Before you go ahead to create content that maximizes your user engagement and increase traffic to your website or social media channels. It would be beneficial to understand the difference between content marketing and content marketing strategy.
What is content marketing?
In simple words, content marketing is the creation, distribution, and circulation of your relevant content for your target audience that adds value to their lives.
Content marketing helps your readers or subscribers to build trust in your personal or organization brand.
While it brings your potential prospects close to your brand but, at times, content marketing alone is not enough to sell your product or services. You would need a content marketing strategy to direct your customers from awareness and engagement to ultimately the stage where they make a purchase.
What is a content marketing strategy?
Content marketing strategy (not to confuse with content strategy) provides you with the answers to why, when, who, and how a content marketing strategy can help you meet your business goals and objectives. It’s your checklist, guidebook, and your roadmap.
It’s a plan on how you and your business would help customers solve their pain points through content marketing.
The content marketing strategy also focuses on customer experience life cycle marketing. That is how you position your brand, product, or services through different stages of customer experience. From, awareness to engagement, consideration, and comparison to ultimate purchase and customer retention and satisfaction stage.
Now, this blog post isn’t about drafting a content marketing strategy for your business. This post would help you to learn how to identify a specific problem of your target audience and deliver a solution through your product or services.
Use all of these content marketing techniques to attract more customers and increase traffic or user engagement on your website and social media channels.
Below is a list of topics that we will cover in this article. Go ahead and click on any of these links, and you’ll be taken to that specific section.
Understand Your Target Audience
Evaluate or study your target audience again before you plan to create your content marketing strategy. In fact, every time you sit down to draft another marketing strategy, take your time to study your target audience as well. It doesn’t matter if you have thousands of followers or customers already.
Here are two simple reasons. First, the retention period of audiences are decreasing with the increase in number of content available online.
It’s hard to maintain the interest of your existing followers nowadays.
Second, people change. You are not even the same person you were one year ago. Then how can we assume that the needs of our target audience will remain the same year after year.
Therefore, take out a few minutes to understand the current market trend as well as the immediate need of your target audience.
Here’s a quick list to check with them:
- Who are they?
- Where are they most active? Any specific channel or social media handle?
- What kind of content they mostly consume there? (Reports, E-books, YouTube videos, templates, guidebooks, planner, etc.)
- Understand your competitor’s content marketing strategy along the way.
(Example: If you are selling a course on Facebook Ads. And your competitors are providing marketing reports on previous ad campaign to their students, then what all aspects are they covering in the report? Is there something they are missing to add on or some key points you wish to elaborate or emphasize more in your strategy guidebook or monthly reports?)
The idea is to basically study the content your target audience wish to consume. And then find ways to make your content more valuable, and interesting for them.
Bring new ideas
To study the current needs of your target audience through competitor’s content marketing strategy analysis DOESN’T necessarily mean that you end up creating the same content your competitors are already providing, with more suggestions or improvement.
Just because your competitors are giving away E-books. You don’t need to hire a designer immediately to design another E-book for them (your target audience).
Instead, try something NEW! Try creating a checklist or planner to follow through the same plan or strategy.
Or taking our example from earlier, if your competitors are providing detailed comprehensive marketing reports on Ad campaigns for their students.
Then instead of drafting another marketing report, you could create video series on ad campaigns analysis, market trends, beginner’s guide to run an ad campaign, challenges one could face, points to keep in mind, etc. The list can go on and on.
Always bring new ideas to the table.
How to identify a specific problem?
Now, this process is a bit time-consuming. But it’s really effective at times. And you could do this once in a while.
Join online discussion groups on Facebook and LinkedIn, and read relevant posts in detail. If, you have already identified who your target audience are. Then you know where they spend their time.
Simply follow through those Facebook discussion groups, read blog post comments, most engaged social media post or online material that they consume. And read through it. Read all the relevant opinions, suggestions, recommendations, etc.
What better way than this to draft a content marketing strategy?
Find a specific problem of your target audience from none other but from themselves, and then provide the solution through your upcoming content!
One of the ways to get more content ideas is to learn how to identify a SPECIFIC problem (as mentioned in the earlier point) or need of your target audience. And then provide solutions or information through your content or product or services.
You could even use tools like Buzzsumo to know what’s trending in your industry. Just simply type the keyword in the search bar, and it generates a number of content ideas for you. It also gives stats like the number of views and social media shares analysis with every link.
Example: I searched for “seo tips” here. And below is the screenshot of the search result with latest posts and user engagement analysis.
These specific link analysis would help you know what is it that your target audience mostly likes to click and consume.
You could also use other platforms like Quora and Reddit to find out the burning topics, and mostly asked questions by your target audience.
Just follow the relevant keywords from your niche and find out the current needs and issues of your target audience.
Like I said before, if you could learn to identify these SPECIFIC suggestions, recommendations, and needs of your audience.
You would always be ahead in the game of your content marketing strategies.
Now, instead of reading all the posts, questions, recommendations one by one and burning all the energy scrolling through the feeds for the right content idea. I recommended you to use this free tool Inoreader.
Below is the screenshot of my Inoreader dashboard.
Inoreader gives you one dashboard for all the truckload of content available online. Instead of wasting your precious time switching from one networking site to another. It generates a feed with very specific and relevant links and recommendations for you.
You can personalize your subscription with various sites, newsletters, blog posts, and also, connect with Reddit, Google news, Twitter and Facebook pages.
The best of all, this tool come with a free plan. So no more brainstorming for content ideas anymore!!! Hope these tools and tactics work for you as it worked for me. Let me know in the comments below if you still face any problems for content ideas.
Also, read this blog post on social media content ideas for your content calendar here.
Your content now revolves around the solutions for all the problems identified by you. This is the time that you provide an immense value out there through your content, product or services in the form of lead magnets.
Lead magnets are appealing offers that you make to your potential prospects for their contact information in exchange for some valuable resource.
There are different kinds of lead magnets that you should keep in mind while creating content for your target audience.
These lead magnets could be anything starting from a service on a discounted price to products or services you give away for free, to increase your contact list and brand awareness.
Freebies in particular are popular these days.
Create your lead magnets insanely irresistible followed by a compelling call of action.
Call of action is the desired action you wish your potential prospects to perform. Example: the free e-books could only be downloaded once they have provided you with their email addresses. (It will help you grow your email list.)
Or one has to visit your landing page, to avail the free subscription or use your free templates bundle. (Landing pages can then again direct them to another call of action.)
Here are a few examples of captivating lead magnets for you:
Free Content Creation Tools
If you are an agency owner who has just started out, then it’s highly recommended to use some of the free content creation tools like I do.
For keyword research, use Moz’s free Keyword Explorer , also asked, google trends, or soolve. It gives you a list of relevant keywords that is currently trending in your industry along with the search volume and other keyword recommendations.
For creative or graphics use tools a like Crello, Canva, and Pablo. Although some of these tools have paid version but sign up for the free version in the beginning, and make amazing designs like a pro. Crello and Canva in particular gives you a ton of template options to explore from.
Example: social media post, blog post covers, stories, animated GIFs, vector images, etc. These two tools have got you covered when it comes to graphic designing.
Social media feed looks more captivating when a particular color palette be followed. So edit the colors too when it comes to designing your posts and covers with your chosen color palette.
Example: I try to include white, off white, Burgunday, rust red, black, light pink or gold. Now, obviously I don’t include everything in one post. But that’s my color palette that I keep in mind, while designing a new creative. And I choose or mix something from this chosen color palette only.
Check out my Instagram page here to understand what I am talking about.
I often come across pages that just simply pick up the template available to them in the above mentioned tools and change the text only. They don’t even edit it further to choose a color palette, fonts, or bother to give a personal touch.
Understand that, this a free tool available to everyone out there. So, personalize your edits as much as possible.
For blog post ideas and perfect headlines, use HubSpot’s blog ideas generator and co schedule’s headline analyzer. These tools would help create the headlines for your writings that people can’t help but end up linking the link.
For writing, use tools like Grammarly and Hemingway app. These tools help you check the grammar, common mistakes, spellings, active/ passive voice, plagiarism(premium feature though), etc and also provide your suggestions for improvement for your writings.
For video creation, try Lumen 5 and Renderforest. There is nothing like Lumen 5 among free tools, when it comes video creations by the way. You need absolutely NO technical knowledge for it. Just login and let your ideas guide you further!!
To turn pics or presentations into GIFs, try using giphy. Really simple to use and you can be quite creative with it.
Make memes through the meme generator.
For detailed infographics use, visme, or piktochart. Infographics are really beautiful, and they can actually add a lot of value to your content.
Lastly, to schedule your content for weeks or days ahead in time using social media management tools, like Social Sprout, Socialpilot, or Buffer. Sign up for the free plan.
Here is the Social Media Strategy 2020: The Ultimate Guidebook with step-by-step approach to plan, create and schedule your content. This strategy guidebook is written in the simplest way possible, and you can start to implement your ideas right away.
In case you want a personalized social media strategy with an editable and ready to use social media calendar made only for your business, then feel free to drop a message here.
How to repurpose your old content?
This is my favorite part. If, you have a solution to a specific problem already available with your content in any form. Then by all means, reuse it with some new ideas and with the right kind of marketing.
Remember, ONE content could be used in different ways. You can make a YouTube video, 2-3 Instagram and Facebook stories, 2-3 Ad campaign posters, IGTV videos, 5-6 tweets, and even a podcast on just ONE SPECIFIC BLOG POST IDEA.
Your strategy should be to distribute one content in different innovative ways.
Your blog post talks about the different leadership skills one needs to have in order to manage and lead a team at work.
Now, why not go ahead and tweet leadership quotes from your favorite leaders, and let your followers know how they inspired you to write this particular blog post. Then provide the link for the same.
For Facebook or Instagram, create graphics that include quotes from your blog post with some relevant information. And then promote the blog post links in the Facebook description or Instagram bio or stories.
You can also use some motivational quotes or videos to post along with it to increase engagement.
Also, what about a podcast on leadership skills one needs to have? Well, even that sounds a great content idea, isn’t it?
You don’t need to create a new content every time you come across a problem your target audience are facing. Because, there are 80% chances that you already have the answer with you available through your content. You just need to think of new ways of marketing it again.
If you have any such content available with you and need some new ideas of marketing it. Then feel free to leave a comment below for the same. I’ll help you market your old content in different ways that generate leads. Or drop a message here. Let’s connect!
Hope you enjoyed reading this blog post. Let me know in the comments below about the ideas that you would love to implement right away or tools that helped you with content marketing.