There are many different aspects of a content marketing strategy that could be considered essential to ensuring the effectiveness and success of your content. While it is necessary to develop a strategy, you should avoid creating one that is so broad in terms of what it is and what you hope to accomplish that you are unable to ever attain a desired level of success. On the other hand, a content marketing strategy that is too singularly focused can leave you wholly unsuccessful, as well, because it misses the mark of tying in cohesively and lending adequate support to your overall marketing goals.
Before you can develop and implement a content marketing strategy that works, you need to become almost intimately familiar with your target audience.
Several questions about your audience must be answered in order for you to do so, such as:
What is your audience demographic?
While it would be great if you could market your message to everyone, the fact is that your content will have a specific audience that it suits best. Are they male or female? What is their education level or occupation? Are they family-oriented or single and career-minded? The demographics of your target audience are also important because of the next question.
Which marketing channels are most effective at reaching your audience?
You cannot reach your audience if you aren't sending your message to them via the distribution methods they are most likely to use. Do they spend a lot of time on social media and, if so, which platform do they use? What time of day are they most likely to be reading their email? Are they interested in industry- or topic-specific blogs? In other words, where are you most likely to connect with them online?
What problems, concerns, or questions are most important to your audience?
People make consumer decisions based on something they want or need, whether it's a better way to wash their clothes or a unique method of turning grocery bags into handwoven rugs and place mats. Part of knowing your audience includes knowing what they are seeking to improve their lifestyle in some way.
How can you satisfy your audience's wants or needs?
Marketers often think this is the most important aspect of content creation – detailing what is being offered, and often couching those details in information laden with dollar signs. That is backward thinking, however, and should be far less important than knowing what your audience wants. If you really know your audience and understand what they want or need to make their lives better in some way, you can tailor your content to tell them exactly why they should gift you with their loyalty and patronage rather than your competitors.
What objections can your audience present that you can preemptively nullify?
People always have at least one objection or decision-delaying concern that prevents them from fully engaging with actionable content or entering a marketer's sales funnel. If you raise and resolve those objections or concerns before your audience can do so, you have eliminated that obstacle and strengthened their interest and motivation to take action.
Part of an audience-focused content marketing strategy can also include plans and methods for nurturing your audience at different stages of their relationship with you. Engagement does not come instantly and irrevocably. You also need to know how you will continue to strengthen your relationship with your audience and nurture that relationship to a fruitful conclusion. This can be done through regular distribution of an email newsletter, personalized communication at periodic intervals, or the offering of special perks or benefits to your audience at various stages of your relationship with them. You can also include strategic data for reestablishing dialogue with an audience that has lost interest at some point after initially engaging with your content.
While you should definitely focus on your audience as a critical part of your content marketing strategy, don't let the other aspects of your overall strategy fall to the wayside through neglect. A well-rounded and well-defined strategy incorporates a variety of components that not only make it effective in and of itself, but also help the content marketing strategy support and enforce your overall marketing strategies, as well.