Small business owners hoping to compete in this increasingly digital world must understand that the Internet has changed consumer behavior.
Consumers now conduct all their product research and make most of their purchases online. It’s no wonder that more and more businesses turn to digital content marketing to reach these potential customers.
A solid content marketing strategy provides a much higher return on investment than paid advertisements. Great content marketing even outshines traditional outbound marketing strategies by generating over 3x as many leads and costing 62% less.
Read on to learn how to develop a marketing plan and digital content strategy that will grow your online presence and reach more customers.
The Ultimate Guide for Mapping Your Digital Content Strategy
Do not get overwhelmed when figuring out your marketing plan steps. Simply follow the advice below to start reaping the benefits of a serious digital content strategy.
1. Figure Out the Goal of Your Digital Content
The first step in mapping your digital content strategy should be figuring out what you hope to achieve by creating content. Ask yourself the following questions: What is the ultimate aim of my strategy? What is the purpose of the content?
Great content does not just add more noise to this already oversaturated digital realm. It reflects careful research into what your potential customers want or need. It provides clear value to the reader and solves their wants or needs in a way your other marketing strategies cannot.
Another aspect to consider before you start creating content is where you plan to share the content. Where will the content live? Will you share it on social media? What about on your email listserv?
Smart marketers tailor every piece of content based on where they plan to share it, so it’s appropriate for the particular platform. This inherently makes your content more effective.
2. Define Your Target Audience
Small businesses creating a digital content strategy for the first time need to be thorough when defining their target audience. This buyer persona will act as the base for all of your marketing strategies both off and online. The better you understand your target audience, the more valuable and relevant content you can produce.
Once you know your target audience, you need to figure out how they like to consume content. It does you no good to spend hours crafting a perfectly worded blog post if your target audience prefers to watch videos. Map your customer’s journey to figure out where along the funnel you should include which types of content marketing.
3. Audit Your Current Content
Businesses with an already established target audience and digital marketing plan steps should consider conducting occasional audits of their strategy. The digital world changes constantly. This means the way consumers interact with businesses online changes right alongside it.
Maybe you stick to blog posts only, but your audience spends a lot of time on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. It might be time to develop a strategy that incorporates these other sites with potential reach. Or maybe you see that readers really love your blog posts and share them all the time. You could compile all these blogs into an e-book that you can offer as a lead magnet.
4. Establish a Content Management System
Keeping control of all this content takes a little more effort than a few slips of paper or sticky notes stuck to your computer screen. Establishing a content management system keeps you focused and makes your digital content strategy more effective overall. A great system should include the types of content you create, where you plan to publish it, and any analytics associated with the content after publishing.
Some business owners do not have enough time to take care of their digital content strategies themselves. If you do not have an in-house marketing team dedicated to your online content, you can always find a partner to help you. Do your research to find a reliable digital content marketing strategist team like the one at Blue C United.
5. Brainstorm Ideas for Future Content
Ideas form the backbone of your digital content plan. It takes a little time and some creativity, but anyone can brainstorm content ideas. Just think about your audience and their needs. Then let your imagination run wild. Or, get your team together and bounce ideas off one another.
If you find yourself struggling to come up with ideas, do some research. Conduct keyword research and check to see what other topics the search engine suggests. Check out competitor websites to see what kind of content they produce that gets hits. You can use anything and everything to come up with some unique ideas for content.
6. Decide on the Type of Content to Create
Content comes in many forms. Sticking with the most popular types of content will make brainstorming easier. Get started by reviewing the following list featuring common types of content marketing formats.
- Blog posts
- Case Studies
- Press Releases
- Online Games
7. Publish Content Regularly
How often you publish content is a vital part of your digital content strategy. The best businesses offer a diverse and well-balanced library of content on their website. You achieve this by posting on a regular basis.
Pay attention to current events and choose hot-button topics that will generate lots of hits through search engines. Try to make all your content evergreen, even when addressing timely topics. Evergreen content remains as relevant six months down the line as it does the day you post it.
A comprehensive library of evergreen content keeps your business appearing on search engine results pages and in the minds of potential customers.
Don’t Forget to Check Out the Competition’s Website Strategies
Another important part of developing a successful digital content strategy is identifying and researching your competition. Observing your competitors reveals the website strategies that work or do not work for them. This makes it easier to narrow down what may or may not work for your business. It also helps you identify how to set yourself apart from the competition.
Ready to check out your current competition? Explore our comprehensive database of businesses in various industries across the United States.
Want more people to find your business? Contact us today to have your business included on our list!