4 High-Value Business Content Strategy Examples
Many business owners create content without a clear strategy in place. Their content usually performs poorly, and they end up spending too much money and effort. The right content strategy can turn this situation around and help your company produce results.
What Is A Content Strategy?
A content strategy is a roadmap for how you’ll communicate with your customers. It shows the details of which customers you want to target and how they’ll consume your content.
Content comes in many forms, including documents, web pages, spreadsheets, videos, blog posts, and email. Some companies use a few of these pieces of content, while others incorporate most of them. It depends on your strategy and what you’re trying to accomplish. The target audience for content has different preferences on the mediums they choose to consume content.
As part of the plan or roadmap, companies should include a successful content marketing strategy, too. Even the best content won’t produce results if no one knows about it. Marketing techniques change frequently and keeping up with these changes is challenging.
Implementing your content strategy helps you stay focused, and it provides a way to measure success. When you set your goals for your strategy, you can monitor the content itself and where it is distributed. You see how responsive your content is to the groups of people you are targeting. You can alter your plans when you discover weak areas with your content.
Readers search for solutions to problems on the internet. Design your content to help these people solve their problems. This establishes authority and increases your chances of sales.
Who Are You Creating Your Content For?
Content creation isn’t a numbers game. By focusing on a targeted group of people, you’ll increase your chances of engagement and sales. Many of these people will become repeat customers.
You can learn about your target market from your data and social media statistics. For instance, Facebook Audience Insights report the number of people who fit a certain demographic and interests. It can even report on purchases made by these groups.
Once you have a vision of who your ideal customer is, create a customer avatar or profile. This profile provides a description of a fictitious person that matches the demographics and traits of your ideal customer. By referencing this document when creating content, you keep focused on who you’re targeting. Include the person’s potential problems and challenges.
What Problem Will You Solve?
When you research a product, you often seek one that solves a problem. You enter the problem into the search engine and try to learn about possible solutions.
But how do you know what problems people are searching for? People use forums and blogs to find solutions to their problems. They may ask questions on social media marketing as well. By engaging and connecting with these people, you can learn about those problems and tailor a solution for them.
Where Will You Publish?
Distributing your content is one of the bigger challenges with content strategies. What was effective two years ago may not work today. Some channels will become obsolete, while others will disappear.
It matters where you publish your content. Your content distribution must target legitimate and authoritative sources. This requires learning what they are and monitoring for when something changes. This task alone can take a significant chunk of your time, which is why many business owners outsource it.
Publication and Creation Management
The early days of the web required knowing HTML or hiring an expensive web designer. Today, the content management tools available allow the average person to publish content. The tools for content creation are sophisticated.
WordPress is one of the biggest platforms for publishing and creating content. Most website hosting companies include installations of WordPress, and it’s easy to install. WordPress is a Content Management System (CMS), which is a framework providing easy-to-use tools to create content within the system. If you know how to use a word processing program, you have the necessary skills to create content in a CMS.
Why Are Content Strategies Important for Business?
Content strategies are important for business because it helps attract potential customers. It helps people know about a company and its products or services. Content can be used to define the brand of the company, too.
If you don’t have a content strategy in place, chances are your competitors do. They’ll have the advantage of managing and tracking their customers. Without a strategy, you’ll have no way to understand how your audience is responding.
Content strategies take away the guesswork associated with creating content. Many business owners haphazardly create content. A content strategy will help you know who, what, where, and when to use the content. It also helps you hone in on what is working and disregard what isn’t.
An effective content strategy has the potential to create sustainable content. When this happens, it will produce for your company for months or even years. Publish once and benefit thereafter. It’s a cost-effective marketing technique.
When you provide value to your customers through your content, you increase the chances of repeat business. The content helps customers learn what your company is all about.
Some of these customers may even become brand ambassadors and will share your content. This has the potential of the content going viral. It doesn’t get much better than that.
Creating A Content Strategy
- Set goals for your strategy. Define timeframes, milestones, and metrics for your strategy.
- Assess your expertise based on the goals. Any tasks that you don’t have experience with can be outsourced.
- Determine your budget based on your goals and who will implement your strategy (internal and external).
- Develop your customer avatar or ideal customer profile. Use tools like Facebook Audience Insights and Google Analytics. Both tools provide useful information to help. This concept is also known as a buyer persona.
- Research the websites of your competitors. Sign up for their newsletters and even buy some of their products. See how the sales funnel operates and use aspects that make sense for your business.
- Create a newsletter to capture leads and warm your audience to your brand.
- Research Content Management Systems (CMS) and content creation tools. Consider the training associated with this task, too.
- Reach out to existing customers with polls, surveys, and quizzes. Use incentives to increase the participation rate.
- Acquire stories from customers and potential customers relating to your product or brand. Use those stories as part of your content.
- Analyze the possible distribution channels to see which fit your business. When creating videos, publish them on YouTube. Another option is to create white papers for your funnel and eBooks to give away. Determine the best social media platforms, too.
- Develop standards for your content. This ensures that the quality is high and meets the goals of your strategy.
- Implement a keyword strategy focusing on SEO concepts. Use these keywords to develop an editorial calendar.
- Create your content with the intent to build authority. When your audience discovers you as an authority, they will share it with others.
Great Content Strategy Examples
Learning about the content strategies of successful companies can help when defining your strategy. The following sections profile four companies that have implemented successful content strategies. These companies use content to create brand awareness and engagement with their audiences. They’re leaders in their respective business segments.
Hubspot provides automation for marketing, sales, and services. The company offers a freemium subscription model and several sources of free information. It’s services are based on inbound marketing, which tries to draw customers in. The company is successful at gaining subscribers and is why it is included as a content strategy example.
The content strategy for the company provides audiences with how-to and training information, including videos and text. These tutorials are meant to help companies learn more about marketing processes, which makes them better users of their software solutions.
The company revamped its content strategy a few years ago. They created two teams, one called the “heart” team, and the other is the “mind” team. The two concepts deal with relevancy and appeal of content. Hubspot targets several personas, including marketers, salespeople, and customer service, using the concepts of heart and mind content.
Hubspot uses two customer personas that are well-known to internal people. Owner Ollie represents the small business owner, and Marketing Mary represents a small marketing company.
Buffer lends a large part of its success from the simplicity of its platform. It is a scheduling app for social media. The major social media platforms are supported using the app.
The company’s initial content strategy was to use guest posting to grow its user base. They reached out to several prominent bloggers to write content on those blogs. The strategy worked and was a no-cost method of bringing in new customers.
As the company progressed, it moved to a central strategy of content curation. The company felt that too many bloggers attempt to create original ideas. Often, people don’t want to cherry-pick information from different posts or articles. The company found the best of what already exists and added value to it.
The company offers quality information for free and gives users access to its Customer Relationship Management module for free. This earns the trust of its users, which increases the chances for them to upgrade to premium services.
3. John Deere
If you think content marketing is a new concept, you should understand that John Deere is one of its pioneers. Back in the late 1800s, the company started a newsletter called The Furrow. It was geared towards farmers and helped them manage their businesses.
The company maintains this newsletter on its website to this day. It continues to offer valuable tips to farmers. The name John Deere has been associated with quality since its early days. The newsletter helps to reinforce that concept for generations.
The early concepts led the company to purchase a printing press and supported a publishing division. The company’s success is giving people quality information that helps solve problems. It has never strayed from this vision.
John Deere has expanded its publications to cover the different segments of the company’s business. For instance, the John Deere Journal gives information about the latest developments in the company.
4. Old Spice
It’s immediately apparent who the Old Spice company is targeting with their campaign, “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like.” The audience is women. When Old Spice was looking to reinvent itself, it learned that women are the ones who do most of the buying for their men, including men’s fragrances and body products.
The company used a handsome ex-pro football player turned actor and introduced comical features in its advertising to appeal to women and men. The company’s strategy with this campaign continued on social media channels, including YouTube. The videos of the advertising went viral.
The company continues to use this campaign and is currently targeting the next generation of men. A recent Super Bowl ad showed the original actor talking to his son about using Old Spice. His son decides to go a different route with an Old Spice product that is made for his generation.
Final Thoughts On Content Strategies
When you have a content strategy working for your company, you’ll be ahead of many of your competitors. Most small business owners believe that they need only write several articles about any topic that pops into their heads. A content strategy helps you create content that targets people who matter to your business.
Also, a content strategy lets your business gather data that provides insight into your customers’ actions, including engagement and purchases. The ability to track this information is a crucial component of altering your strategy for success.
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Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.