‘Without strategy, content is just stuff, and the world has enough stuff’ - @ArjunBasu
We’re all consumers and, as consumers, we are constantly exposed, harangued and bombarded with endless content. This content often has no purpose, relevance or value – and nothing irks me more.
Whether you operate in a B2B or B2C market, you are still trying to reach a consumer, educate them about your product or service, and help them along their customer journey with you. Marketing budgets are tight and time is too precious to be churning out content without purpose.
I started out life in PR over a decade ago (back in the days when social media didn’t exist and press packs were still posted!) And while news still plays a really important role in the content that we produce for clients, it’s just one element. Our content marketing strategies start with the client and their brand story, but more importantly, they start with the customer.
Let me walk you through content marketing the Motionlab way…
To kick off, we embark on the ‘discovery phase’ where we spend time working with clients to fully understand their business. We interrogate them about:
This phase lays the foundations for the ongoing marketing campaign and is the key to producing strategic content – it’s also a crucial part of the ongoing SEO campaign. For me, the most important element of this phase is defining the target audience and identifying their wants, needs and any potential barriers.
We spend time mapping out personas (outlining key demographics) and then plan out the customer journey and each of the key touch points along the way. As part of the persona development, we outline the wants and needs of customers and prospects, consider the decision making process, highlight any potential barriers and research the channels and platforms that will help us to reach them.
From this, content themes are determined – all with the aim of adding value and helping the customer on their journey. And when it comes to producing the content plan, if it’s not going to add value or meet the needs of our target audience, it’s not going in the plan. It’s really important to be ruthless, revisit your campaign objectives and sense test every item of content.
This is the key to producing a content marketing campaign that is well thought out and adds value (not stuff) in a crowded content marketplace. And by mapping out content in this way, you can maximise content distribution across the channels and implement your keyword findings for SEO.
Content marketing is not a quick win. You’re not going post one article and then see the sales come flooding in over night and your SEO performance skyrocket. While distribution channels such as email and social media do allow for short-term results and insight, if you’re serious about content marketing, you need to take a longterm approach. We’ve seen articles that haven’t had an immediate impact start to drive a high proportion of search volume to a site owing to it becoming topical a couple of years later.
But that’s the beauty of content marketing too. You’ve got time to test the water with your well thought out, strategic content. Better still, the job is never done. There are always new trends, new barriers to help customers overcome and new channels to help you reach and engage with them.
We regularly review and analyse the performance of content across our client’s channels. And it’s this phase that provides the insights and learnings to apply to your future output – it’s the Holy Grail of producing killer content marketing campaigns.
Find out how we helped our client RCU to increase its brand profile and reach new audiences through a six-month strategic content marketing campaign.