Towards the close of 2014, Content Marketing Institute (CMI) founder, Joe Pulizzi, released a statement outlining that most companies performing content marketing are ‘winging it’ rather than focusing on a specific strategy.

Considering a whopping 89% of Australian organisations engage in content marketing and 63% of these organisations plan to increase their content marketing budgets over the next 12 months, this is a pretty scary statistic. (Source: Content Marketing in Australia 2015: Benchmarks, budgets, and trends)

It seems to me that there is a lot of marketing budget going down the drain.

In an attempt to save a few of these wasted pennies, I recently wrote a report outlining ways to properly align your content marketing strategy with your business plan and would like to share the basics in this post.

Here’s how it’s done:

1. Determine your Goal

The first step is to determine your business goals. Yes, it can be tempting to get caught up creating exciting strategies, but before you even think about what content types to create, it is important to define what you wish to achieve.

Ask yourself questions such as:

  • What are my goals?
  • Do I want to position my company as an authority in a certain niche? Or, do I need to grow my social followings?
  • Would I like to increase site traffic?  Focus primarily on the SEO benefit of content marketing? Or both?

Your answers will help dictate the direction you should take in developing your plan and overall strategy.

2. Align your goals with your strategy

The second step is to support these goals with your strategy. This is where you play matchmaker to support your goals with appropriate content strategies.

Some strategies you may like to consider are:

  • Post blog posts on authoritative sites
  • Embed and share product and/or company videos on websites, blogs and social sharing platforms
  • Send out products to blogger and product review sites
  • Infographic placement
  • Giveaways and competitions.

Let’s put these strategies into play. For example, if promoting an upcoming sale  is your focus, you should target your efforts towards a site with high social following and/or website page views. Alternatively, if you are looking to rank for certain keywords or increase your site’s domain authority, a site with a high DA ranking would be more beneficial.

Evaluate and (if necessary) re-evaluate your strategy

The third and final step is to evaluate how the strategy went overall. In this step it is important to figure out what was successful and unsuccessful with this campaign, and attempt to identify any variables that may have affected the content’s performance.

The good news is that there is always a big chance that you will tick more than one goal box with a single strategy implementation. For example, we recently ran a giveaway to increase a client’s EDM sign-ups. In addition to increasing their EDM numbers, we grew their social followings and gained a high quality link back to their website.

In conclusion, content marketing is not just about picking a cool strategy and running with it in the hopes it will succeed.  It should be a thorough process of outlining your business goals, developing suitable strategies in line with these goals, and evaluating your strategies for future development.

If you have any further questions on creating an aligned content marketing plan or need help with strategies for the year ahead, feel free to contact us today to have a chat about how we can help you.