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7 Elements That No Content Marketing Strategy Should Be Without
By Steve Lazuka, Zerys for Agencies
Making an information-filled YouTube video isn't a content marketing strategy. When you write a blog post that gets 20 comments, it's a great blog post, but again—not a strategy. A content marketing strategy is an overarching set of goals and practices that guide you as you use your unique knowledge to build your small business brand. As you build your strategy, here are 7 must-have elements:
1) Targeted Content
Before you can start building content, you have to take the time to figure out who you're targeting. Content for everyone ends up being content for no one. Consumers in a too-broad target market end up going elsewhere for information that is relevant to them. For example, your site doesn't serve up gardening information. It doesn't serve up lawn care information. It doesn't serve up weeding information, or even weeding information for women. It provides information on how a busy woman juggling family and a career can find a way to quickly and efficiently prevent weeds from showing up in the lawn. Targeted content might not cast your net as wide, but it will be more effective with the people it reaches.
2) Great Content
It should go without saying that the cornerstone of your strategy should be to have content that is fascinating and compelling. However, there's more to great content than just being interesting. Great content adds an element of uniqueness, such as a particularly effective way of communicating its point, arresting graphics or design, or simply being targeted to what users need from you rather than what you have to offer them.
3) Driven Content
While great content might be an end in and of itself, having content that drives to a particular goal is a key element of a successful content marketing strategy. Once you've defined your content's place in the sales funnel and your conversion goals, you can craft content that helps to support that purpose. Part of building a strategy is to have a series of different types of content, each geared towards a different goal, and each leading to your ultimate purpose—to turn clicks into transactions.
4) Timely Content
Creating timely content is a tricky thing. On one hand, you want it to be tied to a customer's needs right at the time you create it. At the same time, you also want your content to be able to last and not ever become obsolete. One way to compromise is to always label date-based information in a piece. Another is to try to focus on timeless topics. For instance, a site about using word processors can discuss the principles of choosing the right font instead of only focusing on how to use the "Format" menu.
5) Promoted Content
The best content in the world is meaningless if it doesn't ever get seen. As such, no content marketing strategy is complete without a plan for promotion. This includes search engine optimization to ensure that it gets seen as well as using a more personal touch. Whether your business is putting its content in front of webmasters of influential sites or emailing it out to its best customers, taking ownership of getting it seen helps to increase both its reach and its likelihood of driving results.
6) Assessed Content
Famed management consultant Peter Drucker once wrote that "what gets measured gets managed”. Nowhere is this more true than with your content marketing strategy. One of the gifts that come with having content online is the data that comes back about how users interact with it. Your logs will tell you which content is attracting interest and which isn't. You can also see which items are working and which aren't and use that data to craft better content in the future.
A content marketing strategy is only as strong as the people that execute it. Content marketing is too important to trust to an intern from a local college just because he spends more time on Instagram than you. Instead, the right team is made up of strategists, creative personnel that write content or create video, search engine experts and marketing experts with a deep understanding of your customer base and what it wants and needs.
Steve Lazuka is the founder of Interact Media, creators of the Zerys Content Marketplace and Zerys for Agencies content marketing platforms. Follow Steve @SteveLazuka
Zerys is a powerful content project management tool and writer marketplace that makes it simple to manage any content project from start (strategy planning) to finish (auto-publishing). Zerys for Agencies is a custom, private-labeled solution that allows agencies to manage all their clients’ content projects from one, simple dashboard. Zerys was founded in 2008, and is now used by thousands of businesses and hundreds of marketing agencies.
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