I’m always the one with the questions in our team – who, what, why, when’s the deadline. I get even more excited when it’s time to develop a content writing marketing strategy.
Yes, I bug the bejesus out of my colleagues, but luckily, they’re all super-cool people who love to talk – a lot. So, when I was thinking about how to conceptualize this blog post, I decided to keep my good-old, works-like-a-charm approach and start with a question. It’s pretty straightforward, and yes, there’s a wrong answer too, so stay focused:
What’s the first thing your customers perceive about your business?
I hate to break it to you, but if your answer was somewhere on the spectrum from products and services to Facebook page and location, you need to look elsewhere.
It’s the words.
Yes, something so simple, yet so elaborate, plays a crucial role in building the brand around your product or services. Contrary to popular belief, this is nothing new. Online marketing didn’t invent this approach – it only made it more accessible. The human race used words for branding long before Instagram took over the entire Internet – it was just in a different form.
It’s 2020, and adapting your strategy to the latest market requirements is kind of a big deal – if you want to succeed, of course. For your business to be profitable, it’s essential to have an effective content writing marketing strategy. Today, 69% of all B2B companies have documented content marketing strategies – more than ever before!
Image Source: B2B Content Marketing 2020
As more and more businesses see the benefits of having a documented content strategy, these numbers will only go up. You need to prepare for your customers, as well as your competition.
I’m here to help you do just that – get all the necessary resources to develop and organize your content writing marketing strategy.
I’ll briefly explain every step on your way to creating a successful content writing marketing strategy, so make sure to take some notes or bookmark this guide!
Step 1: Know Your Target Audience
Let’s imagine this will be your job for the next five days:
You’re getting a megaphone, you’re going out on the streets, and you’re yelling ‘Free Pizza!’ throughout your neighborhood. You have your pizzas in one hand, the megaphone in the other – what could go wrong? Well, I guarantee you that from all the people outside, some will be like Meh, I had pizza yesterday, or, I’m not a fan! Or even, I’m on a diet, so pizza is a no for me!
You might be surprised because c’mon, who doesn’t like pizza? But, this can happen, and it would be a result of, you guessed it – an unsuccessful target audience strategy! It’s not the product – it’s your approach!
So, to avoid the same pizza-rejection situation for your content writing marketing strategy, you need to dedicate a significant amount of time to laser-focus your target demographic – not just any random audience!
Know your crowd. Only a handful of people will take their wallets out and give you their money or their email addresses – or take your pizza for that matter! You can’t pitch to everyone, simply because not everyone is interested in what you’re selling.
So how do you find the right target audience, the one that won’t have any second thoughts about your brand before clicking the Buy button?
Demographics And Psychographics
If you’ve already found your audience, you need to see which demographic group they belong to.
I’m sure you know this, so just a quick reminder here: demographics are the quantitative representation of your audience – age, location, gender, occupation, etc. These traits will help you visualize your ideal customer so that you can craft your brand message accordingly.
How to find the demographics of your audience? Use Google Analytics or Facebook Business Manager – their integrated analytics tools are extremely helpful and even better, free!
The next step is to discover the core characteristics of your audience, including their behavior, beliefs, interests, and so on – attributes that will help you develop a more comprehensive and efficient content writing marketing strategy.
How to do this?
Through the use of unmeasurable characteristics, through psychographics. They can give you the rundown on any researched group if analyzed and interpreted correctly. However, it might be harder for you to find data for your target niche or audience, so you could be better off looking at existing ones for similar categories. This way you should get a better grip on the market and shopping behavior.
Finding psychographic traits will take some time, but it’s not an impossible task!
Going Old School
If you want to skip bulk data and complicated graphs, you can start with some good-old fieldwork.
Don’t know where or how? Try the following:
· Read forums! They’re an excellent way to discover what your audience thinks about relevant topics, products, or services;
· Quora, Reddit, and Twitter are gold-mines for information that can help you understand what goes through your customers’ minds;
· Run a survey with specific questions – this is the most direct approach to find out exactly what your audience needs.
Once you do all this, you should have enough data to create broad strategy points to give your content writing team a clearer idea of the target audience.
However, to wrap the entire process up and sum up every information you’ve collected about your users, here’s the other thing you need to do:
Put It All Into Writing – Create An Ideal Buyer Persona
The second step of this process is using these valuable insights to create your ideal buying persona. Summarize all the information you gathered into a profile of a person – that’s your ideal buyer persona.
When it’s time to create your content writing marketing strategy, the ideal buyer persona should always be at the back of your writers’ mind – what would they like, do they need this, how should we approach them? Every piece of content that gets to see the light of the day needs to be created with your ideal buyer persona in mind.
There are loads of free templates online that can help you collect all the info, but if you’re having a hard time picking one, I suggest you try HubSpot – it’s more than enough to do the job! Fill the template and place it in your office, preferably somewhere visible for everyone. Or, if you’re currently working from home, just remind your team about it every once in awhile and you’ll do just fine!
If you (as an entity) know who you’re talking to, everything along the way becomes easier!
Step 2: Define Your Objectives
Okay, so you’ve found your audience, now, what are you going to do with it?
You should set goals from the start. The process of setting goals is what sets apart great content writing marketing strategies from average ones. Tangible, realistic goals – not just some vague guidelines and directives blurted out during your weekly Monday meeting.
Let me clarify: up to 2019, 16% of the least successful B2B marketing strategies weren’t documented. This means that if you don’t write your goals, you’ll have no idea where you’re heading to with your content writing marketing strategy – and that’s a recipe for failure!
How to define your goals?
Here are some questions to help you get your head around it:
- Why are you doing this, what are you trying to achieve?
- How are you going to measure the success of your goals?
- Are your goals SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely?
- What are your KPIs?
- Does the customer’s journey affect your goals?
Of course, every one of these questions deserves a comprehensive answer, so nothing’s left to the imagination – after all, this is a content writing marketing strategy, so you need to keep it well-defined and set up your goals beforehand. Know your steps, but don’t be too rigid with them, as flexibility will allow you to adapt to changing conditions, platforms, and trends.
One thing though: your goals need to be precise from the beginning, or it won’t matter. Even if they turn out to be wrong or maybe too ambitious for your niche (yes, that might happen), some goals are better than no goals because it leaves room for improvement and adaptation.
Step 3: Create The Content Strategy
If you already have an established website with tons of content, you may need to revise your current content writing marketing strategy.
Publishing a blog post once a week is not a strategy – it’s doing the bare minimum.
How about expanding your scope and diversifying your media arsenal? Consider the following ideas:
Video marketing: the number of people who enjoy watching videos online is increasing daily.
In the US alone, 85% of users go through video content on portable devices. Users are choosing different ways to consume information, and video is a highly-efficient way to convey your message. Videos on Facebook get an extra 59% in engagement than any other type of content, and original Instagram captions can make you stand out from your competitors.
Also, infographics – they are underrated, but not dead!
Understanding visual information is a lot easier for the human brain. Without images, people remember 10% of the content! Add graphics to it and that percentage goes up to 65!
You see, there’s an endless choice of diverse content for your social media experts to post! Update your current content writing marketing strategy with unique content that can get users hooked and keep them scrolling through the pages.
The exponential growth of your website’s organic reach will become noticeable.
But there’s another important moment here that might have already gone through your mind – it would all be great if I had a website with an existing audience, but what about us newbies in the online world?
Well, if your website is new, I have one tip for you: in the beginning, focus on blog content.
Here’s what you to do to help your business thrive faster:
Invest in proficient SEO tools
You’re new, so some guidelines along the way won’t do you any harm – that’s what great SEO tools are for. Give Ahrefs, Ubersuggest, or MOZ a try, they’re all good and provide resourceful insights (quick note: Ahrefs is my favorite one!).
Do a detailed, low-density keywords research
If you’re new to the online world, targeting highly-competitive keywords won’t bring any users to your site. But if you choose low-density keywords and use them to write high-quality content, you have real chances to rank on Google’s first page and blow the competition out of the water – and into page two!
Pro tip: look for low-density keywords with higher click numbers – I’ll explain this SEO tip in more detail in another post – just keep it in mind!
Optimize your site
Don’t be the type of business that creates the website and never checks up on it!
Site speed, 404, redirected pages – these are at the core of a perfectly optimized website. If you don’t get them right at the beginning, chances are you’ll run into bigger problems down the line.
If you’re unsure how this will work out for your audience, do a survey! Users are always eager to tell you about all the things your business is doing poorly – and if you’re smart, you’ll use that for your benefit!
Even better, ask them directly! Find out what they think about a particular content writing marketing strategy or just ask them for feedback on the current one. It’s important to remember that if you ever feel stuck coming up with a creative way to interact with your audience, you can just ask them directly and consider their thoughts the next time you plan a strategy!
Step 4 – Develop A Publishing Schedule Strategy
Once you have quality content ready for publishing, you should give it every bit of space and attention it deserves.
I beg you to resist the urge to go berserk and publish all of your content at once – this is a big no-no! You may create the most meticulous content writing marketing strategy the online world has ever seen, but if you spam your users with content, the only thing you’ll get in return is a block or unsubscribe!
Instead, do a publishing schedule – it’s much easier to keep up with the publishing flow this way.
It’ll help you keep things organized on every social media account. Take your users’ time zones into consideration – not everyone is within arm’s reach, so make sure not to miss out on potential customers from abroad!
Your publishing schedule should incorporate:
- Assignments for everyone involved in the writing process;
- Titles, listed next to the name of the person writing it;
- A prioritized list of content to publish;
- Date of the published content.
By doing this, you’ll avoid the potential mess in publishing your content and trust me, that’s a headache you don’t want! Once your content is ready, roll it out on all your social media accounts – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc.
Just like with the buyer persona, here’s a suggestion for a free scheduling calendar template, this time from CoSchedule.com. It’s simple to use, has a very clean interface, and it’s hard to get wrong. Their template also contains a social media scheduling calendar, so you have that covered too.
Remember: You probably have different audiences on Facebook and LinkedIn, so adapt your brand voice according to the message you want to send out. For example, avoid the casual tone you have in your Instagram posts if you’re posting on LinkedIn!
Step 5 – You Can’t Manage What You Don’t Measure!
How do you know if the objectives you’ve set when you started developing your content writing marketing strategy are working? By measuring!
Compare the insights from Google Analytics with your KPIs and see if you’re getting any closer to reaching the goals you’ve set. Also, use social listening tools to find out what your customers or competitors are saying about you! Try one of these 6 great social listening tools and incorporate the insights from them into your content writing marketing strategy.
Pro tip: if you have any page that’s getting more hits than the rest of your content, boost it! If your budget allows for it, do a paid promotion on social media for it to reach an even bigger audience.
Now you’re all set to start building a content writing marketing strategy with a high-potential to excel on every level. A lot is going on, and it can all be too much for a new team, but it’s not impossible to achieve.
Of course, if you need any extra help or you just don’t want to deal with the whole process, feel free to reach out to our team!
Don’t forget, that first handshake you make with your customers – your brand message, your social media interaction – that’s all words! They need to be well-thought-out and to the point, not just scratching the surface of your users’ interests or characteristics. The more time you take to develop a detailed content writing marketing strategy at the beginning, the fewer troubles you’ll have down the road. Sure, every strategy is bound to go through some changes, but setting up a stable basis is key for a successful outcome.
I hope this guide will help you set up that base – let me know how you do!
If you’re seeing results, tell your friends to read this guide too!