If your company is one of the 42% that documents their content marketing strategy, then that’s great! What this means is that as a content marketer, before creating any of your contents, you already know who you are creating it for and in what channels you plan on promoting it.
It’s a good start to have this plan. However, this is not enough. Each piece of content is an investment, and you need to be able to know how it will help and support your content marketing strategy.
You need to know the reasons why you picked a certain topic and what results you are expecting from it.
In this article, we will look at some of the ways on how to choose the right topic for your content marketing tactics and how to set goals for them.
Have a Goal for Each Content
Starting a good piece of content, you have to start with the end already in mind. You can begin doing this by thinking about what you expect from it. You can list the goals you expect from a piece of content.
After this, you can then make a decision if you think you are making the right content for the right time.
You can refer to your organisational content marketing goals when you’re going to assign goals to your blog posts, infographics, and videos. Through this, you can see how a content piece maps toward those goals.
The Content Marketing Institute weighs in on this point regarding your content strategy and advises their audience, saying, “Content marketers draw and develop the larger story that an organisation tells. They focus on ways to engage an audience, using content to drive profitable behaviors.”
That’s good advice. To evaluate a topic for your content, you have to see how it stacks up when putting against the bigger goals.
Match Content with the Stages of the Buying Cycle
One of the most difficult challenges in lead nurture programs that B2B marketers are facing is on how to develop targeted content by buyer stage or interest. But the key on how to develop the right contents for your audience in the different buying stages is on understanding those stages well.
There are three stages in the buying journey. The first stage is Awareness. During this stage, the potential buyers identify that they are facing a problem which they need to solve. They tend to search for what can help them solve the problem.
When they get to discover you through the search engine results or through other channels, and they find that they are interested in your service, they will enter the second stage of the buying journey which is the Evaluation stage.
In the evaluation stage, potential customers learn more about what your company can do about their problem, and they also want to know if you can offer the best solution among the many service providers.
The people will be comparing your product or services among your competitions.
When they find that they like your services best, they will enter the final stage which is the Purchase stage. In the Purchase stage, the buyers are now ready to buy.
They will first sign up for a free trial or a demo.
When you understand what your customers go through in their buying journey, you get to gain better insights into their concerns during the different stages of the journey.
When you match your content with the different stages, this will make you content relevant to them on all of the strategic points at every step of the way.
This is going to increase your time on sight, user interaction and social media marketing, all of which will improve your ranking.
Moz, citing this connection between good content and a better position in Google says, “A steady rise in content-related marketing disciplines and an increasing connection between effective SEO and content has made the benefits of harnessing strategic content clearer than ever.”
Consider your Audience’s Need When Choosing the Topic
Remember that the insights above won’t be of much use unless you create the right topics that will go well with them. So after studying what your clients go through on the three stages we discussed above, the next thing to do is to create real topics to cover.
The buying stages already can provide you with the high-level view of the types of content you can create.
However, it can’t help you with coming up with the topics.
To come up with topics, you have to turn to your customers. This is where personas come in. When creating your user personas, you get to identify with their needs and goals.
Co-Founder of www.sort-list.co.uk, Nicolas Finet, says,
The content you create ought to always be about helping your customers in these two areas. 63% of marketers make use buyer persona to create content while 40% make use of them for content segmentation.
Provide Balance for the Different Content Types
After identifying the different content types and matching those with the different buying stages and personas, what you have to watch out for is that you might be creating too many of them.
You may be creating the right content. However, this kind of approach may not be well-rounded enough. What this means is that it is unlikely to get you great results.
What you ought to do is that instead of focusing on one content type, you can spice up your contents with a variety of types.
But, as Writer for Forbes, Jason DeMers points out, you want to avoid generalized, non specific content. It never ranks and could even do you content Marketing Strategy harm.
There are several types of content that should always be considered such as videos, webinars, eBooks, white papers, and case studies.
You can use some or all of these types to achieve spectacular results. But again, make those pieces as specigfic as you can. Go after one thing at a time, and go after it well.
For your particular niche, you would need a healthy mix of these different content types so you will be able to cater to your users in the different stages of their buying journey.
As we know, documenting is just the beginning of your content marketing strategy. It doesn’t matter how detailed it may be; it still cannot take care of the day-to-day decisions.
That’s your job. It is your job to decide if a topic matches great with one format over another.
When it comes to that, you need to see if each topic fits the journey of your buyer.
You also have to look if the content is relevant to your audience and if the format suits it well.
Clear goals are what you want for each piece. This can really help you decide if the content and topic have taken off the way you envisioned it.
Remember that goal setting and measuring the success of each content will allow you to tweak your content marketing tactics now and again until you reach the goals you have set for the overall content marketing strategy.