Before Jump Starting A Content Strategy, Answer These Questions
Unfortunately, even for all of the effort and spending, very few companies have seen any real uptick in sales. Why? Because most of these companies don't have a plan.
This article is brought to you by Content Israel, the largest content marketing conference in Israel which took place on Tuesday, December 1st. It brought together industry leaders from publishers, agencies, brands and startups for a detailed look at the strategies, technologies and platforms used for content marketing.
According to Market Tech Advisor, 70% of companies within the B2B sphere are creating more content now than they were creating last year, and are spending almost a third of their marketing budgets on that content creation. Unfortunately, even for all of their effort and spending, very few of them have seen any real uptick in sales. Why? Because most of these companies don’t have a plan.
Content is often viewed as something that is simple to create and is sold as a medium in which quantity is prioritized over quality. Businesses are spending a fortune to blindly create a wide variety of content and then sending that content out to their entire audiences, hoping that a few pieces will stick. The reality is that jumping blindly into a content marketing strategy may be one of the worst ideas for a brand. It’s important that businesses and marketers answer a few pivotal questions first.
What Type Of Content Does Your Audience Want?
So many companies are spending the majority of their content creation budgets on traditional forms of content, like brochures. The reality is that, most of the time, B2B consumers are more likely to respond to whitepapers, analyst reports, webcasts and video marketing.
Even if you are not in the B2B market, it is important to find out what type of content your audience is most likely to consume and to what is most likely to gravitate. Then, take this one step further and find out which avenues your consumers are most likely to travel to get to that content. For example, video marketing has consistently yielded great returns for businesses. How, though, are your customers likely to find your videos? Simply publishing your videos on YouTube isn’t enough. You have to promote them via the channels your audience is likely to travel (email, social media, etc).
Who Is Your Audience, Really?
There is rarely a piece of content that will appeal equally to every member of your audience. Instead of trying to create a lot of universal content, it is better to spend your money creating a few pieces of content that are designed for your specific buyer personas. Buyer personas don’t just tell you how to design banners, commercials, etc. They also help you refine your content marketing and messaging.
Comfort Zone Schmomfort Zone
Just because you (and, by proxy, your marketing team) feel most comfortable creating one or two types of content does not mean that is the content to which you should gravitate--especially if it hasn’t been yielding good results. Push against your own boundaries and create content that doesn’t appeal to your comfort zone but to the comfort zones of your buyers.
In fact, sometimes creating content that pushes your buyers’ boundaries can also help sell more products. One of the best ways to get someone’s attention is to shock them. Just be careful that the shock happens in a positive way. You don’t want to make people hate you. People who hate you aren’t going to buy what you’re selling.
If your marketing plan hasn’t been as successful as you like, it’s probably because you’re making mistakes with your content. Use these tips to help you reframe your content marketing plan.
Read More About Content Marketing