Decades before content marketing became an industry buzzword, Dana was pulling it off successfully for our roster of travel, hospitality and lifestyle clients. Our storytelling approach has always put the spotlight on compelling, meaningful messages so, as you can imagine, we have some thoughts about how to implement content marketing. (Spoiler alert: It’s not exactly rocket science, but it does take hard work and expertise to get it right.)
What IS content marketing?
Do an online search for “content marketing” and you’ll find a slew of descriptions that use “content” in the definition. I don’t know about your 10th grade English teacher, but mine would’ve fainted if we defined a vocabulary word using the word itself.
So let’s keep it simple and understandable. Content marketing is publishing information that your target audience finds useful, valuable, interesting, entertaining and/or educational. One thing it’s not? Overtly promotional. The Dana blog is a perfect example of content marketing. Our loyal subscribers look forward to each post because it’s where we break down important industry topics in such a way that it helps them do their jobs better.
Of course, blogs aren’t the only vehicle for content marketing. Social media, newsletters, white papers, industry articles, videos, infographics, podcasts, webinars, e-books and more—really anywhere and everywhere you can publish information of value to your customers—are all forms of content marketing.
Why should you implement content marketing?
Research from Demand Metric found that, versus traditional marketing, content marketing costs 62% less and generates 3x as many leads, dollar-for-dollar—all directly maximizing your budget.
Need more convincing? NewsCred Insights compiled even more statistics about the power of content marketing beyond budgetary considerations. Here are three worth noting:
- 84% of people expect brands to create content
- The average person consumes 11.4 pieces of content before making a purchasing decision
- 74% of companies indicate that content marketing is increasing their lead quantity and quality
How can you implement content marketing?
Reading those statistics, you’re probably ready to jump into content marketing with both feet. But, to be effective, your content marketing plan needs to follow a sound strategy. To help you develop this strategy, we’ve created a list of eight questions to ask yourself:
- What do we want to achieve?
As with any marketing effort, you need to outline clear, obtainable objectives for your content marketing plan (i.e. increase brand awareness, improve lead quantity/quality, boost website visits, etc.).
- What is our brand voice?
Your website and other marketing materials should all sound and feel alike. (If they don’t, give us a call immediately!) Identify this distinctive voice and make sure it carries through in all of your content marketing as well.
- What are our competitors saying?
Browse their blogs, stalk their social media and find our what content your competitors are pushing out into the marketplace. This gives you a good idea of where the information gaps lie.
- Who do we want to reach?
Like we always say at Dana, you can’t be all things to all people. Identify the audience(s) to target with your content marketing or, better yet, narrow them down even further into buyer persona(s).
- What interests them?
A solid content marketing plan has to revolve around the interests of your audience. To ensure a consistent pipeline, we highly recommend creating a quarterly content calendar, but also remaining flexible. Timely posts on what’s new and noteworthy in your industry establishes you as a thought leader with your finger firmly on the pulse.
- What are the best ways to reach them?
You probably already have a blog and social media These are perfect channels to push out your content. But you should supplement these with other vehicles that reach and appeal to your target audience(s) and buyer persona(s).
- (Post implementation) How is our content performing?
Review analytics to measure your content marketing efforts against the objectives you established in step one and determine what pieces of content are succeeding on which channels.
- (Post implementation) How can we optimize our efforts?
Once you know what types of content and which channels are performing best, you can tweak your content calendar moving forward to create and push out related topics through those vehicles.
Creating a multi-disciplinary team with members from your marketing, sales, social media and web/analytics departments is the best way to craft comprehensive answers to the eight questions above. Of course, sometimes it helps to gain an unbiased, outside perspective.
At Dana, we’ve helped many clients craft an effective content strategy—and our writers are skilled at creating and executing content that converts prospects into customers. If you want guidance on how to implement content marketing for your brand or need a marketing partner to expand your team’s capacity and capabilities, contact Lynn Kaniper at 609-466-9187 ext. 117 or firstname.lastname@example.org today.