As the old business adage goes, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Which is definitely the case if you undertake your marketing campaign without any defined goals or set strategy.
With new ways of communicating with customers evolving as the internet becomes an ever more influential component, many companies do seem to rush in with numerous blog posts and tweets without really having a specific content marketing strategy.
Keep it relevant
One of the most fundamental keys to a solid content marketing strategy is the need to define the scope as well as the tone of your content strategy.
It is far too easy to get carried away when the creative writing juices are flowing but you should always bear in mind that relevance is far more important than storytelling, so keep your content on message if you want it to be cohesive and effective.
The human element of any content being consumed shouldn’t be underestimated but the reality is that your story will not be quite as captivating as the value you are offering them from a business perspective, so keep this in the forefront of your mind when you creating your content.
Finding the emotional connection
Your aim should be to establish what it is about your products or services that people really like, and then tap into that emotional connection.
If they love the fact that you offer refillable cartridges or free delivery on any order, whatever it is that you know from feedback, ticks their box, aim to tap into this connection for a more defined marketing strategy.
Another important contributory factor towards a successful marketing strategy is the need to maintain consistency through all of the parts of the business who come into contact with customers.
The vocabulary and tone of your marketing content should mirror and reinforce the impression that customers get from dealing with you face-to-face.
If several team members contribute posts and send out marketing messages, there should be a consistency that reflects the style and approach of the business, regardless of who is writing the post or sales message.
If your aim is to be fun and witty with your marketing, it all needs to reflect that style, so keep it consistent if you want good reliable response rates every time.
Expressing your brand’s character
Staying on the theme of consistency, the secret behind many successful business marketing plans is the ability to express your value proposition and the character of your brand.
If you become known for offering regular coupons and discounts to your customers and this is proven to work as way of generating uplift in sales, that aspect of your business will become your brand’s character in the eyes of your customer.
This means that if they get a sales message from you or read an updated post, they will probably be expecting to read it on the basis that there may be an offer worth finding out about.
The same rules apply in whatever you know works for your business in engaging with customers. If you are particularly good at creating engaging video presentations for example, that can become the focus of your content marketing strategy and will help to drive up response rates.
Define your objectives
It is always surprising to find out how many businesses set off on a marketing campaign without really having any defined objectives.
The obvious goal is to generate leads and sales from your marketing efforts but without prioritising your main objectives and mapping past campaign efforts to define what path you need to take to success, you are going to potentially waste money and lose momentum.
If you set out with a set objective for each campaign, it has much more chance of a success. So if you are primarily looking to achieve a good level of lead generation or perhaps the aim is to improve customer retention levels, whatever your goal is, defining these objectives will help you to produce a better content marketing strategy.
Make use of FAQ’s
Too many businesses tend to use their FAQ page on their website as a thinly-veiled attempt to sell the benefits of your company rather than answer any meaningful question that people want to see.
If you engage your customers with a real set of FAQ’s and an opportunity to give you feedback or ask questions that they actually want answers to, you can make use of this valuable data to address certain issues that crop up regularly, in your next marketing campaign.
John Sollars is the owner of Stinkyink.com, from its startup in 2002 to its standing as the #1 printer cartridge supplier in the UK. On the way he’s picked up a wealth of printer knowledge that is invaluable for cutting printing costs.His articles can be found on many small business and marketing websites. Follow John on Google+.