Successfully Planning a Content Marketing Campaign
July 29, 2021
Classical advertising is out, content marketing is in. Content that is perfectly aligned to your target audience attracts large numbers of visitors to your site and provides valuable leads. Guaranteed sales? Well, it’s not quite that easy. Content marketing campaigns must be meticulously planned.
Foreknowledge: What Works and What Doesn’t?
There’s no place for wishful thinking when planning a content marketing campaign. What can a campaign accomplish? Which resources will be required? And what are the limits? It is vital that even before you start, and that means before the planning stage, thought is given to the important details. It’s the only way to avoid failure.
A concrete campaign must be able to achieve a measurable goal, for example obtaining a certain lead. Unmeasurable or difficult to measure goals are most often a part of a comprehensive marketing strategy.
The campaign must offer the target audience clear additional value. In this case that means the current Google search results don’t yet deliver enough information. The intended marketing campaign then fills this gap.
The planned marketing campaign is consistent with the current content marketing strategy
If difficulties arise with any of these points, the campaign should be fundamentally reconsidered. A solution could, for example, lie in revamping the underlying content marketing strategy. An adaptation of these overriding aspects to accommodate a subordinate element (the specific campaign) is however the exception.
What are the Operational Limits of the Campaign?
A company’s content marketing strategy is comprehensive and has long-term prospects. In contrast, a single content marketing campaign is strictly limited with respect to the duration and the goal. That’s why it’s important that:
From the start, the campaign is planned for a certain duration. It has a set start and end date.
The campaign team should also be assembled early on. A clear distribution of tasks is important.
The objective is also fixed and is expressed as a precisely defined conversion goal
Some examples of conversion goals are downloads, orders, clicks or newsletter sign-ups. The improvement of Google rankings is also an indicator for the success of a campaign, as well as being distinctly measurable.
How is the Target Audience Wired?
A successful content marketing strategy speaks directly to the targeted group. The message is aimed at the customers’ needs or triggers potential desires to be used for its own goals. With a concrete marketing campaign, it’s helpful to make distinctions within the general strategy’s target audience.
Often only a section of the target audience is addressed. The better the available information on the target group is, the easier it is to differentiate within it, making the campaign that much more accurate. In doing this it’s more effective to work with personas than with abstract statistics. There are two options for a content marketing campaign:
From the group of existing personas in the already established content marketing strategy, one or two are chosen, or
Based on established data and the aim of the campaign, the campaign team develops new personas
Out of this, initial answers arise, for example in relation to the preferred content format, the type of appeal, or the sought-after information. The target group itself determines the content.
Content marketing of course means it’s all about the content. So, after defining the campaign goals, the creative phase comes next. This is where good ideas should be collected: with which type of content can we best appeal to the target audience?
Seasonal topics can offer good inspiration
Searching for specific keywords on Google often leads to sudden inspiration
Analyzing competitors also provides good suggestions for topics
Keeping an eye on the competition in the form of competitor research analysis prevents failures. Because the likelihood that another company already found success with a similar content marketing campaign is high, especially in very competitive markets.
Brainstorming with your team is the perfect means for generating ideas. Spontaneity is particularly important here, as only no-holds-barred thinking gives brainstorming a real chance. The ideas are compiled and then sorted afterwards. Often a combination of two or more ideas, that on their own may seem absurd or incomplete, become the foundation for an original and successful content marketing campaign.
Division of Labor
How much content can be produced in house? That is dependent mostly on your own resources. And for which project details is it worth hiring an outside contractor? There are many specialized agencies today particularly, in the area of content input. If the core competence of your own company doesn’t lie in the production of content, commissioning a specialized firm in the marketing branch is generally worthwhile. That way the company’s core business doesn’t suffer by other important projects being neglected.
One thing is clear:
content marketing costs money. For that reason, the crowd can be helpful, especially with large-scale projects. This is particularly true for the planning phase: Involving the crowd – for example in the form of surveys on the product/service and planned campaign actions, so-called concept testing or inspiring idea input – provides decisive information on the possible success of the campaign in the preliminary stages.
Good planning is the foundation of a successful content marketing campaign. Creative ideas are just as important as defining the target audience as precisely as possible, and establishing distinct, measurable goals. If the campaign fits seamlessly into the existing content marketing strategy, it will likely also be successful.
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