In this post, we cover what a content marketing strategy is, effective strategies, examples, and also look at the nuances of certain scenarios. This post, like many on our blog, is continuously updated. So if you have any feedback, we’d love to hear it.
What is content marketing?
Content marketing is using content to provide value to your potential customers, through informing, educating, and entertaining. It has to provide utility.
The reason it is so popular is that consumers can access content anywhere, and often prefer to engage with content (over other formats) to learn more. Then make a decision for themselves, or speak with sales to figure out a deal. It is very consumer-centric and works on their terms. They can access it when they want, how they want and in a manner which is suitable for them.
Definition of content marketing: Using content to provide utility to potential customers that deliver on marketing objectives.
What is a content marketing strategy?
Establishing a strategy to deliver content against the marketing objectives. For larger organizations, it tends to be more integrated into the wider marketing plan. For smaller organizations, IT IS the marketing plan. This is a nuance worth calling out. Because it may look the same but the frameworks and needs can adjust quite considerably.
The same goes for your potential customers, if they sit in a larger organization and are buying for B2B, content’s role in the purchasing decision is different to someone at home looking at the best eco-friendly dish soap to buy.
How frequently should you update your content strategy?
It should be significantly reviewed each year, in alignment with your business and overarching marketing objectives. Then quarterly with refinements to your tactics and feedback from your measurement.
“However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.” – Winston Churchill
Best examples of content marketing strategy
This is a tough one – but a reasonable ask. Visit Amazon, view the top 10 list and pick those up. That’s probably the most evergreen advice we can give.
The best strategies are those that work, a couple of ways to simulate this
1) Sign up to a service like Wonder or FancyHands, ask them to go evaluate and find the best solutions in X.
This fresh market research will help you uncover.
2) Do this yourself
Pretend you were starting out, where would you start. For many many prospects, it is a quick Google search. Here are a few examples:
- For instance, here’s a helpful resource by Neil Patel, on how to create a B2B Content Strategy from scratch.
- Here’ another excellent resource, this time by Cloudways, on creating a successful content marketing strategy for startups.
- And a final example, this time on how to create a content strategy for eCommerce sites, via Search Engine Journal.
Where does content marketing start and finish?
Does it impact with social? Does it not? How does it impact sales? The best content marketing is integrated into other functions. Because then it helps move customers through the customer journey. It can’t exist in a silo. Otherwise, by default, it can’t deliver on the ROI.
Again, the big organization, small organization paradigm speaks here. Larger companies tend to have more sophisticated efforts. And smaller companies tend to be more agile.
For example, a company like LinkedIn will have its own blog, helping its employment brand. At a small company, the thought leadership from the CEO helps drive the employment brand.
What are the basics of content marketing strategy?
The basic framework or template for a content marketing strategy is:
We will create content to help our customers do X. Which helps deliver on our marketing objective of Y. Which helps our business move forward by Z.
For example, Nudge will create content to help our future customers create better content, which helps deliver on our marketing objective of building awareness amongst content marketers. Which helps our business grow.
Copy our one-page content marketing strategy template, here.
Trends in Content Marketing
Currently, two big trends are integrating content marketing with email marketing and reworking/reducing the amount of content.
Emails are assets for the business, which puts the business in control and not at the whim of an algorithm changing the rules.
And businesses are starting to find, rather than creating lots of new content, they can go back and improve old content that is already working. Dramatically increasing their content ROI.
What do you think? Would love to hear your thoughts. Tweet us.
What are the nuances for B2B content marketing strategy?
As we touch on in our ROI of content post, B2B has slightly different nuances:
- Prospects can be more motivated to learn about, demonstrate knowledge and expertise in solving a problem.
- The outputs from your content can be tangible and make a difference in their business.
- Word of mouth is even stronger.
- One deal can pay the whole marketing budget.
- The scale is a lot smaller. You don’t want 1m views, you want 5,000 that shift the dial.
- Increased opportunity for evergreen content.
Setting benchmarks for your content
Benchmarks are a vital feedback loop in your content strategy. Contextually, how are you performing? i.e. how’s your content performing versus your industry competitors?
The latest benchmarks we can share, are these:
- Attention minutes: 0.8 minutes spent actively engaging with the content
- Earned impression ratio: 51.3%
- Social engagement: 18.4%
- Scroll ratio: 53%
Note: The above benchmarks are based on all of our client’s data, across industries. If you’d like to drill down into each category, visit our insights page.
Our favorite content marketing newsletters
An easy way to keep on top of news and developments in the space is to sign up to a few newsletters. Here are a few we’d recommend.
This Week in Native Ads (This one’s ours! :))
Download our content marketing strategy template.
We’ve put together a simple template that you can download, edit and use.