Over 200 million people now use ad blockers, which means the days of relying on paid ads to spread your brand’s message are over. So what does this mean for you and how can we get results without using paid ads? The answer is high-quality content and an effective content marketing strategy has never been more important to brands and businesses in all industries. We have provided 7 easy to follow steps to help you implement an effective strategy that will result in increased engagement, brand loyalty and conversions.

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1. Goals

Setting a number of goals is one of the first things you need to think about before proceeding with a strategy as it will help you maintain a focus when carrying it out. Ideally you need to set short term and long term goals that are measurable so you can track progress and keep a record of what’s working and what’s not. It’s important to define what you want to achieve in terms of results. An example might be increasing brand awareness, higher amount of conversions or up-selling to your current audience.

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2. Target Audience

Before you start producing content, you need to know who you are delivering it to. You might already have an audience and your strategy might be to target a different audience to expand your reach. Therefore you need to produce content that will be suitable and relevant to your chosen target audience that coincides with the goals you set in the beginning.

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3. Research

Research should be considered before implementing any strategy. It’s important to gather a wealth of information before proceeding as this will allow you to have a good understanding of the current market, which will lead to better decision making moving forward. Part of your research should be based on your target audience and your direct competitors. A thorough competitor analysis will allow you to see what works and what does not. This means you can start gathering some ideas in terms of content and tailor them to your own strategy.

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4. Content Strategy

Once you have finalised your goals, selected your target audience and conducted your market research, you are now ready to start putting some content together. Content comes in many forms, including written content, images, videos and podcasts. It’s important to create content that’s of the highest quality, this includes;

  • Unique and original content
  • Well-written text and good use of grammar
  • High-resolution and interesting images
  • Well edited and informative videos and podcasts

The higher the quality the more chance people will engage with your content. It’s important to produce your content so that it’s tailored to your target audience so that they can understand it.

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5. Marketing Strategy

Content distribution is part of your content strategy so you will need to know where to post your content. Social media is the first place you should consider due to the sheer number of people using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. Each social media platform has it’s own unique benefits and certain types of content are only relevant to particular channels. If you have a high-quality image for example, you might want to consider posting this on Instagram or Pinterest as those platforms cater more for images. Keep your target audience in mind and use the platforms they are more likely to be on.

Check out these 5 steps to creating a killer marketing strategy here.

6. Execute

This is the moment you and your whole team have been waiting for. Are you ready to press the big red button? Execution is about translating your strategy into an actionable plan that you and your team can realistically commit to. Results aren’t going to come flying in without some blood, sweat and tears. This is about acting on your plan with the intention of driving results.

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7. Evaluate

Data, data and more data. This is where a lot of strategies fall apart at the final hurdle. Why would you conjure and plan, execute it and fail to analyse the results? It’s the most important part in the process because the evaluation will indicated the successes and failures of a particular strategy. If something has worked well, then it would be wise to re-package and re-distribute the content in a different format because you know it works. Repeating strategies that don’t work is common and needs to be avoided as it will waste time and resources that you so desperately need.

Summary

We hope you’ve enjoyed these 7 Steps to an Effective Content Marketing Strategy. It’s worth bearing in mind that not all strategies are guaranteed to work first time. Sometimes a complete change in direction or some minor tweaks can make a huge difference and the only true way of knowing which strategy works best for you is by trial and error. These steps are a good place to start and soon enough you will be a strategic master!

Having an excellent online presence involves having a great website that’s optimised for mobile and it can make all the difference when distributing your content. If you are looking for any assistance in web design, web development as well as mobile and tablet optimisation, then please feel free to contact us.

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