Content marketing in the company. Where to begin?
Now during the boom in content, many companies try to use this tool to attract customers and often fail.
The reasons for this result are different:
- Couldn”t build system work
- There was traffic – there were no leads
- Been releasing material for too long
- There was no team with the required competencies
- We hired an agency, and they just made a stupid rewrite from competitors
In order to build effective content marketing that attracts customers, it is important to go through these several steps.
Stage 1. Analyze the market
In other articles, you can see guidelines to start by setting a goal. In my opinion, this is the wrong approach, since the goal is not a spherical horse in a vacuum, it can only exist in context.
Search volume for your topic
Warm-up of the topic (how interesting, controversial, engaging it is)
Competitive content (where and what is published, what topics are of interest?)
Audit of our own content (how much traffic do we get? What is the conversion rate?)
You need to have a good understanding of the balance of power in the content marketing market on your topic. This will help in both goal setting and strategy development.
You can”t target 3,000 unique users per month with content marketing if your niche has only 2,000-3,000 searches.
Stage 2. Set a goal
Now you are ready to set a specific goal. By understanding the total market size (traffic for your topic) and the position of competitors and your starting point (how much you are attracting now), you can guess what metrics you should come up with to achieve your business goal.
The goal must be set according to SMART, that is, be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and have a deadline.
Contrary to the common position (or rather the myth) that it is impossible to measure content marketing, I will give examples of working metrics.
Traffic is simple. These are all transitions to the site, thanks to your content. If you publish material on your blog, then this is all blog traffic. If in social networks, instant messengers, YouTube and on third-party sites, record these sites in analytics (Yandex.Metrica, Google Analytics) and track conversions from them.
In this case, I mean lead conversion. But you can also track the final conversion to a deal. This metric shows the percentage of people who left a request or contact for communication – these are people with needs for your product that salespeople can work with.
How accurately you can measure the conversion rate of content marketing will depend on the settings of your CRM system. If the level of digitalization in the company is high, then you can easily see the user”s path and be able to determine the first touchpoint.
But what to do in a situation when a person read an article (for example, on a third-party site), and then, typing a company in a search engine, went over and left an application?
Yes, such cases happen often. And here, as in the absence of CRM, I recommend supplementing the sales script with the question “Have you read our articles / watched the video? What have you heard about our company? ” Just do not reduce everything to the question “How did you hear about us?” The answer “From the Internet” is unlikely to help anything. Be specific about your questions.
This type of metrics will help you measure the effectiveness of your content in order to improve it and spend resources only on what works. You can target by engagement (any interaction with the content), watch length, readout, reach, and more.
Step 3. Develop a strategy
This is the most difficult stage. But without it, all resources invested in content marketing can go down the drain.
The strategy will allow you to work with your target audience, in the most effective channels for you, to get high conversions and at the same time remain in the budget that is optimal for achieving the result.
I will try to describe the main points in developing a strategy.
Describe target audience
Not for show, but taking into account those characteristics that can be useful for creating content. If you work in B2B, then this is not just a description of the client company, but a portrait of all the persons involved in the selection of a contractor. Their needs, problems, functionality at work – the task is to understand how you can help them with your content.
This includes the values of the company, the benefits and reasons for trust, the key message of your messages. Anything that can help you differentiate yourself from competitors and attract your audience.
Create content matrix
You must describe your client”s journey. As a rule, such a path can have the following stages:
Latent. The client has encountered a problem, but does not yet understand what exactly it is. Think about what symptoms might be? What consequences does the client see?
Awareness of the problem. At this stage, there is already an understanding of what exactly is going wrong. The client starts thinking about a solution.
Search for a solution. At this stage, the solution is not always your product. Think about how else it is customary to solve such a problem? For example, if a customer”s problem is low sales, he can direct his efforts towards strengthening the sales department and buying training (for example), or he can install the latest CRM system so that he does not miss a single customer and make repeat transactions.
Contractor selection. At this stage, the client chooses between different companies, evaluates them, tries to formulate criteria, chooses.
Use of the service. Perhaps your customer is already using a service / product they bought from a competitor. But not satisfied, or he needs support / support.
For each of these stages, you can create content that will solve the customer”s problem.
Decide on formats and distribution
There are different types of content: texts, videos, graphics, audio. In turn, each type has many formats. For example, for text: article, first-person interview, post, review, case study, comparison, translation, presentation, etc.
Think about how you will promote your content? Search traffic? Then every piece of content must go through SEO optimization. You can also use targeted or contextual advertising, create email campaigns to support articles with additional traffic, or even build content funnels.
Make a list of media sites your customers might be on. Find out the terms of posting and promoting content – now there are many opportunities even for free publications.
Write a content plan
Here you have to think over the topics in accordance with the content matrix, decide on the formats, choose the sites for placement, and fix everything in the plan.
And now the key point in strategy development. You must record all the results of the analysis in the content marketing guide. This is necessary so that any person, be it an internal marketer or an agency, understands well what is being written and for whom. Ideally, such a document should also include your company”s editorial policy.
Stage 4. Release content
- Now it”s time to evaluate all the resources you have, paint roles and capture the production process in business processes.
- Main roles in content creation:
- Copywriter. Gathers information, interviews an expert, creates structure and writes the text of the article.
- The expert answers the questions of the copywriter, deeply reveals the topic, checks the finished article for the presence of “mistakes”.
- The marketer is promoting materials.
The editor rules, gives feedback to all performers, monitors the observance of editorial policy. And it can also combine the function of a project manager: estimate the timing and scope of work, monitor implementation.
A PR specialist is needed to agree on the material (especially if it is a case), communicate with the editors of the sites, and also to check the compliance of all materials with the company”s policy.
Corrector. This feature should not be neglected. Your clients can be very critical when it comes to contracts worth millions. It”s a shame to lose them due to grammatical errors.
You can also add a designer and a videographer (if you plan to make a video). But the main thing is to understand that we are talking about functions, not the number of people on the project – one person can combine different roles.
If you go through all the previous stages and you have a high-quality guidebook in your hands, you can build a remote editorial office, or hire an agency and the quality of your materials will not suffer.
Final stage: improvement and optimization
Once you”ve gone all the way and started producing material, it is important to track and analyze it for effectiveness (see the chapter on goals). If you did everything correctly, you will be able to see the first results in 1-3 months. Constantly improve materials, enrich even old ones with cross-referencing, repeat positive experiences.
I”ve tried to cover the main points when starting content marketing, but of course that”s not all. There are different nuances, which I will write about.
At the end of the article, I will add, do not delay and start doing content marketing as early as possible. Perhaps there are many uncovered topics in your niche, don”t wait to be taken up by competitors.