Content marketing strategy guidelines for your business

Whether you are a business trying to sell a product or an idea, or you are a content marketing team looking for some genuine advice, you will find it all here. Take a step-by-step look at what your content-marketing campaign should have, and have a peek at the problems you should avoid.

The Biggest Problems That Content Marketers Face

Let’s start with the problems that content marketers face, so that we may remove a few of the most common articles before beginning the strategy.

Increased Competition

There appears to be more and more content marketers vying for your advertising space and for your position on Google. They are pushing up the cost of affiliate advertising, and they are taking your traffic from social media.

The solution to this is not to post more often. This method only works if you do not have a target consumer. For example, the most successful independent (one person) YouTube channel is PewDiePie and he did it by posting almost every day. Yet, he doesn’t have a target audience he is trying to convert, which means he can focus on quantity over quality. If you are trying to educate and convert, you need to post better quality content rather than more content.

Jon Morrow said it the best when he said no matter how many TV channels appear people still only watch the ones with the best content. (Jon Morrow)
jon morrow take on seo

Keeping Quality CONSISTENTLY High

Even the best of us fail when it comes to keeping quality consistently high. Even moviemakers with millions of dollars in their budgets will fail. For example, the first Avengers Assemble movie was brilliant, but when Joss Whedon tried it a second time with Avengers Age Of Ultron, it was terrible. The smaller your company, and the smaller your staff, then the harder it is to keep your content quality consistently high.

Are there any solutions to this? The most obvious is that you and your staff should work to perpetually improve yourselves. This should affect every process you undertake, from improving your writing skills to improving your planning and project management skills. Using every experience you encounter as a learning experience will help you maintain higher standards.

Your other option is to pay third parties to create your content. That way, if the quality of your content slips, then you may blame them and even switch companies. Doing this makes your quality-consistency their problem because if they want to keep your business, they will have to maintain higher standards.

The Trend Towards Paid Promotion

Content marketing is now more costly than ever because more and more websites require some sort of payment in order to feature your content. Even social media influencers have to be bought because the times of them offering their blessing for free are over.

There are very few solutions to this problem. The only sustainable method is via targeted analysis of what traffic streams are creating conversions and which are not. Which are performing the best and which are not. It then stands to reason that you invest your resources in the cows that give the most milk.

In addition, remember that aggressive expansion is often the most expensive. Consider taking your foot off the gas and allowing your social media, Google and online presence to grow a little more organically.

Planning Your Campaign

Your biggest problem is unrealistic expectations and impatience. It is not a big problem if you are in charge, but if you are working for clients, they are going to want solid results for the money they invest, and you may not be able to show it right away.

It is imperative that your planning phase is devoid of unrealistic expectations, which is tricky, so it is recommended that you try a series of smaller tests prior to creating your projections. Other than that, it is your job to remember that you often have to do a lot of pumping before the water gushes from the underground well.

Planning Your Product And Content

Many content marketers have a goal in mind. Sometimes it is to educate people, sometimes it is to sell, and sometimes it is to convert. If you do not have any control over the product you plan/idea to sell, then you are at a disadvantage. Instead of creating a product and trying to sell it, sell your product and then create it.

In other words, find out what people are crying out for and fill the need, rather than creating a product and finding people that have a need. You may apply this principle to your content marketing in general.

For example, if you are trying to educate people on the left/right political dynamic in the US, you could produce a series of Infographics on the subject and then find people that are uninformed. Or, you could find people that are uninformed and find out what they want. They may not be actively looking for educational material on politics, but they may the researching into why their income tax has gone up by 5% this year. In this case, you may have more luck creating Infographics on why income tax has gone up, and then explaining how left/right politics works within this issue.

Selling Your Content

The word “selling” is used here in its widest definition. You are probably not in the business of selling content in terms of taking money for it. However, you are in the business of selling the idea of your content. You are trying to convince people to invest their “time” into your content, so how do you sell your content?

In an ideal world, you will have created a product and associated content that people are crying out for. In this case, your biggest problem is getting enough expose so they may find you. If you need to sell your product and content while convincing people they need it, then you need to rely on your strongest weapon--your brand!

People do not need to know why they “need” your content; they need to know why they should trust you. You need to educate your users on your brand principles and what you stand for.

Off-Domain Marketing

No matter what you do on domains outside of your control, you should always mention (subtly or overtly) your main brand principle. You may mention most/all of your brand principles and selling points on the domains you control, but on other domains you cannot confuse people with different messages. It is tantamount to giving people mixed messages.

how often b2b marketers publish  new content
If you are selling another party’s ideas or product, then you cannot make your off-domain content about your branding, but your brand has to be present. For example, if a blogger calls himself “Angry Bob,” then one expects all of his posts to feature some form of anger because it is part of his brand. If he were to then promote George Foreman grills on another domain, he would have to create an angry post because it is part of his brand. He may mention how other grills anger him because they burn lines into his burgers or how they make his turkey dry.

If Angry Bob were to create a lovely and sweet piece on another domain, people may not believe it is Angry Bob, and they may have trouble believing what is being said on the website.

The Execution And Publishing Phase

As previously mentioned, it is far better to value quality over quantity if you have a target audience and a conversion/education goal. It is far better to post one top-quality piece once per week than it is to post five mediocre pieces per week.

On the other hand, if you are running a professional content-marketing business, you will need to scale up your efforts. This will mean you have to increase the amount of resources you invest.

Remember to Narrow Your Focus

Content marketing is similar to fishing. You may cast your line into the sea with ham as bait and hope to catch one of the billions of fish. Or, you may fish for trout in a pond full of them.

Targeting should be a big part of your planning process, but targeting is an ongoing process. Your publishing platforms may not yield as many converters as you planned. It is imperative that you remain adaptable during the execution phase. If a platform or medium is not producing results, then change your content and consider other platforms/mediums. Just because something works for your competitors doesn’t mean it will work for you.

Mediocrity Is Often The Result Of An Addiction To Page Views

Have you ever wondered why there is so much crap on the Internet? It is not due to webmasters and marketers purposefully creating mediocre content. It is because they are doing what works. Most publishers try something, it works, so they try it again, and ergo the Internet fills up with the same crap.

Publishers that are addicted to page views are often unwilling to publish something edgy, shocking or new! They are so afraid that their traffic numbers will tank that they enter a cycle of creating generic, bland and sterile content. That is why smaller publishers often have some of the most original stuff. If you want to push the envelope and beat your competitors, you are going to have to shed your risk-averse attitude.

For example, a major brand made a movie for kids. It was part of a massive marketing campaign, and it was destined to be generic, bland, and old hat. But, the design company took a massive risk when they had the movie script approved. They broke almost every movie-making convention and Hollywood rule, especially when making kids' films.

As HonestTrailers put it, “Based on a toy franchise with no story or defined characters, comes a feature-length commercial that is full of celebrities, clich├ęs, and repetitive pop music…that’s really sweet and heartfelt…erm…huh.” It was the Lego Movie.

Sometimes, being the best means taking a chance.

Tools You May Like To Use

The Buzzsumo tool will help you find the most shared content on the Internet and the key influencers. Find the most shared content so you may jump on trends, and find key influencers so you may pay them (or convince them) to promote your content and share your content.

You may need to check the search engine friendliness of your content, and you may like to find a few catchy ideas for your content. If that is the case, then Ahrefs may be the tool for you. It may also help you figure out what your competitors are doing.

If you frequently hire young and inexperienced writers, you may become tired of having to amend their work. You could always make them use the Hemingway tool before handing it over to you. It is really for people who do not have English as their first language.

Most companies require some form of written content, and for that, you may use Assignment Masters because they have a team of professional writers that are able to produce written content on almost any subject. They are good for deeper research projects too because many of their writers are academic writers.

CopyScape is not as popular as it used to be because fewer people duplicate content by stealing from other websites. However, if you are hiring other people to do your writing, you may find out if they have copied it off the Internet with Copyscape. It may also help you identify your own content duplication through technical problems, such as how people used to host the printer-friendly versions of their content on different web pages.

If you would like to photoshop or edit your photos without paying a lot of money, then the Gimp tool is probably for you. It is not as advanced as many of the very-expensive photoshopping tools, but it is quite sufficient for most intermediate users.

Author Bio 

Mary Kleim is a creative writer. She is developing working content strategies. Now she develops and promote her own project dedicated to writing services. In the future she wants to launch her own blog.

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