Digital content marketing needs to be at the heart of everything your company does online. You didn’t put your business website up with the hope someone would find you now and then and maybe buy something or reach out.
Hopefully, your social media pages aren’t there to say you have a presence. It’s not very likely that either of these statements is true for anyone. Still, without an excellent content marketing strategy and proficient people behind that strategy, those statements might have some small bit of truth.
Content marketing is crucial to your digital marketing strategy. A website on its own is ineffective, and a plan that doesn’t incorporate all of your digital presence as a unified theme has no consistent message or draw.
So let’s talk about what digital content marketing is, how it works, what comprises it, and how to get started.
What is content marketing?
Content marketing is the core of your digital strategy focused on attracting, engaging, and retaining an audience. It is carried out by creating, promoting, and sharing relevant videos, blogs, podcasts, social media updates, articles, and other media.
This approach means doing more than just putting your name out there. The intention is to establish your expertise, foster brand awareness, stimulate interest, and keep your business at the top of a potential or existing customer’s mind.
You stay top of mind with high-quality media that carries across all of your digital channels. It engages people with a cohesive and unified message that leaves an impression.
In a world of shorter and shorter attention spans, while more and more brands vie for attention, a digital content marketing strategy is the single most crucial aspect of your digital presence. It’s never enough to bring someone to a website.
You have to engage them, build trust, establish expertise, and get them to act. Content marketing lays the groundwork for those actions to happen.
How content marketing works on a digital strategy
Digital content marketing isn’t a strategy replacement; it is an infusion into an existing strategy that brings all parts of your broader digital strategy together and multiplies their success. You determine the size of the role content marketing plays in your overall integrated approach, that is up to you, but the case will be made for a substantial role later on.
Business digital content marketing strategies often focus on the individual results of various channels and then try to weigh which is more effective. In your company, you might compare campaign results from Twitter versus Facebook or be running tests to see if your most effective Google campaigns are search or YouTube videos. All the while, you are receiving metrics from each platform and trying to hyper-target the right group.
If this is how things are working in your company, you’re siloed and might have different products handled by different groups or teams. Maybe the various channels each have their own strategy and team. Are they competing against one another to see who can produce the best results? If so, why?
Every customer that finds you has been on a journey, and that journey has likely included multiple channels that your teams use for marketing. The measurements they were comparing each other or each channel against were measuring the same potential customers at different segments of that journey.
Yet your teams have been treating their data and results as separate from one another. Imagine driving down the freeway, and every two miles, the same company has a billboard totally different from the last, maybe with varying numbers of contact or offers or segments targeted. Yeah, it’s kind of like that.
Those billboards don’t work because there isn’t a connected strategy that considers the whole customer journey as one. They aren’t connecting the journey, just focusing on the mile sign they’ve been assigned to place their billboard near.
Digital content marketing sits at the center of everything, connecting the entire journey and continuing to build value as the customer makes their way along the whole route. It is an integrated strategy that starts with excellent content across all channels and uses the content as its foundation.
The key elements of a content marketing plan
So you’re ready to put together a digital content marketing strategy and wondering where to start. While each of these steps has more depth for you to explore, here are your basic steps.
Do you know your audience?
You might have one or several customer profiles that you target. Your content strategy can take one or many types of customers into account.
What problem are you solving for them?
Your audience might have a problem that is either known or unknown to them, and you’re there to solve it through education and coaching. If it is an unkown problem, you’re revealing it.
An excellent digital content strategy involves both your customers figuring out their challenges and those that have already turned to you to solve them. By offering helpful advice and education, you reinforce your solutions and build credibility.
How are you unique?
Digital content marketing is a fantastic tool for separating you from your competitors. Establishing trust and displaying expertise also provides the opportunity for differentiation. Prove that you’re worth buying from by proving why you’re worth every listen.
Now that you’ve figured that out include it in all of your content.
What content formats do you intend to use?
You figured out who your audience is earlier, but did you take the time to define where you reach them? You likely have some data from earlier marketing efforts to guide you.
Now, target consistently across channels with the content that fits. Video is very effective when used in the right place. Blogs and free e-books are the longer formats that educate and establish expertise. Drive people to them.
With formats identified, create a budget that establishes the extent of your campaign.
What channels fit your needs?
You can have different content formats, but now you need to fit the various channels to the customer journey. There is a website; you are on social media and possibly have a YouTube channel. Your customer might only exist in a few places or cross many channels along their journey.
Younger audiences will probably be found on TikTok or Instagram. Older audiences can often prefer longer-form content and be found on LinkedIn or Facebook. Multiple audiences are often found on Twitter. Lastly, your website is the defining moment in their journey and formatted to fit your audience based on segments and whether your company is B2B and B2C.
How to Start Your Digital Content Marketing Strategy
You’ve identified your audiences, and you have an idea of your message, content formats, and what channels you intend to use. It is possible to hire and use existing teams, but a world of experts exists, and they are available right away. Using freelance pros ensures the process is simple, efficient, and expertly implemented when your use a content marketing agency.
A great start is a 14-day trial with WriterAccess. You’ll get to see quality content that reflects your message consistently across your channels. Digital content marketing works. Take advantage of your free 14-day trial right now.