If there’s one thing you need to know by now, it’s this: If your content marketing strategy is not documented, you’re on a clear path to failure. Sadly, Australian marketers have yet to learn this valuable lesson.
According to a recent study done by the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and the Association of Data-driven Marketing and Advertising (ADMA), 46% of Australian marketers this year are totally dependent on a “verbal-only” content marketing strategy, whilst only 37% have documented their strategy.
A verbal-only strategy might get results but it is risky and open to the “if I get hit by a bus” problem. A documented content strategy, not only makes content marketing more effective, it also makes it easier and more efficient to implement. According to CMI and ADMA, marketers who take time to map out their content strategy are:
- Far more likely to consider themselves effective at content marketing
- Far less challenged with every aspect of content marketing
- Generally more likely to consider themselves more effective with every tactic and social media channel
- Able to justify a higher percentage of the marketing budget to be spent on content marketing
Where to begin?
There is no universal template when it comes to doing your content marketing strategy. Since small businesses have simpler content marketing plans than bigger companies, you don’t need elaborate documentation. To get started, focus on these areas:
- Business goals – What do you hope to accomplish with your content marketing? What challenges are you trying to overcome?
- Brand story – What is the “essence” of your brand? Do you know what your brand stands for and how you want people to experience it? This will inform your tone of voice and online personality.
- Audience – Who are they? Where are they? How will you engage them?
- Channel plan – Which content distribution channels are you going to utilise? Do you need a blog or vlog strategy or to develop a piece of research? Which social media channels are you going to prioritise? Which will you abandon? Is Facebook still working for you or is it time to focus on Instagram?
- Budget and resources – What is your initial budget? How will you distribute it to your channels? Will you use in-house resources? Are you going to outsource?
- Business model – How will it work? What is the scope of your initial content marketing plan? What is the team you will need to address that scope? How will this affect your existing content marketing efforts?
There is no perfect content strategy. Each business must develop its own processes and review and refine them regularly. However, only those who take the time to plan can successfully implement and accurately measure outcomes.
Since starting her outsourced national marketing consultancy Marketing Angels in 2000, Michelle Gamble has helped hundreds of SMEs get smarter marketing. Michelle helps businesses find more effective ways to grow their brands and businesses.