By Steve Lazuka, Zerys for Agencies
According to the 2012 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends report, published by CMI and Marketing Profs, content marketing is enjoying rapid adoption and claiming a greater percentage of the marketing budget than ever before, regardless of the size of the enterprise.
But small businesses in particular, often get the biggest bang for the buck--especially when content is used to drive brand awareness and lead generation. Since content marketing makes heavy use of social media and other inexpensive online marketing tactics, costs can be kept to a minimum while effectively getting the word out about your product or service to the right audience.
To be effective, though, your content needs to be highly targeted and aligned with your company’s goals. To this end, you need to develop a content marketing strategy. Here are 5 key benefits:
Determines the Best Channels Up Front
Cross-channel marketing is a given in content marketing because content is meant to be promoted through various forms of social media, digital forums, and websites. Since many marketers use multiple social media networks, including Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube, you need a strategy just to determine what is working and what is not.
Before any marketing campaign is launched, you need to know where to place your message. You don’t necessarily need to be seen on absolutely every channel. Ask yourself and your staff:
- Where do our current customers hang out online?
- What channels does our target audience prefer?
- Where do I, myself, tend to find information relevant to my needs?
This will help you adapt your content to each channel, and keep resources from being wasted on distribution vehicles that aren’t working well for your business.
An inconsistent message between channels will only muddy the waters and make it hard for your audience to understand what you're all about. Maintaining consistency becomes much easier when the content has been created according to a strategy that marches in step with the rest of your business goals.
To this end, all channels should carry the same branding or promotional message. With a content strategy in place you can ensure that your branded content presents a united front. When someone sees the same message across the board it becomes more memorable and is more likely to be acted on.
Creates a Roadmap
If you know where you’re going, you're halfway there. You probably wouldn't drive from coast to coast without a map, right? Think of your content strategy as a roadmap. With it, you can identify the best content to convey exactly what you want to say, and to whom.
More content gives search engines more ways to find you and determine your value. Improving content quality and quantity will also lead to increased high quality links, another push up the rankings for your content and your business.
More Accurate Data
A content strategy gives you focus. Since your marketing content is targeted and the channels are planned and prepared, you can identify the metrics that show how effective your content is.
For example, if you determine that a particular message will be more effective if it’s reworded or repurposed, then all channels will receive the newly formatted message which represents both fresh content and a more effective message.
Now Get Out There and Plan!
These are five very powerful benefits that will boost the impact of your content marketing. All it costs is a little of your time to create a plan that will streamline your marketing process and make it more effective and easier to manage. Now you have more time for all your new customers.
Steve Lazuka is the founder of Interact Media, creators of the Zerys Content Marketplace and Zerys for Agencies content marketing platforms. Follow Steve @SteveLazuka
Zerys is a powerful content project management tool and writer marketplace that makes it simple to manage any content project from start (strategy planning) to finish (auto-publishing). Zerys for Agencies is a custom, private-labeled solution that allows agencies to manage all their clients’ content projects from one, simple dashboard. Zerys was founded in 2008, and is now used by thousands of businesses and hundreds of marketing agencies.
Looking for broad online syndication of your content? iReach from PR Newswire can help. Click here to find out more.