6 Steps To Create An ROI-Driven Content Marketing Strategy

Here are six easy steps to create an easy to use, effective strategy content marketing strategy.

When you ask companies if they employ a content marketing strategy many will say they’re running a content marketing campaign. However, a campaign is not a strategy.

And while most create and publish content, it’s quite common to see that there are no clear objectives behind their actions. A strategy is important because it establishes clear goals, to then develop and coordinate specific activities designed to hit objectives and monitor and measure results.

Here are six easy steps to create an easy to use, effective strategy content marketing strategy.

 

1. Figure out your objective

Before you start anything, ask yourself what you specifically want to accomplish by creating content? Break objectives down to the essentials during a specific time frame (i.e. per month):

 

  • How many new leads?

  • How many email subscribers?

  • How much new website traffic?

  • How many Facebook likes?

  • How much new business?

 

Now if you’re asking which objective is the most important, the answer is generating new leads. For example:

 

  • Facebook likes and web traffic can convert into email subscriptions.

  • Email subscriptions translate into lead nurturing and relationship building opportunities … with a desired outcome of highly qualified leads.

  • Leads then turn into conversions (i.e. orders and sales).

 

2. Select activities that will meet your objectives

Your top objectives need to focus on generating more cash flow – and if you don’t really know what objectives will directly lead to hard sales numbers, you’ll have to figure that out before you move forward. For instance, your bottom line could be more impacted by creating repeat business or increasing webinar listens or podcasts downloads.

 

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First, decide on a direct value for conversions. For instance, a lead obtained through content marketing could be valued at $50. New subscribers could be worth $15 per opt-in. Whatever values you determine, knowing the costs of your content creation compared to the revenue it generates, gives you the foundation to track content marketing ROI.

 

3. Know your potential customers

Now that you’ve got your objectives down and know what type of content you’ll provide, focus on who you’re creating content for? Think about these things:

 

  • Your ideal audience. Who are the people who will want your product or service and become customers or clients?

  • What sort of information will they be looking for? What types of questions would they have?

  • Where are their online hangouts? Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.?

  • Which influencers can connect you with them?

  • What tone would your target audience most likely respond to? (i.e. professional and serious, or fun and comedic, etc.?

  • Where else besides your website could you promote and distribute your content?

 

Locking down your target audience is so crucial that marketers often break it down into personas, smaller groups with specific beliefs, needs, and demographics .

Develop content that speaks to each persona, guiding each one through their own buyer’s journey; a phased transition from awareness to consideration and then decision. Here’s a breakdown of one possible buyer’s journey if you own a real estate agency:

 

Persona: Single female, college educated, 25-34, HHI 50k+, urban dweller etc.

  • Phase 1 – Awareness: Create and distribute an article about the area’s best nightlife.

  • Phase 2 – Consideration: Create content showcasing a few homes in the area that would fit a single woman’s lifestyle along with value-based tips and insights about home buying.

  • Phase 3 – Decision: Create content that offers testimonials from other clients who found what they were looking for thanks to your help.

 

One final note about personas: It’s important to know how and where they get their content? Do they read specific magazines, listen to podcasts, watch online videos, enjoy email communication, etc.?

 

4. Content creation — What’s your message?

You know who your audience is, what you want them to do and how they get their content, now it’s time to create high-quality content, something a writing workshop can make a lot easier if you plan to take a DIY approach.

 

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Your content can be presented, reshaped and reused in a number of ways. For example, one blog posts can be:

  • rewritten and inserted into an eBook

  • reshaped for an email

  • sectioned off in 10-20 social posts and tweets

  • the basis for an infographic

  • reported on a relevant platform such as LinkedIn or Medium

 

5. Content distribution — getting content to your audience

Without proper promotion and distribution of your content there’s a good chance no one will find your work; especially if you’re new to an industry. A good rule of thumb is to take a significant amount of time promoting each piece of content by:

 

  • Sharing it on your social media platforms and email list

  • Connecting with your industry’s influencers

  • Optimizing it for SEO to draw Google traffic

  • Guest posting to targeted websites, blogs and platforms

 

The examples above are all effective (and free) ways to get your work out there, but paid advertising and promotion can give you a distinct edge. Paid promotion saves you a lot of time and energy, and can get your content in front of specific groups.

 

6. Evaluate your content marketing activities

You’ve built your content marketing machine and it’s time to see how it’s doing. Studying your metrics and analytics on a 30-day rolling basis will tell you what’s working and what isn’t. Take the numbers and revisit the earlier steps. Ask yourself, did your:

 

  • results match your objectives?

  • activities create conversions effectively?

  • content resonate with your target audience?

  • audience respond to the content you provided?

 

Final thoughts

A solid content marketing strategy doesn’t have to be a complex chore to create. There’s a ton of books and info out there treating marketing planning like rocket science when it isn’t. Just relax and follow the steps laid out above, you’ll do great.

 

This article has been edited.

Eliza Medley is a talented writer and professional Marketing Planner. She knows how to build a smart marketing strategy without making any mistake. Do you have questions? Connect with @Eliza_Medley on Twitter.

 

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