How to Create a Content Marketing Strategy: Promotion, Engagement and Measurement

Work smart! Every successful marketing initiative must begin with a strategic set of goals and a clear objective.

If you don’t understand what you need to accomplish, your initiative will have a lower chance of success.

This is why it’s extremely important to create marketing strategies and roadmaps that help entrepreneurs and marketing specialists create a strategic framework, into which they can easily group and prioritise ideas, goals and tasks, and achieve the best results. In the previous blog post, we talked about objectives and audiences. Today we want to discuss the other three crucial parts of a content marketing strategy!

Promotion

Once relevant and valuable content has been created, it should be easily found by potential readers, and this is where content promotion comes into play. Manual promotion and outreach help to leverage the social networks the company participates in, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.

Based on what is effective and important for the target audience, the titles, descriptions, and timing of promotion will vary according to the social channel. For example, Twitter promotions can use tools such as Buffer, which analyze the Twitter network’s tendency to retweet, and schedule the publishing of tweets in such a way as to maximize the likelihood of sharing. This tactic can promote blog posts, Facebook posts, YouTube videos, or any other type of public social media content. The mix of promotion channels usually depends on the content, purposes and the nature of the communities that a company will be sharing content with.

With content promotion and social sharing, it is important to build trust and credibility with the community. These are important factors affecting their willingness to interact and share the content.

To sum up, in order to promote content through social channels in the most effective way, a company should provide social networks, the community, and search engines with a steady stream of relevant and valuable content that people will be willing to share and link to. As a result, the company will be rewarded with top search visibility and mentions wherever prospects are looking for.

Engagement

Nowadays, social media allows people to upload and post unique content and share it with the global audience easily. In order to attract, engage and inspire customers, it is important for brands to have relevant visibility where their customers are. To do that, the company must determine where conversations are happening relevant to the company’s products and services.

There are four steps in engaging with social media:

1. listen
2. join
3. participate
4. create

It is crucial to take these steps in the right order. A company should start with listening to what people are talking about it, its products, services and brands, what customers think of the company and what they need and want. Keeping tabs on current customers and potential clients can result in a valuable insight into the company’s products or services. So, by reading blogs, browsing online communities and discussions related to the company’s industry it is easier to monitor what people are saying online. There are conversations going on every day, and it is quite easy to stay abreast of them.

Once a company understands the lay of the land by listening, it can think about joining a social network as a way to claim its brand and take ownership of its contributions. As it was mentioned before, it is wise to join those communities where a company can find its customers participating. For example, the most popular websites include Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat and Pinterest. These sites cover a range of different purposes and can be very beneficial in terms of marketing.

The third step is to participate. Participation means that a company can reply to blog posts and topics in various forums, review products or services, and even just bookmark interesting websites. This is extremely important for online brand building because people will come to respect this company as a valuable contribution to the community, and when the company has news to share people will help it promote content.

Only after participating in other social networks, a company can create and post its own content, because only now it has an audience to share this content with.

So, this is the time to start talking, posting updates, blog posts, photos, links and new stories. This process represents a cycle rather than a one-time exercise, i.e. constantly monitoring, looking for interesting content, commenting on it and posting one’s own substance. People will begin to comment and share what the company has posted, and the cycle starts again.

Companies should engage into social networks and communities because this can provide an insight into future content, enable advocacy and reinforce sharing behaviors.

Measurement

Are content marketing efforts sufficient? Are they helping customers? Are those interactions leading to more inquiries, sharing, and sales? Have we achieved our content marketing goals?

Effective content marketing is more than just creating great content and sharing it. It is about learning, measuring, analyzing and modifying approaches to fine-tune tactics and get better results.

The relationship between setting goals and measuring performance must be in a close alignment in order to successfully reach overall marketing and business goals. Many marketers skip over this important measurement step for a short-term gain. Unfortunately, these people miss the greater opportunity of understanding the business impact of their efforts and are unable to apply business lessons and intelligence accordingly. Marketers have to be patient and spend their time to establish the right metrics, to benchmark, and to understand where they are going and how much it may cost to get there.

Key performance indicators (KPIs) measure companies performance, identify best practices and give warning signs of drop-offs. There is a variety of different KPIs, and it is highly important to choose the right ones in relation to certain marketing strategies. Here is a good example of how to measure content marketing success based on Brandpoint practices, which are illustrated below.

1. Awareness: Exposing new people to the brand, product, or service

Awareness is important because:

– quality content can increase the number of keywords ranking the website
– 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine, and 75% of searchers do not move past the first page of search results
– social media is an excellent content distributor; millions of online consumers say that they research products via social media before making purchases.

In this case, the metrics for measuring awareness success can be:

– higher ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs)
– a steady increase in first-time visitors on the website
– improved social metrics (increased likes, follows, etc.).

2. Consideration: Inspiring potential customers to engage, read, download, comment, and share

Why is consideration important? Search engines rank content based on its relevance. High attention is placed on the time spent on site per user, and the amount and age of pertinent original content.

Studies have shown that 61% of consumers feel better about a company that delivers custom content and 65% of social media users learn about products and services via social media.

Metrics for measuring consideration success can be the following:

– increased total page views
– longer visit duration
– lower bounce rate
– improved social metrics (video views, content shares, positive comments, interaction, etc.).

3. Conversion: When a customer makes a purchase or fills out a contact form

Content marketing drives conversions because it supports searches for specific products and services. Increased conversion rates are usually measured by sales or leads. As for social media metrics, there are referrals from Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and other social networks.

There are a number of measurement and analytics applications and services available. Unfortunately, there is no “one size fits all” solution, but when a company understands the right KPIs, its overall goals, and the process for evaluation and improvement, it will be able to narrow down the choices available. In addition, many individual social platforms offer their own analytics. There are also several third-party web analytics and social media measurement tools to consider, for example, Google Analytics (the most full-featured free analytics tool with a social tracking plugin), Clicky (a real-time, low-cost web analytics tool), and HubSpot.

Does your company have a content marketing strategy in place? Do you follow the practices mentioned in this post? Follow us on social media to be the first to hear about our future blog posts!

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