Content marketing is now one of the most important digital marketing strategies. And the reason for this? More and more customers are now choosing to do their own research online than ever before.
According to a study by Hubspot, 47% of customers view on average of 3 to 5 pieces of content relating to a product or service before engaging with a sales representative. And when they do decide to engage with a sales representative, there are more or less near the end of the buyer’s journey.
But despite the strong connection between having a content marketing strategy and the sweet taste of commercial success, merely 37% of B2B brands and 38% of B2C brands have a documented content marketing strategy in place.
And this is partially due to the time needed to create good content and not knowing where to start.
In this article, we explore how one brand strategically used content to win back customers, and how to create a winning content marketing strategy.
Dive Rite: How They Used Content Marketing to Win Back Customers
Customers are now bombarded with information, which makes it all the more challenging for brands to stand out from the noise and win customers with content.
Dive Rite, the Floridian pioneer in scuba diving equipment established in 1984, found this to be the case in 2000 when competitors began to build and sell non-genuine Dive Rite products. Dive Rite’s market share began to slip, and by 2005 Dive Rite’s once-maverick brand was seen as “just another technical dive gear brand”.
As a result, the brand developed an overarching content marketing strategy to put its name back on the map and reignite their loyal customer base whilst generating engagement and attract new followers.
Dive Rite’s content marketing strategy involved:
- Establishing content and business goals in conjunction with measurable, short-term objectives.
- Rebuilding the website with a user-friendly back-end so that non-technical staff members could update the site.
- Ensuring the website was well-optimised for SEO purposes.
- Researching their target audience and encouraging customer engagement by offering them a platform and a voice to influence the direction of the brand and its products.
- Producing content that celebrates the brand’s rich history and told a story that connected both the products and people.
- Expanding into social media networks where the brand’s target audience resided.
- Laying the groundwork for additional user-generated content.
One of Dive Rite’s primary goals was to achieve a high organic search ranking for key terms and phrases. By planning the right content, Dive Rite increased organic website traffic by 65% without additional spending on advertising.
How to Create a Winning Content Marketing Strategy
To get started in leveling up your content marketing efforts to meet the demand, the steps below will show you how to create a winning content marketing strategy that will not only boost your brand presence but also win you customers.
1. Clearly Outline Your Content Mission, Objectives and Key Performance Indicators
First things first, you need to clearly outline who your target audience is, what content you will use to reach them, and the value they will receive from it. This will make it easier for you to focus on what’s important and ensure your content marketing strategy delivers on your objectives and generates the desired ROI.
You also need to think about how you want your brand to benefit from your content marketing strategy. For this, you need to document your business goals and think about how your content will help your brand achieve them. Some typical goals include:
- Increase revenue as a result of your content marketing strategy.
- Increase sales and high-quality leads to help you meet your revenue goals.
- Increase online visibility and generating more traffic to your website.
Once you’ve established your big-picture content marketing goals, it’s time to break them down into specific and measurable key performance indicators. This will help you track your short-term ‘content wins’ as your overall content marketing strategy develops. Some common KPIs include:
- Hit a certain revenue target within a specific time frame.
- Generate a certain number of new email subscribers.
- Improve the search ranking of some of your key pages to help boost traffic.
It’s also very important that you monitor your content marketing costs in comparison to results, as this will help you identify the best value for your money and what isn’t generating ROI.
2. Know Your Audience
According to DemandMetric, 82% of customers tend to have a more positive outlook on a company after reading content that resonated with them on a personal level. This further proves that in order to remain relevant to your audience and customers, you need to understand who you’re talking to.
Defining your target audience can take on a number of forms:
- Audience: High-level collections of similarly motivated individuals with some common interest or agenda.
- Segment: Cross-sections of an audience or list in which individuals (or companies) share one or more common traits or can be grouped by a common trait.
- Persona: A data-informed, detailed yet fictitious characterisation of the goals and behaviour of a hypothesised group of users.
Whichever audience definition you use to guide your content marketing efforts, make sure you’re focusing on your target audience only, and not just their demographics. The more you know your audience, the more effective and successful your content marketing strategy will be.
3. Evaluate Your Current Position and Areas for Improvement
To assess their current position, Dive Rite undertook a website content audit to understand which pieces of content to keep, update, or remove.
A content audit involves logging all pieces of content (such as blog posts, guest articles, and testimonials etc), assessing their potential for success and identifying the gaps. You could also review the content on your competitors’ websites and determine how some of their content might resonate with your market.
Thanks to technology, there is a wealth of tools available to help you assess your current content position, such as Moz, SEMRush and Screaming Frog.
4. Determine the Best Content Channels for Your Brand
As you work through evaluating your current content position, you’ll begin to get an idea of where your audience is and where you already have a successful online presence. But to be absolutely sure, you should refer to an analytics platform such as Google Analytics to see which social networks are giving you the most results.
You could also look at guest-publishing your content on websites related to your industry which boast greater follower numbers and higher levels of web traffic. This will help build additional links to your website and increase your authority online.
5. Build Your Content Library and Keep It Simple
In many cases, both brands and influencers make the mistake of producing too much content. While this is not necessarily a bad thing, you have to remember that it is all about quality, not quantity. And also, to keep things simple.
When it comes to content marketing, keeping things simple by working with your inventory of existing content is the best approach. You should rely on having a central core of content published on your own website (or home base) which can then be repurposed (into videos, infographics or podcasts etc) and shared on other websites and social networks(outposts).
6. Create a Content Calendar
As part of your content strategy, you’ll need to know exactly when and where you want to publish your content. It’s essential that you use a content calendar to get all your content scheduled and distributed.
For example, you can use Google Calendar and simply put the due dates for each piece of content there. That works pretty well, especially if you’re not publishing a lot of content.
However, if you’re publishing a lot of content across many different channels, then you’ll likely want to look into additional content planning tools and features such as Trello or the Hubspot Editorial Calendar.
Ideally, you should aim to publish between 2 to 3 pieces of content a day.
7. Market Your Content
The next key part of your content strategy is distribution and marketing. This is essential in getting your content seen by your target audience.
To get your content noticed, you would need to promote your content on different channels. Check out Facebook groups that would be interested in your content and get in contact with notable influencers in your niche that would be interested in sharing your content. The latter may involve a fee, but you can negotiate.
Alternatively, you can use PPC campaigns or sponsored social media posts to enable you to expand the reach of your posts to defined custom audience.
8. Measure the Results
Remember, all your hard work of establishing a content marketing strategy will mean nothing if you do not continuously measure your results where you determine both your strong areas and where there may be room for improvement. To do this, you can:
- Check Google Analytics to see how your content is performing
- Measure social sharing activity via social analytics tools such as Buzzumo, or the built-in analytics features across social media networks such as Facebook.
- Track online mentions of your brand through tools like Google Alerts
- Create content tracking links using tools such as Bitly, enabling you to measure referrals generated by a specific piece of content on various channels
By monitoring your progress, you’ll be able to tweak your content marketing strategy at regular intervals, so it’s always up to date.
The Best Content Marketing Strategies Never Stand Still
Your content marketing journey doesn’t end but begins with the launch of your strategy.
Customers are easily distracted and as a result, you need to continuously review and adapt your content and strategy to ensure your brand retains its competitive edge.
The IIEPD provide a diverse range of CPD accredited digital marketing courses. Unlike other digital marketing training programs, IIEPD provides learners with a host of different digital marketing training resources including access to the IIEPD Influencer Affiliate Program, the IIEPD Influencer Network and subsidised digital marketing services from Pie Analysis.
For more information, get in contact with IIEPD today.