The need for having a coherent content marketing strategy has, in recent years, increased tenfold – with the huge variety of content (written, audio, video, graphical) and the even wider range of communication channels available. From blogs to newsletters, direct mails, social media, emails, websites, and white papers, the options seem limitless and are constantly expanding.
This trend highlights the importance of having an integrated content strategy, one that can help you to achieve your marketing objectives and measure the performance of your strategies. Your content strategy doesn’t need to be complex, but smart businesses know to combine their marketing, PR, and digital strategies.
The entire integrated approach is based on a structure which calls for the right message, using the right channel, at the right time, to target the right audience. A strategy that is successful will use your marketing budget effectively, with the best possible results.
Here is some practical advice you can use for successful implementation of your integrated content strategy:
Decide the Groundwork for Success
In order to lay down a powerful foundation, you need to get your website and messages in the right order. Clarify your key message(s), identify your ideal clients, and do a competitor analysis to show what others in your niche are doing – and how you can do it better. Check out online forums to see what your ideal clients are talking about and begin to develop a list of content topic ideas.
If your organization is large, then your digital media, marketing and PR departments should execute the strategy as one unit to allow cross-promotion of the content. If you are a small business without such designation departments, call on whatever team you do have to lighten the load. They might offer topic suggestions, know where your ideal clients hangout online etc. Your customer service team will know what questions or complaints your clients are having – so get them on board as well!
Choosing Your Content Distribution Channels
Share your content through whatever online platforms are right for your business. For instance, if you are a business-to-business company, sharing your content via LinkedIn might be best, if you are targeting a specific demographic of people, Facebook might be the best place to connect with them. If you have physical products, Pinterest or Instagram could become real winners for you. Spread your content across the best channels for the maximum outreach.
Your strategy might be to post to your company blog and put a link on Facebook, then rewrite the blog and publish it in full on Facebook a month later. On both occasions you might Tweet the posts and load any graphics/photos to Pinterest.
The strategy you elect to use will depend on your business, but regardless of its size, having the strategy to work to is vital.
In time, as you see how this works, you might engage a content writer to write the content for you, and Virtual Assistant (VA) to manage the distribution process on your behalf. Having the strategy in place will make it so much easier to explain to them exactly what you need.
Customizing Content According To Assist the Buyer
According to Pardot, 77% of buyers require new variety of content at every stage when it comes to the product research process. And according to CMI, 70% of B2B marketers are creating more content than they did one year ago. An integrated strategy allows your target audience to make a smooth transition down the sales funnel, which takes them from awareness to consideration and purchase.