By now, most digital agencies and savvy B2B marketers understand the importance of a good content marketing strategy. Even if you have the best quality content, if it's not strategically produced and distributed, your content marketing efforts won't be as effective as they could be.
That's where having an excellent content marketing strategy comes in.
With a strategic approach to content, you'll not only get more views and conversions, but you'll also reduce the strain on your internal content marketing team.
Here's four ways to incorporate more strategy into your content marketing solutions, whether you're running a campaign for your own business or a client:
1. Build from a strong foundation
Some call it a kick-off call, a discovery session, or simply an interview. Whatever you call this initial meeting that begins your content marketing, it's important to get as much information as you can from your client's subject matter experts (SMEs).
Ideally, you can have this initial meeting with more than one SME. It's also smart to speak with someone on the sales team, since they are the ones in the field listening to questions and concerns from customers every day.
During this meeting, ask as much as you can about the campaign's target persona, what they are interested in, what their challenges are, where they go to find information, and so on.
2. Do your search engine research
While keywords don't matter quite as much as they used to, search engines are still as relevant as ever. Google alone receives over 2 trillion search engine queries per year.
In the context of your content marketing strategy, you'll want to think about both high-performing keywords as well as user intent. Find out what search terms the target audience is looking for, and then think about what kind of information they need based on those search terms. From there, do your best to create valuable, authoritative content around those subjects.
For more information about how to structure your website content, check out HubSpot's recent blog post on the future of content marketing strategy.
3. Consider your channels
A critical component of any content marketing strategy is picking the proper places for promotion and distribution. It's likely that you'll need to push out your content on several different channels, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or Instagram.
But remember - social media platforms are supposed to be just that: social. Too many brands view their social media as a one-way street for communication. Not only should you be sharing your own content, but you also want to engage in discussions with followers and others in your industry.
Finally, remember that it's not enough to just publish the same version of your content on every channel. In his new book Crushing It!, Gary Vaynerchuk sums up this concept nicely:
"...develop high-quality native microcontent. For those of you new to this, that means content that is specifically and perfectly designed to suit the platform you're using to disseminate it."
4. Update the content marketing strategy
The best content marketing strategies aren't static; they are updated frequently to account for industry changes or shifts in a company's business model. Ideally, you should be updating your content strategy at least once a quarter - fast-moving industries or companies might need even more frequent updates.
During these sessions, remember to spend time reviewing your content strategy's results up to this point. Analytics about the content you've been producing will help you figure out what works, what doesn't, and what to do in the future to be more successful.
It may seem overwhelming, but the key to a good content strategy is breaking it down into segments, keeping a close eye on results, and iterating quickly to ensure that you're maximizing the content's impact on your (or your client's) bottom line. To learn more about content marketing tips and how to create content strategy, check out our white paper, "What is a Digital Content Marketing Strategy? And Why You Need One!"