Great stories have the power to move mountains. That is, figuratively speaking, of course. Everybody loves an authentic story. We strike connections with people who wear their honesty and integrity on their sleeves.
Consumers are no different. They want to know who you are and what you believe in. Are you the brand with the zero minimum waste policy? Are you a business that celebrates diversity and equality among fellow peers and consumers? Move past your product offerings and weave in a story about who you are and what makes you unique.
Whether you run a one-woman show, a budding startup, or a bigger company, a cohesive and clear content strategy enables you to own your narrative and effectively communicate with customers.
Ready to dive in? We’ll show you exactly how to create and share stories with a powerful content strategy.
#1 Identify your objectives
You’d be surprised at how many marketers think ‘increased sales’ is a legitimate goal. The truth is, a single piece of content rarely generates direct revenue. When prospects are contemplating a new product or service, their decision-making happens in stages.
Your job is to guide them every step of the way until they’re ready to buy. Your objectives should consider everything — from the customer’s search journey to the post-purchase.
So, what realistic business objectives can you set?
Some of your objectives could be to:
- Obtain and nurture email subscribers
- Build authority
- Generate hot leads
- Improve customer retention
- Enhance brand awareness
Keep in mind that some objectives are obvious. Who doesn’t want to increase brand awareness? The point is, whatever objective you pick, your content marketing efforts should be focused on accomplishing your goal.
#2 Know your people
Creating shareable content is tricky. Sadly, most content never gets shared, so how to succeed where others have failed?
The bottom line is, people share content that moves them, and your job is to understand what that exactly is.
In essence, your storytelling strategy hinges on knowing your niche audience.
Are your people skincare enthusiasts, families, or wealthy entrepreneurs? Look at your customers’ interests, behaviors, motivations, lifestyle choices, needs, and habits. Next, map out customer profiles to better understand what type of content would serve them.
Some tips for nailing down your target audience:
- Use an AI tool like Buzzsumo. The platform shows what content gets shared most on social media, helping brands understand their niche audience’s interests.
- Conduct a short survey to understand the type of content your existing customers like and want to see more of.
- Use Instagram polls to inform content decisions. For example, many content creators use polls in their stories to ask followers what content they should share.
- Use hashtags to pinpoint who your ideal customers are. Next, browse their Instagram accounts to see what brands they’re engaging with and what dialogue they’re having on the platform.
#3 Document your strategy
According to the Content Marketing Institute, 53% of the most successful B2B content marketers have a documented strategy. You don’t have to write a hundred pages here; a simple document that lays out your content plan suffices. The document essentially serves as a blueprint, helping you to stay laser-focused on your objectives.
#4 Track metrics
Producing content is the easy part. But monitoring how well your content is performing is a different story. Simply put, metrics help determine whether your content marketing strategy is working or not.
Some metrics to pay attention to include:
- Pageviews, downloads, sales, and website visits
- How frequently your content is being shared on social media
- How often visitors fill out your lead forms, sign up to your email list, or request a quote
- How often leads become customers
#5 Collaborate with others
One of the hottest content marketing trends right now is collaboration. Indeed, more and more businesses are joining forces with other brands and influencers to promote content. By collaborating with other brands, you can acquire worthy backlinks, build your authority, and reach a wider audience.
While co-branding opportunities are ripe, it pays to be picky. Rather than teaming up with anyone, ensure you’re collaborating with the right people who share a similar target audience (but aren’t necessarily your competitors).
Some ideas for collaborating:
- Guest blogging
- Interviews and Q&As
- Events and webinars
- Social media campaigns
#6 Run content catch ups with the team
The most successful content marketers meet at least weekly. If you’re meeting your team less often, the chances are that certain tasks are slipping through the cracks.
Keep all your communication channels open with weekly catchup calls with the team, where you can provide updates or flag upcoming content that needs to be produced. Meetings are also a perfect opportunity to brainstorm ideas together and come up with new tasks.
Content marketing is constantly changing. To keep up, be open to testing and adapting your strategy. Reevaluate your objectives every few months, and tweak your approach if needed. While maintaining an effective content strategy is a difficult feat, it can be incredibly rewarding to see your content paying off. With these six tips, your strategy will flourish in no time.
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