I want viral content. There should be loads of shares and likes.
That is where most businesses start their content Marketing strategy. After all, that is what most of us would want. More eyeballs.
However, an effective content strategy is much more than social popularity (no denying that it is a huge traction indicator). Your content, like any other marketing function, should be quantifiable and controllable.
What will be your content marketing strategy? What goals will it achieve? How will you measure the success? Is there a return-on-investment (ROI) metric?
I’m going to cover all of that followed by 37 tools in this post.
How to Create A Content Marketing Strategy from Scratch
Content strategy for business is based on two primary goals- traffic and leads. Think about it. Would you really focus on something else?
Everything else including branding is secondary and should be pursued once the primary results are steady. Here’s my beginners content marketing strategy plan in 4 steps.
Define Your Target/Persona
It’s enticing to follow content marketing trends and write on every topic to please the general audience. But, it will soon derail your promotion plans in the longer run. Abrupt topics bring in vague or spam traffic that doesn’t help in any way, especially in the B2B domain.
Begin with defining individuals that you’re targeting. It sounds easy but isn’t. You’ll find tools to create audience persona in the list below.
Major goals: What problems does your target audience face? What questions would they ask? Where do they look for answers? This should help you pick relevant topics and publishing platforms.
Audit Internal Content
Before you rush to order new weapons, consider the armory? What content topics have performed well for you in the past? Can you rewrite and republish them? Can you compile an e-book or info-graph from the old content?
A large part of any content marketing strategy is to renew the content that works for your business. You’ll find tools below to run a content audit program.
Major goals: Find out top performing content pieces, reuse them and use similar topics in the future.
Do All Content Types
Writing 5-paragraph content pieces isn’t getting the job done. An effective content strategy everything and anything that makes knowledge-sharing interesting. Create e-books, info graphs, list articles (listicles), podcasts, slides, surveys, polls, quizzes and webinars. Plan weeks in advance.
There tools below to generate different kinds of content pieces.
Major goals: Offering variety to the readers.
Make A Calendar
Make a list of all the content pieces you want to release. Fit it all in a calendar with strict deadlines on final drafts, publishing dates and social media activity. Plan a quarter or month ahead and ensure that every marketing team member has a content marketing strategy template or
Businesses without content schedules might find it difficult to adopt first. However, it shouldn’t take time once in practice.
Major goals: Strict deadlines to keep track of content performance.
How to Measure the ROI of a Content Marketing Strategy
“All the activity is good but what do I tell the management?” asked my first marketing manager once.
The question is valid. Stakeholders do not care about your social media likes or backlinks. They will only invest if they see content marketing ROI statistics. How to deal with that problem?
Method 1: Return on Investment Calculator or Formula
Idiotplatform provides an effective way of calculating the investments on content strategy.
(Revenue generated – Cost of content marketing) / Cost of content marketing = ROI
It’s not sophisticated but enough for most companies new to content marketing.
Method 2: Classic Leads and Traffic
Adopt the classic way for a quick hack. It helps determine if content marketing strategy should be a long-term investment or not?
Ensure that leads tracking mechanism and CRM monitors every prospect coming from website or blog. If there is a considerable increase in performance of your lead magnets, you have the answer.
37 Tools for Content Strategy and ROI
Here are the tools that will help you produce good content, keep a track of the topics and measure outcomes.
1. Make My Persona: Hubspot offers this awesome tool to define the target audience. This step-by-step guide is helpful to every marketer.
2. Xtensio: This is a similar tool with a free basic version to create personas.
3. Quora:Not sure what your audience will like to read? Open Quora, select your industry and find out questions they are asking. This will help you create engaging posts.
4. Hubspot Topic Generator: Hubspot also has a topic generator for ideas.
5. Keyword Planner: Take Google’s help when you are trying to write on most searched phrases.
6. Headline Emotional Value: This simple test tells you the tone of a headline. Try it.
7. Google Analytics: You already know about this one. Use Analytics to get metrics on best performing content for your website. It is the part of your internal content audit program.
8. Buzzsumo: At times, Analytics data is not enough. Buzzsumo can give you content marketing trends for 2017 based on social media numbers.
9. Shared Count: Buzzsumo’s free is limited. You can use this tool to get unlimited access to social media numbers for any URL. It helps you keep an eye on the competition.
10. Sumome: Another social media share count tool that you can install on the website.
11. PR Web: To send out your press release content
12. MailChimp: Send emailers. Free for 2000 users
13. Medium: Manage or publish your content outside website for free
14. LinkedIn Publishing: Building community with content publishing
15. Hubspot Content Calendar: This calendar is most used by marketing teams. It keeps you on track of the publishing and distribution plans.
16. Convince & Convert Content Calendar: Similar calendar with different design.
17. PamMoore Content Calendar: Similar
18. Bob AgnusContent Calendar: Similar
19. Vertical Measures Content Calendar: Similar
20. WordPress Calendar Plugin: Similar
21. Roi Calculator: Easy calculator for return on investment values
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