Nowadays, content marketing is a trend (as shown in a Hubspot study, 69.6% of marketers were investing in it by the end of 2019). In addition to that, we can consider it an essential asset to any company that wants to promote itself online, because a digital marketing strategy would seem empty without content.
In a few words, the term “digital marketing” refers to strategies focused on digital mediums. It can be applied to achieve several goals, from attracting prospects to increase sales, and used in several ways. Many successful strategies use content because it can inform and show your expertise, among other benefits. Given that, you should consider building a digital content marketing strategy to improve your business’ results.
To be effective, the strategy must be aligned to the company’s digital marketing maturity level to meet its needs. Demand Metric proposes a model that encompasses four different stages: undefined, progressive, mature, world-class. If your business finds the approaches and tools that fit its maturity level the best, it is more likely to obtain positive results and enhance your campaigns.
In this article, we will explain which elements are necessary in a digital content marketing strategy, how to build one according to your company’s digital marketing maturity level, and show some successful cases and tools they used.
What Are the Basic Aspects of a Digital Content Marketing Strategy?
A digital content marketing strategy refers to the process of planning, creating, publishing, and promoting content in a digital medium. Usually, its goals are to attract leads, convert prospects, retain customers, boost brand awareness, among others.
Here, we will present the basic concepts you need to know to build your digital content marketing strategy.
This is probably the most important aspect of any kind of strategy. It may seem obvious, but it’s necessary to stress it: you must specify what exactly your company expects to achieve with the marketing campaign. Make sure that they are measurable and tangible to be able to analyze their efficacy and define the necessary steps to accomplish them.
The goals will direct your actions, making it easier to decide what to do, how, when, where, and allowing you to predict which of them are more likely to be effective. Besides that, they help you to keep the focus and be more assertive.
Some good examples of goals are:
- boost engagement
- increase lead generation
- educate the audience
- generate search traffic
- create brand awareness
- increase conversion rates
Key Performance Indicators (KPI)
The Key Performance Indicators are vital to measuring the efficiency of your strategy. They show, in numbers, how effective your marketing campaign is when it comes to achieving its goals, indicating what needs improvement so you can accomplish your goals.
So, when you define your KPIs, make sure that they apply to your goals. For instance, if you aim to increase engagement, analyze the number of shares, likes, comments, time spent on your pages. If you want to boost brand awareness, check how many views your content had, and how many people visited your page, for example.
Your ideal customer is called a buyer persona. The term refers to a detailed profile that is built based on your customer’s information, such as interests, pains, problems, and what he is looking for in your company.
The buyer persona is useful to create personalized content that will truly be relevant for your audience, unlike the target audience, which only contains general information (age, business area, one topic of interest).
While planning your company’s strategy, define the channels that will be used to post your company’s content. To discover what the best ones are, you can analyze your audience’s usage patterns. We suggest you choose the ones that engage it the most (which can be indicated by how much time they spent, on average, on each channel, and how much they interact while using it, for example) or leads to higher conversion rates.
Among the available channels, organic and paid, we highlight:
- social media
- organization’s blog or website
- social media advertising
- Search Engine Marketing (SEM).
According to a Content Marketing Institute’s (CMI) survey, those were the most used platforms to distribute content in 2019. This allows us to think that, if your company is not present in those channels, you are leaving room for competitors.
To build a digital content marketing strategy, your company needs to consider some points. Some of them are:
- which types of content your company will produce
- which goals each content seeks to achieve
- where you will publish them
- how often you will post them
- how you will promote them
- which tools you will use for that
- which KPIs you will utilize
- who is your buyer persona
- how you will interact with your prospects
When you begin a digital marketing strategy, it is important to know your company’s digital marketing maturity to choose the most appropriate tools and resources. If you manage to do that, your strategy will be more effective.
What Are the Digital Marketing Maturity Stages?
This term refers to how advanced a business’ digital marketing strategy is. As we mentioned above, there are four stages. We will look into this further to help you identify which level your company is following according to Demand Metric’s marketing maturity model.
At this level, the company does not have a defined strategy, has basic tools and platforms (content, email, social media), only produces a few types of content, and posts on social media sporadically. Besides that, the communication is one-way, the business does not invest more than 15% of its marketing budget in digital assets, and they do not use any types of formal measurement.
Progressive companies already have a digital marketing strategy and acknowledge that it is important, allocating staff and a higher budget to it. In addition to that, they use platforms with specific functions (that can, for example, coordinate tools, applications, and workflows), and offers richer content.
Also, the communication is not entirely one-way, their lead generation is increasing, the marketing budget used for digital assets is up to 45% and the analytics monitor and track app performance and web traffic, for example.
Companies in the mature stage have a digital marketing strategy and processes that are defined and integrated. Their types of content vary (social, video, mobile), they have a true dialogue with their audience, offering personalized digital experiences that are measured on revenue impact.
Besides that, their budgets for digital marketing are up to 60%, they have collaborators dedicated to digital marketing, their communication is omnichannel, their platforms encompass a wider range of functions and are integrated (some examples are web content management, content marketing, CRM, and MA systems).
At last, the companies in the world-class stage are extremely committed to digital marketing, considering it a priority for its marketing team, allocating at least 60 to 85% of their marketing budgets. Moreover, their content is highly personalized and diversified, and their dialogue with the audience is proactive with reliable feedback.
In addition to that, the digital experiences are based on the buyer persona expectations, have a very advanced level of sophistication and drives behavior. Regarding tools and software, those enterprises integrate all digital marketing platforms, enabling a tighter integration of those with enterprise CRM, MA, and other ERPs.
Why Is it Important to Consider Those Stages When Building Your Company’s Strategy?
Maybe you are wondering why it is relevant to know your company’s digital marketing maturity stage. One reason is that in distinct stages the company has different needs, available tools, and resources. Therefore, building a strategy based on its strengths and constraints, it is possible to obtain the maximum positive results from it.
Another reason is that being aware of the stage your business is in, it is possible to think about what is necessary to move to the next level and achieve considerably better results. According to a Boston Consulting Group’s (BCG) study, companies that reached the last stage were able to save costs of up to 30% and increase revenue by 20%.
What Are Some Successful Digital Content Marketing Strategies and Tools?
At this point, you already understand what is a digital content marketing strategy, the basic aspects that are necessary to build one, and have learned about the digital marketing maturity levels. Now, we are going to show you some examples of successful strategies and tools.
This company provides healthcare services and its marketing strategy was entering the progressive stage of maturity (which is indicated by the fact that it was starting to invest more of its budget on digital marketing and had growing subscriber lists).
Nuffield Health’s digital campaign goal was to increase conversions and subscriptions. With the aid of specialists — that optimized landing pages, customized emails, and built a relevant content strategy — they reached an impressive increase of 60% in ROI.
For the launching of a new product, L’Oréal decided to invest in advanced marketing techniques to boost brand awareness and effectiveness. The marketing team studied trends and the audience to create a buyer persona. The enterprise was on the mature stage of digital maturity since it had a better understanding of the audience, applied sophisticated features into their campaigns, and was willing to invest more budget in digital marketing.
To do so, the brand released video ads on different channels, made an effort to educate the audience and help it to find the right product, stimulating it to consume more content. As a result, the campaign had a 39% view-through rate and brought a 13% increase in brand awareness.
Korn Ferry invested in interactive content to generate new leads and drive engagement. To do that, the brand repurposed a static white paper, turning it into an interactive experience, with interactive maps and quizzes.
Therefore, the company improved the user’s experience and was able to get insights into observing how its audience interacted with the interactive white paper. The data will help it to take personalization further and continue to improve its contents.
Ion Interactive is a platform that allows businesses to create several types of interactive content for their digital marketing strategies — assessments, calculators, quizzes, eBooks, infographics, landing pages, white papers, lookbooks, and solution finders.
It offers a wide range of tools and templates to facilitate the process of building content. Using some of the templates available at Ion’s Quick Start Cloud library, it is possible to launch your company’s content within one hour.
Besides that, Ion Interactive provides support during all the steps to build a digital content marketing strategy, from planning and creating the content to launching, measuring, and analyzing the results.
This type of content is highly engaging because it brings compelling experiences, good user experience, and entertains the audience. The main idea is to stimulate the audience to perform actions while consuming the contents instead of reading or watching them passively.
Interactive content is recommended for companies that are in advanced stages of digital marketing maturity levels because they require technical knowledge, a higher investment, a deeper knowledge of the company’s audience, and more advanced tools. In addition to that, the company must consider digital marketing as a priority when it comes to customer engagement.
A digital content marketing strategy is helpful for companies in each of the digital marketing maturity levels. To create a successful strategy, it is important to choose the appropriate tools considering your business’ level, budget, goals, audience, and available resources. For those in a higher maturity stage, interactive content is a great option because it allows creating the most engaging content.
Now that you know how a digital content marketing strategy works and understand its relationship with digital marketing maturity, are you ready to take your company to the next level? Contact us and find out how we can help!