Content Marketing: Where Do I Start?

I think we can all agree that content marketing has become more than just a buzzword. Over the last few years content marketing has become the tactic of choice for many B2C marketers.  In early October 2013 The Content Marketing Institute released a study entitled Overview: The state of B2C content marketing in North America.  The study shows that 90% of B2C marketers now use content marketing, versus 86% last year.  This trend will continue to gain momentum as these tactics prove more and more effective.

So the question is, How do you get in the game?  It all starts with a plan.  Not just any plan, but a plan that works.  Here are the steps to a planning and implementing a successful content marketing campaign:

Identify what the goals are for your business

As we have all heard many times, start with the end in mind.  Is your goal brand awareness? Customer acquisition? Could it be purely engagement? The Content Marketing Institute’s study determined that 71% of B2C marketers are looking to acquire new customers from their content marketing tactics.

Determine what tactics are going to help you hit your goal

What are the right ones to use: blogging, white papers, eBooks, video, articles, product descriptions, infographics? Each are effective content marketing tactics. The trick is determining which will work best for you. According to CMI, most B2C marketers use 12 content marketing tactics within their marketing strategy.

Have a strategy

You wouldn’t take a road trip across the United States without a roadmap (your iPhone GPS these days), would you? There are many B2C marketers who are doing just that – trying to achieve their business goals without a roadmap or plan.  39% of B2C marketers do not have a documented content marketing strategy.

Create quality content

You know your goals, you have a strategy and you know what tactics you are going to use to make it all work. Now comes the task that can derail the entire plan – creating content. Here are the questions to answer. How do I do it? What do I write about? Should I have someone else write the content for me? Content creation is not easy and can be very time consuming, and that is why 63% of B2C marketers choose to outsource the writing portion of their content marketing campaigns.

Measure the results

Is all the hard work paying off? Let the data help you determine the answer to that question.  Use tools like MOZ and Google Analytics to help you understand if you are moving in the right direction. CMI has determined that web traffic and social media sharing are the top 2 metrics used by B2C marketers to determine the effectiveness of their campaign. If you are hitting your stated goals, great, keep going! If not, tweak your plan until you are moving in the right direction.

Use these steps to put a content marketing plan to work for your business. If you need help, Brandpoint uses a proven process for helping B2C marketers determine and accomplish their business goals. Learn more about all of our content marketing services and how we can help your company increase traffic, engage your audience and drive sales.

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