With content marketing, companies can directly address their target group’s interests, sharpen their profile, and thus measurably increase conversions.
A content marketing strategy is a communication concept that offers the target group high added value and binds the recipient to a company and the brand through the content. Popular content marketing strategies are guides, tutorials, or dictionaries. These are then published on the company’s website or the company’s blog and distributed online using seeding to generate links. The goals are brand building, lead generation, SEO, and the indirect influence on the purchasing decision and willingness of the target group to buy.
A survey in North America among B2B marketers showed that only 38 percent of providers rated their content marketing as good or very good. But already, 86 percent of American marketers use content marketing strategies.
For this survey, over 1,800 companies were asked about extensive content marketing topics – including questions about benchmarks, budgets, tactics, and sales channels. The survey results: Although many B2B marketers are already using a content marketing strategy, this is wrongly not documented. A lack of documentation is also linked to inadequate success at the same time. In most cases, the content marketing strategy was only conveyed orally. But the content marketing strategy of the 35 percent written documentary B2B companies was much more effective. So what does optimal content marketing look like?
In content marketing, traffic is no longer the goal, just a means to an end. Content marketing can be described as successful when specific content becomes a bestseller through seeding. The most important thing in content marketing: Success can be controlled very well, as the study mentioned above shows. Those who take a few important content marketing rules to the heart are much more successful than entrepreneurs without a concept and written documentation.
Content Marketing: Quality Instead Of Quantity
The topmost content marketing rule is: The quality of the content is extremely important! The content must meet the following content elements and attributes:
Readers are only happy with such content – and ultimately Google too. Because the declared goal of the continuously changing Google search algorithms is: Only the most current, relevant, and content-rich links should appear at the top of the page ranking list. This also means: The content must be close to the information needs of the user.
The Informational Intent Phase In The Sales Funnel
The sales funnel can also be viewed as a search funnel. For the content marketing strategy, companies have to ask themselves what content the user, and ultimately the target customer, is looking for depending on the phase and stage of their customer journey – and how this intent can be picked up in the sales funnel. Informal searches generate around 80% of all traffic on the Internet. In this phase, the user is curious; he becomes aware of a topic and wants to learn more. This phase offers massive potential for all companies that want to position themselves in terms of content and strive for topical leadership in their segment. The goal should always be substantive authority and credibility; this creates the user and customer loyalty. The brand is strengthened, and the willingness of target customers to buy the brand’s products increases.
Companies must ensure that content is provided that serves the information needs of the target customer – according to the channel and the interests of the user depending on the phase in the sales funnel. To use resources in a targeted manner, the communication goals and the company goals are first defined. In the second step, the channels are determined that serve the goals and on which the content is directed. The distribution channel, in turn, specifies the format. Images and videos work better than articles on Facebook, while articles, whitepapers, and e-books are a proven format on LinkedIn.
Variety As A Strategy
One of the worst no-gods is interchangeable content, which you can tell at first glance that there is advertising intent behind it. Good content provides background information, informs, entertains, and sells along the way. Of course, the blog or website of a B2B marketer should sell something – and that should never be hidden. But customers who are well informed and entertained on a company’s online presence are also more willing to deal with the relevant product, which may lead to a purchase decision.
Possible content for a company are:
- Technical articles and advice texts
- clear tutorials
- original infographics
- Picture stories
- Blog posts
- Word and picture combinations
- Brand videos and image films
They all have one thing in common: they get to the heart of the matter. A proven example from practice is the online magazine operated by companies and linked to the company homepage. Companies can develop into a media house through their medium and publish diverse and extensive content. The brand develops into a relevant voice in the target group’s perception, to which the user returns when necessary and questions.
Become A Solution Provider For The Customer
How-to instructions, advice, and guides are some of the most successful content on the web. Whether in text or video format or as an infographic – that depends entirely on the company’s taste. It is always important that the customer comes first and can do something with the content and benefit.
Today a presence in the social networks is indispensable – but only channels relevant for your target group should be selected here. Companies that prefer to address a heterogeneous customer group should spread the range of social media channels as broadly as possible and gather experience based on comments and contact numbers. For the implementation of a well-thought-out content marketing strategy, it helps to target your measures in process and strategy development.
Analyze The Target Group: From The Persona To The Strategy
So that a company can control the measures as effectively as possible, the persona of the target customer must first be determined. Anyone who knows the target audience knows which needs have to be met and which touchpoints and formats work best. The target group persona records demographic and emotional levels and the relationship of the target customer to the company, the brand, and the product. From the understanding of the user, the need for information can be identified, which has a significant impact on strategy development and the editorial process. This enables relevant subject areas to be identified and keyword clusters to be determined to align all content methods with SEO from the start. The content becomes a marketing tool that unites the brand and the company’s goals with the user’s needs and, depending on the campaign, with the interests of external online media. Only then can the resources be used economically, the process optimized, and ideas turned into economic campaigns.
What Is Changing: One Size Fits All Is No Longer Possible.
The user is not only a recipient but also an actor in communication. The media have become democratic through social media; content and a medium are only as good as the response. Companies must be careful to create content that catches the user and generates interaction. Disc advertising messages no longer work. They tend to be ignored. Journalistically edited content, on the other hand, appears trustworthy and is preferred depending on the topic. Besides, content must function multi-dimensionally to enable a maximum outcome. For this purpose, topics must be thought of in different formats to optimally address the target group in the respective format and generate conversions.
Generate SEO Effects And User Signals With Content
Content with real added value for the target group will win the battle for the user’s attention and the ranking places. Webspam has no chance since the Google updates like Penguin. Instead, you need high-quality content. On the one hand, this produces positive user signals; on the other hand, high-quality content serves on-page SEO and is classified by the search engine as more relevant to the results.
All measures and formats that enrich the content of the homepage are suitable for on-page SEO. An online magazine with many high-quality articles, videos, pictures, and the page’s structure positively affects the ranking. User signals are also SEO-relevant, i.e., to what extent and how extensively the website visitor deals with the page. In a case study with Searchmetrics, we examined how positive user signals affect a page’s ranking. Interaction in the form of clicks, time on site, or subscriptions (for example, for a newsletter or an e-book download) indicates the relevance of a page from Google’s perspective. An important lever is the user experience, which is essentially defined by usability; it must appear easy and attractive for the user to interact with the website. However, one of the most important principles in content marketing is: The content must have added value in terms of content, which takes up the informational needs of the target group and does not appear in advertising. Only then does the target group develop a willingness to engage with the content.
For off-page SEO, backlinks are the be-all and end-all of any content marketing strategy. For this purpose, seeding, i.e., the strategic distribution of content ( link baits) in the network. By providing high-quality, purely editorial content, publications are created on relevant media. The aim is to obtain links, i.e., to link the company homepage in the publication. Suitable content for this method is the e-book. The company creates an e-book that offers a high level of added value for the target group. The e-book is then distributed proactively in a campaign; relevant media will be contacted to present the e-book there is a publication. On the one hand, this increases the visibility of the content; on the other hand, the additional link in the publication to the company’s website, i.e., the page from which the e-book can be downloaded, ensures more traffic and, above all, a better link profile. Google weights the incoming links like recommendations from external sites and ensures better search results.
Define Editorial Principles For Implementation
Larger companies, in particular, often have several employees or service providers who formulate texts and design content. That’s a good thing because every copywriter has his handwriting, and variety is guaranteed. Nevertheless, the following applies here: Despite all the differences – the texts must all be of the same high level!
For this purpose, certain rules of the content marketing strategy must be clearly defined: direct address yes-no, text style, and text structure. All of this must be put in writing and serve as a guide for the content suppliers.
The editorial process must be thought from the end: What content does the target customer need to take the desired next step after dealing with the content? All resources can be used sustainably; the ratio of input to an outcome, the ROI of all methods and measures, is often significantly influenced by hidden adjusting screws. The complex structure of topics, format, channel, target group, and usability must be consistent. Therefore, the editors, project managers, and decision-makers need fixed guidelines that standardize the process and make success measurable.
Success Measurement: Content Marketing Strategy KPIs And Sales Goals
A content marketing strategy is only as good as the possibility of measuring success and scalability. At the beginning of each campaign, the KPIs should be defined to be aware of the decisive levers and to optimize the campaign in a targeted and continuous manner.
A content marketing strategy should aim to increase interaction and improve reception. All metrics provide information on whether the content appeals to the user or is irrelevant.
A content marketing strategy should generate maximum effects for the traffic; The volume and the quality of the traffic affect the ranking and the economic outcome of the site. Likewise, the content should be aimed directly at SEO to increase visibility.
The overriding key figure for the content marketing strategy is the ROI. Lead generation, converted leads, and upselling also serve as sales-relevant factors. In this phase of goal setting, the primary focus is on sales goals.
Another important effect in content marketing, which cannot be measured, is the radiance of the brand. The content measures should conform to the brand identity and support brand development. With certain content, a brand can claim leadership in an area. The content authority creates customer loyalty, as the target group perceives the brand as an expert, advisor, or entertainer. The brand thus becomes a medium to which the user specifically turns depending on their needs.
Conclusion: Relevance Of The Content Marketing Strategy
Content is a central marketing tool to get the target group’s information needs. The strategy development revolves around how content can, directly and indirectly, influence the willingness to buy and ultimately the purchasing decision of the target group. Content-related added value must be placed at all relevant touchpoints in the customer journey, on the one hand, to enable brand awareness, and on the other hand to bind the user close to their needs on a factual and emotional level. Besides, the SEO component is used to make the homepage of a company visible in touchpoint number one (Google) through better search engine ranking. Content marketing has long since ceased to be a trending topic but is standard. The user expects content-driven communication. Those who refuse to do so will quickly lose touch with the competition.