Important Steps When Considering Content Marketing Investment

For years now, content marketing has been regarded as one of the most efficient marketing strategies. 

Content's ability to generate brand awareness, build consumer interest and drive business goals, among other things, is not something that should be taken lightly.

Content has a lot of power in the marketing world but only if used accordingly. What that means is that the content you create and publish must be high-quality and highly relevant to your audience.

Moreover, your content must be informative, educational, and entertaining so that your target audience can gain value from it. Many companies today engage in content marketing only to discover that this strategy isn't working for them as they thought it would.

The fact of the matter is that consumers today expect fresh and original content from companies and brands. 

If you're not able to provide your audience with such content, they won't be interested in it, to put it mildly. That's why it's important to revise your strategy before you actually invest in content marketing.

That way, you can be certain that your content will carry on your message and have the desired impact on your audience. 

With that in mind, here are a few important steps to take when considering content marketing investment.

1. Consider researching your audience

Creating and publishing just any content won't do you any good. You have to determine what your target audience likes, wants, and expects before you invest in content creation. The best way to accomplish that is to research your target audience.

Researching your audience is similar to creating buyer personas, only this time, you're researching which type of content your audience prefers instead of researching their purchasing habits.

After all, you're creating content for your audience, not for yourself. Therefore, here are a few things to focus on when researching your target audience.

  • What type of content does your target audience prefer?
  • Do they consume content frequently?
  • What are the common pain points your target audience faces?
  • What are the questions they commonly ask?
  • What's their demographic like?
  • Can your content provide a solution to your audience's common problems?

It's essential to learn as much about your target audience's preferences and needs as possible. That way, you'll know what type of content to create that will capture their interest and boost their engagement. 

If you invest in content marketing, you have to be certain that your strategies will produce viable results and provide your company with ROI.

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2. Consider your own goals

One of the main reasons why many companies fail at content marketing is because they don't understand why they are creating content in the first place. So, what is it that you want to accomplish with content marketing?

Do you need to grow your business, improve sales, establish a relationship with your customers, and so on? Furthermore, what can you offer to the audience that will help you drive your own goals in return? That's why every content marketing strategy needs to have a clear purpose.

For instance, you will provide your audience with content filled with tips and advice on how to develop their startups. In return, they'll use your project management software, which will boost your sales.

The essence of every content marketing strategy is that you have to give something to get something back. That's why content has to be valuable and relevant to your audience. 

The best approach would be to create a mission statement for your content marketing strategy. Here's an example.

  1. Your target audience - Startup owners, entrepreneurs, company owners etc.
  2. You'll deliver to your audience - Advice, insights, tips, resources, valuable information and inspiration.
  3. Your audience will get - New ways of organizing, developing and growing their businesses further.
  4. Your outcome will be - Growing your audience, improving brand awareness, generating exposure.

3. Consider some housekeeping

Many companies store most of the content they create on their websites or blogs. The purpose of this strategy is to encourage the audience to come to you. 

Consuming content on your website or blog means you can target them with custom offers and promotions, thus increasing the chances for conversions.

However, before you decide to create dedicated content pages on your website or blog, you should consider doing a bit of housekeeping first. Therefore, is your website or blog designed and optimized well to host content and handle inbound traffic?

Will your target audience have a seamless experience once they land on your pages? If not, then you should invest in remedying that before you invest in content marketing. 

After all, what's the purpose of having great content on your website or blog if your visitors will keep bouncing off due to slow page loading time or terrible design?

If you're having any issues with your website or blog, it's best that you find local professionals to help you get everything sorted out.

For example, if you operate in California, you should consider consulting with a website design company from Los Angeles, for instance. Once you tidy up your website or blog accordingly, you can consider hosting your content there and inviting your audience to stop by for a visit.

4. Consider the content type

Creating content isn't as easy as people might believe. How much you should invest in content marketing depends on what type of content you plan on creating and publishing. That takes you back full circle to what your target audience prefers.

Moreover, you must also consider what's more convenient for your audience. For example, if your audience doesn't like to read long-form content, then you should avoid investing in creating whitepapers and prolonged articles or blog posts.

However, you can, in fact, ignore that rule if you plan on elaborating in great detail about a specific topic your audience is interested in. But then you might consider combining different content formats like images, infographics, charts and text to make the article more appealing and more enjoyable.

Furthermore, you can leverage a completely different content format altogether, such as a podcast, for instance. It all comes down to making your content more presentable to your audience. The fact of the matter is that different content types cost differently to produce.

A series of blog posts and articles are much cheaper to produce than a podcast show or high-quality demo video. That's why it's important to consider which content types your audience prefers to consume so that you can prepare a budget for your content marketing strategy.

5. Consider what your competitors are doing

A competitive analysis is always a key part of every marketing strategy. The same goes for content marketing. Before deciding to invest in content marketing, you might want to consider what your competitors are doing with their content.

As mentioned before, online consumers expect fresh and original content. The last thing you want to do is present content to your audience that's already been published by your competitors. 

The main purpose of a competitive analysis isn't to copy your competitor's strategies but to identify gaps you can exploit so that you'll gain an advantage.

This is how smaller companies manage to compete against well-established and better-funded brands. The key is not to compete where your competitors are the strongest but instead take charge where they are the weakest. Therefore, here are a few things to focus on while conducting a competitive analysis.

  • What are their top-performing and low-performing content?
  • Are there any topics the competitors are not covering?
  • What is your competitors' audience's response to the content they publish?
  • What type of content do competitors most commonly use?
  • Do they also leverage blogs?

Anything you can find that will give you an advantage is worth exploring further. You want to invest in a content marketing strategy that will get you the desired result and not keep you one step behind everyone else.

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6. Consider the platforms

One of the most important steps to take before considering investing in content marketing is to determine which platforms you'll publish your content on. The main reason is that you want to reach as many audience members as possible at any given time.

In addition, you want to generate more exposure for your content in hopes of attracting a broader audience. The obvious platforms to publish your content on are your website and blog. However, you must attract your audience and ensure they'll come to you so that they can consume that content.

The next logical step would be to tackle social media platforms. Of course, not all social media networks are ideally suited for content marketing. For example, Twitter does not support articles and blog posts, but you can create backlinks for your content there.

Moreover, Facebook is the most populated social media platform and your best chance of promoting content to the right people at the right time. But if your content is B2B oriented, then LinkedIn would be a better choice.

Furthermore, if you plan on producing video content mostly, you might consider creating a YouTube channel. 

Food for Thought

Every platform has its own unique advantages and disadvantages. The key is finding the right balance that will take your content marketing to the next level.

Investing in content marketing requires careful planning and a lot of research. Simply producing content won't do much for your company. 

You need to produce content that's highly relevant and aim at a specific audience so that your strategies will produce the best results possible.