Planning a content marketing strategy is not an easy task. You may be looking for a partner because you have limited in-house resources. You’re not getting the results you’re looking for, and it pains you. Now you’re looking for someone to help you plan a successful content marketing strategy.
Content is necessary for nearly all digital marketing—from inbound to paid media. It’s how you communicate with your visitors and engage them. According to the Content Marketing Institute, content marketing also generates over three times as many leads as outbound marketing. But you have to have a plan. You can’t serve up the same content you were using 5 or 10 years ago and expect it to work.
A good place to start is your goal. We start with the goals you are trying to achieve and build the strategy from there. For instance, if your primary goal is to build awareness of a new technology, we create educational content and measure success by how many people view/share it. But that’s just the beginning. To help you understand what goes into a content marketing strategy, let’s take a look at how we put one together at Kuno Creative.
Your buyer persona will be the basis for any content marketing strategy you lay out. This is the person who has a problem and you’re the one with the solution. It’d be great if you could yell down the hall to a colleague “Hey Phil, who are we trying to sell to?” And get your answer, but it’s not that easy.
One of the first steps to determining who your buyer persona is is to ask yourself a few basic questions about your ideal buyer, including:
Here at Kuno, we help flesh out the answers to those questions and others by interviewing key members of your team. We’ll ask them things like:
We’ll talk to everybody from the CEO to members of your sales team, product managers and customer service. We’ll even talk to current customers and prepare a line of questioning for them, including:
We’ll also get information about each persona like:
The important thing to understand is we will most likely come up with multiple personas for your business because different buyer personas are involved at different stages of the journey. The person who initially fills out a form on your website might not have the authority to actually buy your product. That means you’ll need to create a content marketing strategy that will entice different buyer personas at different stages of the journey.
Some of the other information we’ll glean from our interviews will help us to break your personas down into three types of users:
A primary user is a decision-maker. Someone who is coming to your site and has the power to buy. He or she is one of your main targets.
A secondary user is someone who might be a rung or two below a primary user. He may still have the power to buy or can easily get the ear of the person who does.
An influencer is someone who may be feeling the pain and thinks your company has his solution, so he will start taking it up the chain. He may bring back a brochure from a trade show he attended with your information and hand it to one of the decision makers. He will then regularly remind them to look through it.
It’s a detailed process because buyer personas are not demographic profiles. You don’t want to know how many children your buyer has or what he’s binge-watching on Netflix. You’re interested in his behavior as it relates to your products or services.
You can’t guess or assume who your buyer personas are. You’re looking for the real buyer, not who you think the real buyer might be. Prepare for surprises. What you find out might be game-changing. We find that one-on-one interviews are more effective than surveys or focus groups. Conversations are the best way to find out what happened before, during and after the buying process. And start building a content marketing strategy.
Search engine optimization is also a critical part of developing your buyer personas and your buyer’s journey. Our Demand Generation Team finds the search terms your buyers are using when they have a problem and need a solution.
In other words, our team will come up with a list of keywords that rank high on Google. We want your company to land on Page 1 of Google search results when someone searches for a keyword related to your product.
For instance, let’s say you’re a hazardous waste management company that provides environmental consulting for your customers. In the midst of their keyword research, our demand generation team discovers that the monthly search volume on the keyword phrase “environmental consulting” is high—2,200 a month. That means 2,200 people are searching for something you provide every month. But our team doesn’t stop there.
Our demand generators get doubly excited when they learn “environmental consulting” has a low keyword difficulty score. That means it’s a term that has an easier chance to rank on Page 1 of Google than some of the other keywords related to your business.
When we start putting together your content marketing strategy, we will base it off of the keywords our demand generation team uncovers that have a high monthly search volume and a low keyword difficulty score. Our team will make sure those keywords are part of the content we create. Things like:
Yes, even videos. We’ll optimize them to make sure the title and description contain keywords. We make sure they’re used appropriately and strategically, so we don't border on keyword stuffing.
We’ll also use your keywords to target quality traffic. Whether it’s pay per click, social media or programmatic advertising, the goal is to drive demand and optimize the quantity and quality of your leads.
You can think of those keywords as the string that starts pulling your prospects along the buyer’s journey.
When you’re building a content marketing strategy, it’s important to know who you’re targeting (buyer persona) and what they’re searching for (keywords). But now, what are you going to do when they get to your site?
Think of your website as your home. You’ll need a good floor plan to lead your prospect to the room that will convert them into a buyer, and then delight them into becoming a lifelong customer.
We do that at Kuno by creating a content marketing strategy that provides solutions at every stage of the buyer’s journey:
Awareness isn’t about product awareness, branding or familiarity with your company. When we talk about awareness, we’re talking about the buyer’s recognition of an internal problem within his organization. He’s aware he has a problem. Our goal in the awareness stage is to ensure your content marketing strategy contains solutions that talk about the problem the same way the buyer is thinking about it.
In the consideration stage, your solution will start to surface. Your prospect may have downloaded an eBook or reviewed a case study (there’s that content marketing strategy coming into play again). To make it through the consideration stage we’ll position your company as a viable option among a lot of other competing options. That means knowing what’s out there and working to stay in the game. With accurate buyer personas, we’ll have the information we need to create content that’ll keep you on the short list.
The decision stage can be precarious because it’s where most buyers fall out of the buy cycle. It also usually means other people may be involved. Remember the influencer? If it was an influencer who found your site, now he will need to bring in the decision maker who you will need to seal the deal. But you’re covered because we’ve created a detailed content marketing strategy that delights him and converts him into a customer.
A big part of mapping out the buyer's journey is creating an editorial calendar. An editorial calendar can help you:
Our editorial plans help you achieve your short and long-term goals. But here’s the thing, if it isn’t working, we’ll look at the data and adjust the strategy. A content marketing strategy is never set in stone. We review results and make adjustments as we go.
Here at Kuno Creative, we are working to develop digital marketing solutions that will grow your business.
Consider this: The average consumer goes through at least five touchpoints before converting. That means the buyer’s journey is longer than ever before (especially for B2B). And buyers are entering the sales cycle at a much later stage, already armed with information about a brand and its offering.
Each buyer’s journey is unique because buyers are dynamic individuals with their own wants, needs and concerns; their own motivations and goals — the likes of which change constantly. This has given rise to demand generation. Demand generation creates valuable touchpoints with each buyer throughout their journey, and caters to their wants and needs over time.
That’s why you need a plan to get your content out there to the people who are searching for you. So, we’ll put together an owned and paid media strategy that will include, but is not limited to:
We’ll optimize your content for each platform. Our demand generation team will do a content audit on your site. They will review your content marketing efforts and your most recent results. This is not only true in the initial stages of the content marketing strategy but is a continual process.
A content marketing strategy is fluid. You stick what is working, and you change the things that aren’t.
As you can see, there is a lot that goes into creating a content marketing strategy. We don’t mind sharing how we do it because even if you know our secrets, executing is difficult. We have an award-winning team of experts, who are collaborative, creative and passionate about you and your business.
If you’d like to work with us and create digital experiences that engage, talk to one of our consultants. They’ll be able to answer any additional questions you may have and get you started on a content marketing strategy filled with digital marketing solutions.