As 2013 comes to a close, many corporate decision makers are beginning to plan their marketing strategies for the new year, and digital ventures will likely continue to be a focal point. While search engine optimization and social media appear to be at the center of many discussions in the average advertising department, content marketing should be a priority going into 2014, as it can come with a variety of benefits when properly structured and executed.
For example, a blog can be viewed as the central aspect of a digital advertising strategy because it drives attention and engagement more autonomously than social media or email marketing approaches would in certain situations. Additionally, content marketing can help companies make the most out of investments directed toward SEO, as the digital footprint is contingent upon a diverse breadth of activities rather than one or another.
Critical aspects for success
Business leaders who are beginning to prepare for the start of a content marketing strategy should always remember that structure, agility and relevance are integral to the overall success of the program. Employees responsible for writing and publishing the articles and blogs will need to be prepared and offered a variety of support structures to ensure consistent and solid performance.
If the leader needs a little guidance going into the planning stages, here are 5 must-haves for every content marketing strategy:
- CMS: A content management system must be selected and implemented to make the blogs and other articles available for reading on the Internet. Although many companies are beginning to develop their own systems for these tasks, the out-of-the-box options available to the average business are still viable candidates. For example, WordPress and Blogspot can be customized, are relatively affordable and extremely easy to use.
- Point guard: Businesses that get many different employees involved in the content marketing strategy will often have the most success in the long run, as more varied opinions and voices will create a more robust experience for the reader. However, companies must ensure that they designate at least one employee to be a point guard of sorts, overseeing and managing the entirety of the project.
- Calendar: Regardless of which objectives a firm wishes to achieve through the content marketing strategy, or what types of subject matter will be included, an editorial calendar has become more important in recent years. Search results will often shine more preferably on blogs that are consistently updated and posted. Businesses can walk the line of structure and freedom by setting up a calendar, but allowing employees to stray when more time-sensitive stories surface.
- Integration: The content marketing strategy will need to be integrated into the overall marketing plan, and this can be accomplished in a number of ways. Managers responsible for the various activities should work together to ensure a consistent brand image and voice between blogs, social media communications, emails and more.
- Creativity: Possibly the most critical aspect of a content marketing strategy is creativity. So many firms are beginning to write blogs, and this has caused increased saturation. Businesses that take the most unique and creative approach to content development and delivery will be able to distinguish themselves from the competition.