want. If your company doesn’t provide either, then why would the customer bother giving your company a chance?

This determination needs to go beyond the numbers. Your marketing team needs to have these conversations and start to understand the needs, so your company can then create persuasive methods to turn the needs into dollars.

Create Content Execution Plan

The goal here is to determine where and how your audience consumes information. To say that your audience is on social media is not enough because it is not a generic platform. You need to determine if that means Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+, Instagram, Snapchat… do you see what we mean?

Not only do you need to find out where your audience is but also what type of content needs they need during the different stages of the marketing funnel.

Your content planning should be extensive. Each time your post you should know its publishing date, format, author, description, audience needs, targeted persona, funnel stage, call-to-action and measurement (or metric). Consider a well-detailed calendar for your content marketing strategy with views every weeks, month, quarter and year. If you know your deadlines, there is less of a chance of falling behind or missing your targeted purpose.

Content Amplification Planning

The execution plan, while thorough, is not enough. That’s why content amplification always appears in the best content marketing strategies.

When you adapt your content to different platforms, you are personalizing the experience for the customer whenever possible. A great way to amplify content is by creating the solid customer base who appreciates the content your company creates. From there, these customers take some of the workload off because they start to share the content for you. This is why the introduction of social media has been huge in the area of content amplification.

Remember, there is no one-size-fits-all template for a content marketing strategy. Your company needs to differentiate itself and make sure you document your content marketing strategy for your entire staff to see. It’s crucial that your employees know your goals and mission so they can contribute to it on a timely basis.

If you feel that creating a content marketing strategy is too much for your company to handle, contact Edkent Media for the best results based on your objectives!