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Content Marketing

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Digital Marketing - Study Notes:

Content marketing adds value to business

Content marketing drives valuable search traffic and social engagement. These in turn can increase the number of valuable actions taken by your audience.

To create a successful content marketing campaign, you first need a strategy. This sets out the objectives and scope of your project. It keeps everything on track while providing a roadmap outlining the different aspects of your campaign.

You can use the ‘conversion funnel’ as a guide when planning your content marketing strategy. This enables you to map your content to key decision points in the consumer journey and address their needs. The conversion funnel helps you understand the consumer journey by tracking the different steps a typical consumer would complete on the way to taking a valuable action such as a purchase, sign up, or contact request. Content marketers should use funnel insights and knowledge to drive more valuable customer engagement.

Applying funnel techniques

In order to apply funnel techniques to your content strategy:

  • Begin with ‘awareness’ content for the top of the funnel to get the word out there.
  • Create ‘consideration’ content for the middle parts of the funnel, when people are assessing options in the market.
  • Produce high-impact ‘conversion’ content for the end of the funnel. This drives people to take action.
  • Create ‘retention’ content for past purchasers to turn them into repeat purchasers, or even brand advocates.
  • It might also be worth creating ‘re-engagement’ content for people who’ve dropped out at different stages of the consumer journey to entice them back.

Where appropriate, marketers can use what's known as ‘hero content’ as part of the funnel. This is high-value content that aims to drive brand awareness. Although it is created less frequently, it can cause a brand’s message to go viral.

Examples of hero content include research studies, high quality infographics, ebooks, and highly unique and desirable audio/video (AV) content such as exclusive videos or podcasts.

Purpose of content development

There are a lot of moving parts in a content strategy. Clearly, it’s a useful document to create to get buy-in and sign-off from stakeholders. It can also act as a roadmap for the project itself. And it can be referred to when queries arise and can be adapted to suit the changing needs of the campaign and audience, as required.

A content strategy ensures content is developed for purpose by:

  • Defining your objectives, KPIs, budgets, and audience personas.
  • Capturing your brand or campaign story.
  • Detailing production pieces, such as formats and timings.
  • Outlining distribution channels.
  • Measuring the performance of your content in terms of business impact and KPIs.

Take into account these key considerations, dependencies, and constraints when project managing a content strategy:

  • Scope of production: Identify the type and quantity of assets and formats you plan to deliver.
  • Timeline for production: When will you deliver each part of the strategy? Plan your timeline carefully and ensure you’ve allowed enough time for each stage of production.
  • Budget and production resources: What is required in terms of money and people to deliver your content efficiently?
  • Upstream dependencies: What has to happen for the strategy to progress? Try to identify any potential issues in advance and put a solution or alternative plan into place.
  • Downstream dependencies: What must the strategy deliver for something else to progress?
  • Risks: What could happen to derail the plan? Factor in some contingency time for unexpected delays or complications.

It takes time to plan and execute a content marketing strategy effectively. Because there are many moving parts, you’ll need to be flexible and ensure your strategy is agile. It can evolve in response to changing business objectives, KPIs, and performance. More than any other discipline, content and asset production takes time and money. So, in order for the strategy to succeed, you must understand the full requirements to deliver on your plan from the beginning.

Content marketing tools

A number of tools and tactics can help content marketers to develop a successful content strategy:

  • Objectives: SMART objective setting
  • Research: Persona development
  • Planning: Content or creative strategy and content schedules
  • Production: Creating and repurposing content and storytelling
  • Distribution: SEO, social, paid media, and scheduling
  • Measurement and analytics: Measuring campaign performance
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Will Francis

Digital Marketing Consultant, Trainer, and Speaker

  • Educates and consults for senior marketers at the world’s leading brands
  • Ran a successful digital ad agency in London for eight years
  • Editor of social network MySpace in the 00s
  • Regularly appears at conferences, in press, TV, and radio to share his experience and expertise
  • Previous clients include Samsung, Spotify, Marriott Hotels, Warner Music, Penguin Books, and Net A Porter
Will Francis

ABOUT THIS DIGITAL MARKETING MODULE

Content Marketing
Will Francis Will Francis
Skills Expert

This short course covers the principles of content marketing and demonstrates techniques and useful tools that you can use to develop and refine your content marketing strategy.

You will learn how to:

  • Apply best practices for developing and enhancing content throughout a content marketing campaign
  • Create buyer personas for use in content development
  • Develop a content brief
  • Conduct keyword research to inform a content strategy
  • Curate, personalize, and repurpose content
  • Craft a brand story
  • Schedule content development and publication
  • Promote content
  • Measure and analyze content performance

Approximate learning time: 3 hours

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