Content Marketing employs the use of different content pieces like authored articles, blogs, videos and photos to engage with potential customers. Since content marketing rides on so many pillars and tools, it is imperative for brand custodians to master content marketing strategies, and for that, they need to drive the return on investment on content marketing efforts.
Content Marketing Planning Framework
Brands can arrive at an effective and efficient content marketing plan by using an integrated planning methodology. This means that brands should firstly know about their persona - the communication styles, the brand messaging, fonts and creatives. Once brands can ascertain and lock the characteristics, they should then conduct a proper research of the industry. Conducting this exercise helps brands to ascertain about its competitors and what is working well with the industry they are in. The next step involved a lot of ideation followed by publishing and distribution.
An important stage as brands should know where their content is travelling and the potential it must reach a larger audience. Every effort in content marketing should be measurable i.e. it should produce tangible results. Engagement ratio, impressions, leads, comments are just a few parameters ascertained to measure the impact of your content marketing efforts.
Integrated planning methodology
The following pointers can be considered to develop an ROI driven content marketing strategy:
1. Collect Data
Brands need first to gather data from various sources like Google Analytics and analyse it. This data tells us about the state of brand awareness, social presence, social traffic, website traffic and other aspects of the company. This is relevant data as these show the progress of the existing and previous marketing strategies. It's additionally indispensable to consider where your target audience is today. Are there media, gatherings or sites that achieve your objective of spotting the right target audience? History is brimming with cases of powerful brands that purchased different media (and their crowds). You can also use tools like Alexa which helps to measure the reach of the site. It is an SEO and competitor analysis tool that gives traffic data and global rankings for business websites. You also start using these 50+ content marketing tools to map PR & Digital directly with the business.
2. Identify Aspects
After reading the collected data, brands can identify which element needs targeting, and mediums accordingly boosted and the most efficient method to do it. The strategies made this way will help design targeted content marketing strategy, using minimum resources and maximising output. Your selection of channels of communication needs to be those where you can target maximum audience and exercise control over those mediums. You need to control how content is rolled out and received, and how the beneficiary can be changed over. The most straightforward route is to utilise one's site as the primary channel, followed by social mediums, etc.
3. Setting communication styles and tones
These strategies include getting creatives made, creating blogs and tweets, using social media influencers, hosting online and offline events to spread the word, etc. Depending on what the product is, a video or a photo or a blog is created. Collaborations with other blogs are made to widen the reach of the blogs. Hosted campaigns are also done on a similar basis with the same goals. Social media influencers are used to spread the word and share content with a large group of people to increase the proportion of voice. You should remember that the content created should be engaging and relevant to your target audience, besides also being evergreen (so that it can be altered from time to time and focused to different audiences at different intervals).
4. Targeting audience
First and foremost, to build relevant target audience, you should keep posting content on owned channels. It's great to utilise owned channels, social mediums, search engines, influencer marketing or native audience to reach to relevant audiences, however dependably distribute the content on your site. While you’re doing so, don’t forget to ask people to subscribe, contact, download materials, or invite for webinars/ offline events.
All these activities will be targeted at creating brand awareness, getting social and web traffic, keeping existing customers in the loop and while reaching to the newer potential ones. Below is an example of how targeting helped achieve business results.
#ARM Worldwide recently executed a brand awareness campaign for Bajaj Finserv, on National Doctor’s Day. During the three-day activation, the brand was able to generate more than 800 leads, which is a 400% growth over BAU trend, and also clocked a business delivery of Rs. 3.5 crore. This goes on to prove how the tightly targeted digital campaigns achieve business results.
5. Monitoring efforts
After this comes monitoring the effects of the applied content strategy on the online traffic on the company. Keep in mind that the measuring points or KPIs must be directly linked to goals you want to achieve – whether small or long-term. Considering the KPIs and other performing indexes will help you track the performance of each effort. Based on the variation in actual and desired result, the strategy is tweaked. This contributes to increasing the number of visitors and leads which can be used by the sales and customer care team to convert into sales, improving the ROI of the campaign.
A good piece of content is the essential bedrock of any digital campaign, but it’s not the end goal. The key to success is content reaching every potential prosumer. For which brands should make an effective content marketing strategy. A golden rule of content creation suggests that brands should create one percent of engaging content and then expose that to influencers/bloggers, who in return by leaving their social actions, further expose the content to a wider audience. Brands should keep this thumb rule handy whenever creating a content marketing strategy.
Honey Singh is presently the chief executive officer, PR and Content Marketing at #ARM Worldwide. He has been a strategic counsellor and has delivered creative insight-driven consultancy for Fortune 500 companies & startups.