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Understanding Your Content Marketing Objectives

Unfortunately, many online businesses are winging it when it comes to their content marketing campaign. Most don’t have a defined strategy so they’re simply publishing content— frequently and infrequently, valuable and not—in the hopes that it achieves some sort of favorable result. Some hit the jackpot with bits of viral content here and there, while others aren’t so lucky.

The fact of the matter is that in order to have a solid plan your content marketing objectives must align with your overall business strategy. Clear objectives are detrimental to the use of the right media, development of the right message, and creation of the right dialogue. It’s a matter of moving along the path from being found to engaging and generating two-way conversations with your target audience who eventually become brand evangelists.

With this in mind, let’s look at some common objectives you should consider when building out your content marketing plan.

Improve SEO and Traffic

Implementing SEO tactics to gain maximum exposure in SERPs is important, but it probably shouldn’t be the key driver of your strategy. If your sole focus is on keywords, you potentially ignore the needs of your intended audience. SEO should certainly play a major role when planning your campaign, but organic traffic and links should be a by-product of the high quality content you produce. Make this an objective so that you benefit from targeted keywords and phrases, just don’t make it your primary one.

Raise Brand Awareness and Recognition

If you’re still in the early stages of service and product introduction, then generating awareness for your brand will most likely be one of your primary goals. One of the most effective ways to extend the recognition of your brand, business, idea, or cause is to share several content formats across multiple channels.

Increase Engagement

The objective here is to generate content that turns awareness into something more meaningful. The content needs to resonate with your readership and actively encourage connection, participation, and relationship building in an effort to enhance an individual’s experience with your brand.

Improve Brand Perception

Brand perceptions and experiences develop over time through many different sources, including content. The content, tone, and style of the message you deliver helps the market relate to it, helps shape the way in which consumers view your brand, and contributes to higher conversion rates. Relevant, creative, and interesting content is among the top reasons people choose to follow a brand, which makes it all that more important.

Generate Leads

Content marketing is incredibly effective for lead generation. Understanding your audience, identifying the right content to create, and then sharing that content allows you to attract prospects who are willing to exchange their details for the content you have to offer.

Nurture Leads

After prospects provide their details and you have permission to market to them, you need to follow-up with meaningful and consistent dialogue. The objective here is to covert enquiries into qualified leads, and then convert those qualified leads into sales. Your aim is to build strong relationships and maintain mindshare with decision-makers.

Increase Sales/Revenue

When done correctly, content marketing ultimately increases sales. We’re not only talking about converting highly qualified leads into customers, but customers into repeat buyers. Your strategy helps you gain entry into a consumer’s decision process when they’re ready to purchase, and then proves to them that your solution is the best solution to meet their needs.

Improve Loyalty and Retention

If your goal is to turn customers into people who talk positively about your brand and pass on favorable word-of-mouth communications, then you need to focus on creating content in alignment with a solid customer retention strategy. A popular tactic includes the use of e-newsletters. However, you should fully explore the numerous options available before selecting the most appropriate tactics for your business.

Become a Thought Leader

Many B2B marketers see this objective as an area of significance since it differentiates them from competitors and establishes them as a trusted resource. If you choose to pursue this objective, you need to ensure you deliver exceptional value through fresh perspectives and game-changing insights.

Other Objectives

Other key objectives you may want to consider include educating your market, creating greater brand affinity, generating referrals, raising marketplace visibility (globally and locally), influencing key stakeholders, increasing user generated content (e.g. reviews and fan sites), up-selling and cross-selling, and gaining competitive intelligence. In addition, you may want to increase the lifetime value of a customer, improve customer service (before and after the sale), build collaborative, deeper relationships with your online community, and create passionate brand advocates. Keep in mind that the objectives of a B2B company generally differs from that of a B2C company.

Ultimately, you need to figure out what a successful content marketing campaign looks like to your business. The only way you’ll be able to strategize an effective plan is if you know what you’re aiming to achieve. Consider your business strategy and then determine which objectives are most relevant to your strategy. You’ll then be able to pinpoint which metrics to measure and set benchmarks to establish the impact of your campaign.

Do you have clearly defined content marketing goals? Share your thoughts below.

eBooks: One Marketer’s Success

We are happy to have Mike Omar share with us his success with eBooks, now the fun disclosure: The view and opinions expressed by Mike Omar, may not fully reflect the view and opinions of The Content Authority, however, we have known Mike for some time and appreciate that he has something really great to share with us. Enjoy and make sure you share your comments below!

Before Kindle ever existed, I had been making passive income selling ebooks on my own websites. My most prominent (and popular) one is an ebook that teaches you how to buy and sell tickets online for profit (the way I got started in making money from home). That website has been making me about $300 per month for years now – all passive (you can learn how to build a website just like that one at my sample sales page website).

Although my ebook websites make me passive income, remember that “passive” is only passive AFTER LOTS OF HARD WORK! After doing the keyword research and competition analysis to figure out what topic to make an ebook about, I had to write the ebook, build a website to sell it, set up the payment processor, and then get the website to rank in Google for the targeted keywords (by building lots and lots of backlinks). In other words, the “passive” part came after at least six months of effort. It was absolutely worth the effort to build lots and lots of these ebook websites, but it wasn’t easy.

When I first heard of the Kindle platform, I was intrigued and decided to give it a shot (since I already had several ebooks already written). I figured it couldn’t hurt. It took me about a week to convert seven of my ebooks to the proper Kindle format and get them all uploaded onto Amazon.

Then…

In my first month I made over $600, with NO PROMOTION AT ALL.

Obviously this was very different from what I was used to, which was a much longer process that takes several months of work and could result in a wasted effort.

With Amazon Kindle, your book is published and is getting eyeballs on it that same day.
What differentiates Kindle from Google is the fact that in Google you are competing with a bunch of websites, a lot of which contain a lot of free information. If someone lands on your website, they may see that they have to pay for your ebook and immediately turn away to look for free information elsewhere.

When someone is on Kindle browsing books to buy, they are already in buying mode. So the opportunity that the person will buy your ebook is much higher right off the bat.

Obviously after that experiment with Kindle, I now use it as my main platform to sell ebooks and try to put out at least a couple each month.

The money I use to outsource the writing for an ebook is usually made back within 2-3 months, so it’s easily a winning model.

I’ve been doing ALL my outsourcing for ebooks and backlink articles through The Content Authority – that’s why I was happy to write about my eBook success story when they asked!

The only reason I haven’t abandoned my old method entirely is because the old method allows me to sell my ebook at any price I desire, so if I can accomplish ranking for my targeted keywords, those ebook websites end up making me more money than Kindle, but again – that model is more difficult and more risky.

With the Kindle model, you can sell at any price you want to also, but remember – you are now dealing with a Kindle Buyer who has been browsing ebooks that sell for an average of below $6 each. If they come across your ebook at $17 or $27, unless it is the most attractive ebook they have ever seen, they aren’t going to buy it!

That isn’t the case with an ebook on your own website…if you make your sales page strong enough, people will buy your book. So the tradeoff is more buyers for less money if you are using the Amazon Kindle, as well as immediate results.

If you have an ebook written that can be sold, I’d recommend selling on both your own website AND on Kindle. Hopefully this idea will inspire some of you to get your ebooks on the web selling for passive income!

Learn more ideas on how to make passive income at the Make Money from Home LIONS CLUB.

What is Content Strategy?

As I set out to write about Content Strategy, I did not want to write a blog article that was mysterious, overly technical, deep and out of touch. The last thing we need is an incomprehensible understanding of something that is not meant to be overly complex or hard to grasp! At the same time, as I have studied Content Strategy, a series of questions, basic and complex, began to flood my mind. What is Content Strategy? Why is it important? How is it created? Who creates it? What happens when you have a Content Strategy? What are the tactics to implement the strategy? Where does content fit into a Content Strategy? How do you manage Content Strategy? Over time, I would like to cover all of these questions and more, but I will start with…

What is Content Strategy?

The more I looked at Content Strategy, I see it as the bringing together of two subjects that, if understood and appreciated, can foster the creation of better content, better experiences and better results, for content consumers and content distributors alike. In trying to keep with a less complex approach, I think it is best to parse these words to appreciate what happens when they are joined together.

What is content?

In simple terms, content is “… is any information that is being distributed.” Taking this simple definition, content is information. When we look online, content can produced in the form of text, audio, video and images and it is then formed into various platforms as articles, blogs, reviews, press releases, case studies, etc.

What is strategy?

While the origins of the word ‘strategy’ have roots in the military , businesses have adopted the terminology and applied the principles into business, thereby creating an entire industry around strategy. Unfortunately, with this expansion and use of the term, it has become layered in definitions that are more complex. In short, strategy is the method by which one accomplishes goals.

A Beautiful Combination

When you bring these two terms together, Content Strategy can then be defined as, the creation of a content methodology to meet your goals. Kristina Halvorson and Melissa Rach, further expand on this in their book, Content Strategy For The Web, stating that,

Content strategy guides your plans for the creation, delivery, and governance of content. – Kristina Halvorson and Melissa Rach

Well, now that this is over! Happy Writing! Fortunately, it is not that simple! Having this clear concise definition in hand, opens up the door to the next questions, why is content strategy important and how do you get started?

Unfortunately, I’ll have to tackle that subject and more in my next blog article.

Have a question or want to post a comment, feel free to respond below! I would love to hear what you think and whether you agree or disagree.

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