Content Marketing 101: The Core Elements to Success

Content marketing is an unambiguous concept—one that has so many underlining theories, that at times, it can feel overwhelming, crowded and hard to pinpoint. However, if you have any hope to successfully implement content marketing into your business of trade, you will need to dissect your strategy into a coherent phase by phase process.

Here is how to successfully divide your content marketing strategy:

Dive deeper into your target audiences’ interests

Without strategically aligning its focus, effective content marketing does not exist. Companies that believe its possible to deploy a strategy that hits all its targets at once will enviably learn that it simply cannot. The key to effective content marketing is designing a framework that concentrates on the individual rather than a broad outline of a target public.

In other words, dissect your target audience by:

  • Choosing a specific group of consumers within your trade.
  • Investigating the “best” customer is that chosen segment.
  • Use that customer as your model target, and deploy a strategy specifically designed to meet their interests.

Gain a well-defined understanding of your “best” customer’s interests

Once you’ve found your model customer, the next objective is to explore their motivations, emotional context and socioeconomic status. John Lemp, one of the defining craftsmen in modern-day content marketing strategies, believes that by knowing your buyers, you’re given a monumental advantage to seek their consuming “behaviors.” Creating effective content that resonates with their self-interests and beliefs is by no means easy, but nevertheless, your best opportunity at gaining their trust.

There are essentially three ideologies that define your model customer’s focuses:

  • What sparks their inspiration, as well as, what repels their curiosity and enthusiasm.
  • What will ultimately (or most likely) cause them to “stop and think” within the buying process.
  • What content can you provide that will assist them in their buying process (e.g., product information, company’s ethical background, vibrant imagery, etc.).

Understand “what actions” you intend your model customer to do next

Once you’ve painted a clear symbolic image of your “best” customer, the next step is understand what you want them to do, and the actions that will result in conversion. Being as though your ultimate objective within any content marketing strategy is to convert a “nonpaying” customer into a “paying” customer—your content strategy should strategically divide centerpieces that will assist and ultimately convert their behavior.

Metaphorically speaking, visualize your content marketing strategy as a taxicab service. Your first objective is to find someone “looking” for a ride; next, you will need to know “where” he or she is looking to go; and finally, you need to determine the best route to take in order to get them “where” he or she wants to go.

By understanding these three elements that define a consumer’s demand, you will know what necessary steps to take to provide them with what they ultimately want.

Define the tactics to explore that will motivate your “best” customer

An imperative realization in your content marketing strategy is to know “how” you are going to communicate with your model customer. In other words, you may choose to communicate with them thru social media, emails, text messaging, phone calls, etc.; and conversely, it may be they who will reach out to you as a result of your advisements such as guerilla marketing (e.g., digital signage, pedestrian questionnaire, custom stickers, etc.), or may be they found you thru an online search engine or a consumer reference.

Ultimately, you have to find the “right” way to communicate how you intend to gain their conversion. Creating content that intertwines a reflection of their principles and yours will most likely be your best chance at pursuing communication that results in business.

Which steps should you pursue first…?

One of the most difficult, and ultimately, defining aspects which shape your content marketing strategy is to know which steps to pursue first. Visualize your strategy as a puzzle or math equation. If you have any hope to achieving your final result, you will need a “process of alignment” that leads you to your final destination. Whether you intend to rely on friends or colleagues to echo your message, or cold-advertise your product, ultimately, you will need to define the “exact” steps to take that shape your end objective.