You’ve probably heard a lot about content marketing and might even want to make it a regular part of your business operations, but do you know which content marketing services you’ll need to be successful? It’s easy to put the cart before the horse in content marketing. The fun part is brainstorming all the possible types of content your business could benefit from. The hard part is formulating a process that will take you from strategy all the way to execution.
Here’s our advice; prepare ahead of time so you can hit the ground running. If you take the time to define each of the five common content marketing services, you’ll be doing yourself and your business a huge favor.
Don’t confuse a content strategy with general content marketing. Content strategy is all about the rules you create that must be followed to reach an end goal. As a content marketing service, strategy serves as your roadmap and guides your discovery of which actions will be needed to accomplish desired results. The strategy should outline how and why your content will be created by validating or dismissing the types of content your brand owns.
There are three ways to improve your content creation process:
1. Review Your Website Visitors
Taking a look at your website traffic offers a variety of options you can use to your advantage during the content creation process. If you see a steady stream of traffic being funneled to your website from a specific location, industry, or job role, that’s the perfect opportunity to create customized content which speaks to their needs.
2. Talk to Your Customers
This is a form of market research. You want to become intimately familiar with your customer’s needs so you can address their concerns, resolve the problems, and earn their trust. This is also a great way of determining what tone they like to communicate with. Duplicate the voice of positive interactions in the content you create.
3. Monitor Social Media
Usually, this refers to using third-party tools to observe behaviors exhibited by your target audience. It’s an effective way to discover preferences without interfering with the way your audience interacts naturally with content.
What’s the benefit of content management? It can be used to position your content in a way that appeals to your target audience. Not only that, it’s the only content marketing service that should be visited over and over again with the same content. Why? Because once you’ve promoted your content and analyzed it, you’ll probably have a few things you want to make changes to.
Approach content management as a way to organize and optimize the content that’s been created. Create a content schedule that dictates when blogs, newsletters, social media posts, and all other types of content will be published. Once an appropriate period of time has passed, you can return to the schedule to repurpose successful content.
Content promotion is one of the more complex content marketing services. There are three types of media involved in content promotion:
- Owned media. These are media resources owned wholly by your business. Social media, blogs, and emails are examples of owned media.
- Paid media. It sounds self-explanatory, right? Any time you pay for a promotion it falls under paid media. Boosted posts on social media, sponsored blog posts, and television commercials are examples of paid media.
- Earned media. Anytime you gain publicity from a third-party that you didn’t pay for, that’s earned media. Mentions on social media, inbound links in blogs, and press releases are examples of earned media.
Content analysis is all about finding opportunities for improvement. This content marketing service is the most time consuming, but is also extremely valuable. Take some time to determine what metrics will be most valuable to review each week, as opposed to each month, for your business. Once you’ve established those metrics, start analyzing content performance, such as social media engagement, lead conversions, videos views, and lifetime performance. Conduct side-by-side content comparisons to see which types of content perform the best and worst.
Your content strategy is the most important aspect of your content marketing services. So is content creation, content management, content promotion, and content analysis. All five parts are equally important. A great strategy with poor execution on the content creation side will do more harm than good. Yes, content analysis would be basically impossible without content creation, but analysis plays a huge role in the development of improved content creation. Everything comes full circle.