Marketing is a funny animal, especially when it is in the form of content marketing. It is certainly not the most difficult concept in the world by any stretch of the imagination and yet it is not such an exact science that business gurus are mastering it the way they would master something like the art of selling or ad copy. There is a significant amount of trial and error when it comes to content marketing and often times it can be the errors that help us the most.
Content marketing is something that works a little bit differently for everyone. But the end game for any content marketer, however, is to maximize your marketing efforts in order to increase brand awareness, website visits, and ultimately click-throughs and sales and there are steps you can take to do that.
Develop a Strategy
In order to realistically expect any success from your content marketing efforts you need to specify what it is you will be doing and how you’re going to do it. Too many marketers take a random or “shotgun” approach in which they put out a bunch of blog posts, tweets, and email blasts thinking they’ve done their job in generating brand awareness. But while this may generate some results, it will not maximize you efforts. There are specific things you need to understand about your target audience or demographic such as what they care about, what compels them to make a purchase, and what the “buyer journey” looks like for them. When you are able to gather as much information about your audience as possible you can better tailor your content to them and establish a regimented schedule for doling it out to them.
Use Concrete Information Rather Than Speculation To Make Decisions
Content marketers tend to be more right-brained than left-brained which is to say they are more creative than analytical. This tendency can often lead them to make speculative decisions about the whats, hows, and whens of their content marketing efforts. They go with their gut more often than using metrics in order to strategize their marketing plan which can end up working against them in the long run (and in the short run if they’re really not careful). Analyzing what has worked well in the past versus what hasn’t and building future campaigns and strategies based on that information may require a little more effort than guessing but it is always worth it as it is a surefire way to see the results you want.
Learn by Doing
There is something to be said for having a thoroughly thought-out plan and creating a solid content marketing strategy but without actual execution, none of that other stuff really amounts to much beyond wasted time and effort. There is something called “analysis paralysis” which is essentially getting so caught up in the data that you drown yourself in it trying to come up with the perfect content marketing strategy. Strategy is important as we noted earlier but so is temperance. It is important to strike a balance so that you are not over-planning and under-executing.