Digital content marketing is defined as using content (written, audio and visual assets) to market your brand, product, or service. To do this effectively, you must have a proper strategy in place.
Why is a Digital Content Marketing Strategy Important?
Without a proper strategy, content is used as filler, something posted only to remind people that your brand still exists. Content posted without consideration is often only addressing the first stage in a customer’s journey — the awareness stage.
A good digital marketing strategy will deliver information to your potential customers at each stage of the marketing funnel.
At the top of the funnel, in the awareness stage, your content should be ungated, plentiful, exciting, and informative. It should draw in your audience before or immediately after they realize that they have a problem that your product or service can solve. For example, social media posts, blog posts, podcasts, and more serve the top of the funnel well.
In the middle of the funnel, in the consideration stage, you need a combination of both top-of-the-funnel pieces and more enticing content that incentivizes your audience to submit their contact information (through gated content). For example, good types of middle-of-the-funnel content include coupon codes, webinars, whitepapers, events, etc.
At the bottom of the funnel, in the conversion stage, your content should help people make an informed decision to purchase your product or service. Good types of content here include free trials, special offers, testimonials, spec sheets, etc.
When your brand can cover all three parts of the funnel, you can build an overarching content strategy that will drive leads and revenue.
7 Steps to Building a Powerful Digital Content Marketing Strategy
By following the process outlined below, you can methodically map out the steps needed to build a strong digital content marketing strategy for your B2B business.
1. Determine Which Stage of the Marketing Funnel You’re Creating the Content For.
Consider the goal of your content. Are you trying to raise awareness about a new service that you’re offering, or are you trying to create a piece of content that will encourage your customer to purchase your product immediately?
Understanding exactly why you’re creating the content will help you execute steps 2 through 7.
2. Determine Your Budget.
There are a lot of factors to consider when determining the budget for your content. Are you creating a campaign or a single piece of content? Are you creating a video to be shared across all your social media platforms? Or are you just writing the copy for one post on Facebook?
The budget will vary depending on the type of content and its specific goal. Knowing and understanding the budget for each new piece of content will also help you to meet your business’s monetary goals.
3. Determine Which Buyer Persona(s) You’re Creating the Content For.
Now that you know your goal and budget, you can determine which of your buyer personas you are creating the content for. Are you creating this particular piece for buyer persona A or B?
Let’s say you’re Apple, a B2C and B2B company. Your digital content marketing strategy for each of those audiences will differ.
Buyer persona A may be female, ages 44 to 51. She is the mother of a 17- to 19-year-old who is entering college and needs a laptop to complete their studies. In this case, the content you create may be an informative chart on your website explaining the features MacBooks offer in comparison to an HP laptop.
Buyer persona B may be the owner of a new business. They have launched a tech startup and are hiring staff that will work remotely with a company laptop. In this case, the content Apple will create may be a video posted on LinkedIn that explains the benefits of using Apple products to run your business.
If you haven’t yet created buyer personas for your business and this post inspires you to do so, HubSpot has a great tool to help.
4. Determine the Type of Content to Create.
What type of content do you already have or what will you create now that you’ve determined the purpose, budget, and audience behind your marketing strategy? Not all content is created equal. Some are better suited to certain stages of the marketing funnel, and others can be expensive to create. So you need to ensure the investment is well spent and targeted.
Determining whether to create a video or podcast, write a blog post, or update your website’s copy will also help you to determine who in the organization will be creating the content.
A quick tip: You don’t always have to create new content for your digital content marketing strategy. With Casted’s amplified marketing platform, businesses that have a podcast or have previously created video content already have tons of rich content waiting to be repurposed. The platform allows you to search, identify, and repurpose existing content and break it down into smaller pieces to be posted on other marketing channels.
5. Decide on the Best Content Channels.
Depending on the type of content you’ve decided to create, there will undoubtedly be certain channels that just make sense. However, understanding each content platform is an important part of deciding where to post.
A long-format video? YouTube might be your best choice. An infographic explaining your product vs. your competitors? Try a product page on your website.
6. Publish and Promote.
Depending on how you navigate steps 1 through 5, it is now time to either publish your content organically or publish and promote it.
If publishing or promoting across multiple channels, it is best to use a publishing tool. It is also important to understand the best days and times to post, as well as the platform’s best practices.
7. Measure Your Content's Performance
This is the most important step to creating successful content marketing strategies on-going. Without understanding your performance on each platform, you (a) won’t know if you hit your initial goal and (b) won’t be able to create successful strategies in the future.
Depending on your chosen platform, you can either use Google Analytics, or the platform’s native analytics to measure performance.
Put Your Plan into Action
Building a successful digital content marketing strategy takes time and determination, but it is the only way to meet buyers right where they are. Content is so valuable (not to mention difficult to create) that you need to use a strategy to get the most out of it.