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Whether you are starting your 1st or 50th content marketing campaign, you should know that if your foundations aren’t in place, there is a good likelihood you are hindering your campaigns, and not getting the most effective use out of your marketing strategy, plans or implementation.
The good news is, you can fix that now by learning and implementing these 4 content marketing foundations that are key to effective content marketing.
1. Content Marketing Goals
Business goals and content marketing campaign objectives are more than essential. If you start off a campaign and wait to see what results you get before setting specific content marketing goals, you will be faced with the inability to measure your success. When it comes to analyzing your results, not knowing how to gauge success will ultimately force you to start all over again.
Even if you are not sure what the ideal cost per lead, cost per acquisition (CPA) or ROI is for your business, putting some sort of reasonable goal in place in the beginning will go a long way to helping you to see how you should adjust your strategies or tactics to achieve profitability.
Typical business goals for content marketing can include:
- Increase traffic by x% per month
- Increase engagement rate by x% per month
- Obtain x% more leads per month
- Decrease CPA (cost per acquisition) by x%
KPIs or key performance indicators are the actual metrics you use to measure your content marketing success.
Some examples of main KPI goals you can set are:
- Engagement rate
- Click-through rate
- Conversion rate
- Cost-per lead
- Cost per acquisition
2. Audience Targeting
Once you know your business goals, marketing objectives and KPIs, WHO you are going to target is the next step. This is your target audience that you will be speaking to when you are creating your content.
While it may seem obvious, intentionally creating content that speaks to your target audience (personas) will help ensure your content resonates with those you want to attract and engage with.
Creating personas will go a long way in guiding you in creating the content for the individuals most likely to want or need your product or service. The process of developing personas is also a great way to answer some of your own questions about your target audience.
While there are many ways to create personas, some of the key elements you’ll want to include when building your personas are:
- Position(s) and level in company
- Demographics and psychographics
- Common pain points and problems you provide a solution for
- Influence and decision-making abilities
- Key drivers and points of view
3. Customer Journey
After you have established a few key personas, your customer’s “purchasing journey” is another essential foundation to map out. The customer purchasing journey will determine the content you use to target your personas at various steps in their decision-making process. The topics and angles of content creation should speak to the specific point in your customer journey. In addition, knowing where your audience is in their customer journey helps you determine the types of media and content you should create and promote.
Most steps in the customer journey typically fall under 3 main categories:
4. Marketing Funnel
Now that you have created content to promote to your personas and targeted your content to each stage of the customer journey, your goals are to successfully bring your prospects into your marketing funnel. Your marketing funnel for content marketing consists of one of the three stages a buyer can be in.
The high-level sales and marketing funnel stages include:
- Top of Funnel (TOFU) – TOFU is the AUDIENCE you are trying to ATTRACT
- Middle of Funnel (MOFU) – MOFU are VISITORS you are trying to CONVERT to leads
- Bottom of Funnel (BOFU) – BOFU are LEADS you are trying to CONVERT to customers
Connecting with your target audience (personas), creating content that speaks to the prospect based on the customer journey step they are in, and then bringing them into your marketing funnel is an effective content marketing process that supports your main objectives and supports a successful digital marketing plan.
In summary, our advice is to start with a simple plan to identify your sales goals and target market. Then consider what is important to your prospects at each stage of their buying journey. Finally, write and promote content that is helpful and supports their goals. When you effectively align your goals and support your prospects’ goals, you will see success.
Contact us today for a free content marketing strategy consultation and learn how we can help with all of your marketing needs.
Please note: DBC Digital is a full-service digital marketing company that provides everything you need to run successful content marketing and digital marketing campaigns. We’re located in the Denver metro area, just south of the Denver Tech Center, near I-25 and Dry Creek Road. We provide marketing services for businesses and organizations throughout the United States.