There is no question that content should be at the forefront of everything your business does. After all, you have certainly heard the cliche phrase, “Content is king.”
But as eye-rolling of a phrase that is, it’s also extremely correct.
Building a digital content strategy at your company is imperative for multiple aspects of the business.
Yet, many organizations might struggle with creating impactful content or perhaps their executive team is not seeing the value because sometimes results are not immediate.
However, ignoring a digital content strategy and not building a proper one, leaves your organization vulnerable and missing huge business opportunities.
Below, I’ll dive into more about the value of digital content, building your strategy, and how to take content promotion to the next level.
The Importance of A Digital Content Strategy
Content strategy refers to the creation and management of any form of media your company develops. It could be written content, images, videos, etc. These digital content pieces are a large value addition to your marketing and sales plans.
Think of it as a way to really showcase customers, prospects, employees, and general audiences your company’s brand, knowledge, and value.
But, your digital content has influences on multiple areas of the business too.
- Helps drive SEO when you get some blog posts to rank. Thus providing a steady flow of traffic to your site and resources.
- Digital content is used to build brand awareness to your products or services.
- Helps sales boost their social selling and prospecting to close more deals and generate more revenue.
- This content can also help recruiting and employer branding teams attract top talent and new leads to open job positions.
- Helps boost internal communications and knowledge sharing. Giving employees access to more information about their company, product, or services to better perform their jobs.
- Great digital content also informs, educates, and builds trust with target audiences and customers. You build better relationships when you provide consistent value.
- Digital content is also fairly cost-effective to do and doesn’t require a ton of upfront budget.
Content Marketing Statistics
Of course, I’m merely scratching the surface on the importance of having a content strategy, but I think you are getting the big picture. And there are some data points around content marketing too.
Here are a few to keep in mind:
- Marketers who prioritize blogging efforts are 13x more likely to see positive ROI. (HubSpot)
- 90% of B2B content marketers prioritize their audience’s needs over their sales message when creating content. (Content Marketing Institute)
- 69% of the “most successful” content marketers have a documented strategy in place. (Content Marketing Institute)
- 61% of respondents are now publishing content multiple times per week. Furthermore, 89% of those marketers cited higher quality leads through content marketing, versus other tactics. (ContentWriters)
- 92% of B2B marketing leaders claim that content plays a critical role in the decision-making process. However, 1 in 2 of these individuals believe that the content they receive is irrelevant to their pain points, challenges and responsibilities. (Heinz Marketing and PathFactory)
- Content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing tactics, yet it generates about 3x as many leads. And conversion rates are 6x higher for those who use content marketing than those who don’t.
How to Create Your Company’s Digital Content Strategy
Most likely if you are reading this article, the above importance of digital content is already top of mind. However, the info may be the proof you need to convince management or your executive leadership about the real value of content.
To this day I’m still surprised how organizations in B2B or B2C still dismiss content creation or blogging. The reason in my mind for that mindset is that a good digital content strategy takes TIME.
Some results can start happening immediately, but building your strategy and developing content does not happen overnight (especially if you have a smaller marketing team or budget).
If you want your content strategy to be strategic and organized, then these are the steps you want to consider following.
“Via CMI’s 2019 B2B report, 65% of the most successful content marketers have a documented digital content strategy in place. Another 32% have an undocumented strategy.”
1. Define your content goals:
There might be multiple goals and value to your content creation efforts. But before you even start writing anything or even build a full plan, you must narrow down the objectives.
Blindly writing copy and hoping for results is when digital content results tend to fail or are not working.
Additionally with your goals, figure out what can make your content different from the crowd. There is a TON of content and everyone is fighting for space. While that is true, it doesn’t mean there is no place for you.
But what can you do to make your style, tone, and value different? It might not be an easy answer, but it can help drive the rest of your content narrative.
Remember, you don’t want to just rehash the same information that’s been said. Find ways to add your own original insights.
2. Get to know your target audiences
If you want your digital content to succeed, then you must get to know the audiences you want to attract to your organization. This will help guide what kind of content to create and the value you can bring that will get those audiences engaged with your brand.
Your targets can evolve and grow, so this may be something to re-evaluate on some recurring cadence to ensure you are not missing out.
- Talk to your current customers or run surveys
- Talk to outsiders in your key targets to learn what interests them
- Start to develop simple buyer personas, which helps you create a profile of your ideal customer.
- Figure out challenges, job duties, interests, what they want to learn, etc. This can help create your narrative in various content pieces that will speak to the right people.
3. Audit current content (Find what is missing)
Most likely, your company already has a bunch of content created or some blog posts. Whatever the case may be, it’s time to perform a full audit on it all.
Start analyzing the traffic, conversions, and if the content is matching what you learned about your audiences.
It’s a great time to learn where you might be in your digital content strategy currently.
There may be opportunities to update older content, maybe expand something into other content assets, maybe unpublish it and redirect to something better, update for SEO, etc.
This is also the time to notice what might be missing and what more variations of content you can create for multiple purposes. You have to get to know your current content and what future content needs there may be.
4. Figure out key content areas
Alright, so you have a pretty idea about goals, audience, and your current content. But now, you’ll want to narrow down your content focus more specifically.
The easiest way to do that is start writing down the below questions, and fill in the details.
- Where are we going to publish content?
- How often should we publish and create new content?
- Where are going to share this content and how can we distribute/promote it (more on that further down)
- What kind of tone or voice will our content have? (This can help guide your overall brand and how people recognize your company)
- Are there additional audience niche areas that we can tap into?
- Do we have a budget with content creation and promotion?
- What are the main topic areas, keywords, and direction of content should our org go with? (This will be on going).
This might take some time, but having these insights and answers will really help guide your strategy in the direction. Again, without this information your digital content strategy is stumbling around in the dark hoping to find the light switch.
5. Types of Content to Create
The other area you then want to begin thinking about is the types of digital content you want to create.
While it’s not a bad strategy to dabble in everything, you want to ensure that each type places a specific role in your overall strategy. Yup, this another mini strategy within a bigger strategy.
The main categories include blog posts, ebooks, case studies, infographics, videos, podcasts, and social media. But, it can definitely go much deeper than that too.
Each can present a subcategory of content like customer stories, interviews, contests, live video streams, webinars, meme’s, user generated content, surveys, research data, templates, interactive tools, and more. Don’t forget employee stories — but more on that later!
You don’t need to attempt everything at once, but figure out the best way to deliver value for your specific audiences and goals.
6. Monitor efforts and results
Besides monitoring the efforts and how much content your company is creating, effective content marketing is measuring results and monitoring actions.
For most organizations, the goal is to see some specific goals like more web traffic, increase in leads or lead quality, drive more brand awareness, increase revenue, etc.
Not everything in marketing has to be measurable, but with digital content you are investing time and money into it.
By measuring your goals and monitoring content campaigns, you get a better sense of what is working and what audiences connect with further.
Thus, allowing you to pivot your content needs or any budget to ensure time and money are not wasted on things that are not moving the needle.
Tips to Take Content Promotion to the Next Level
While organizing your digital content strategy and creating it are major steps, you cannot forget about promotional efforts.
All too often, organizations create new content and share on branded socials and maybe via email, then move on to the new piece of content.
At this point, marketing is already sending out the new content to email lists, social media, linking to the content in posts or guest posts, and using paid ads to ramp up reach.
But what more can your company and marketing teams do?
Re-create content in different formats
That new in-depth blog post that your company just published can become multiple content variations. Turn that into a cool video, create individual image assets from it to share online, have a podcast episode, or webinar around it.
With everything you create, your team should be able to divvy that up into multiple assets to use at various times and on different platforms.
You’ll want to customize the design, value prop, and copy utilized in each of your promotions. Not only does this ensure you avoid the risk of coming across as redundant across all channels, it also ensures your messaging is appropriate for each platform.
Tease bigger content projects ahead of time for interest
What do most marketing teams do with promoting content? They wait until the piece is published! While that’s a no brainer, you can and should start promoting your digital content ahead of time.
This means looking at creative ways to tease bigger content projects ahead of time to build interest and engagement.
Do you have an awesome guide coming out? Create some teaser videos, images, or other forms of content to promote that piece coming up.
Get employees involved in sharing
Your organizations’ employees are the most trusted source of information and they have networks that your brand is not reaching. This is where the concept of employee advocacy becomes critical.
And by having an employee advocacy platform in place, your company can organize content that employees have access to read, engage with, and share to their own networks with their insights.
The goal is not to have them spam their networks, but encourage them to provide real value with anything they share.
For example, our customer Teradata utilizes our platform and has 900 employees sharing and creating content. That network reach is over 800,000! And that social reach is larger than their company LinkedIn and Twitter pages combined.
Customize messaging for each channel
A common mistake that organizations make with their digital content promotion strategy is treating every sharing channel as the same.
Meaning, the messaging is the same, the format is the same, and there is no variety to how it is promoted.
How you promote content in email, should be very different from social media. But how you share and promote on LinkedIn should also be very different from how it’s promoted on Facebook.
Audiences consume differently on every medium and platform, so experiment to find your edge.
And don’t rely on what competitors are doing, even though there is target overlap, your audiences still can differ as to how they consume and engage with information
Leverage customers and influencers too
Just like employees, you should be getting your customers and any influencers involved from your industry in content promotion and creation.
Customers who love your product or services will generally share your content as well. But if you can find ways to get them interested, you have another army of promoters for your brand.
The same with influencers, and no, I’m not talking about paying for endorsements (aka influencer marketing). But you should be actively building partnerships and growing individual thought leaders who have value to your industry.
Find a way to leverage their influence where it’s mutually beneficial and your content is reaching and trusted by more audiences.
Syndicating to different channels
Another way to get some of your top content to more audiences is to syndicate it on other channels. There are two immediate options that come to mind here.
First, uploading your video content to a Youtube channel beyond your blog or turning your blog into a video for Youtube. It’s a huge search engine and can reach people who use video more than reading text.
The other option is finding outlets where you can syndicate your blog content. As long as they include something that indicates where it was originally published and they use the “Rel Canonical” option, Google will still credit yours as the original.
But, you can reach more audiences and build links from those publications. Many big media sites do this currently, for example you’ll see content on Yahoo from other media sources.
However, look for publications where your target audiences might already be browsing, and see if there are opportunities to syndicate there!