Content Marketing: From Strategy to Campaign and Back AgainLast updated on 03/10/2020 at 09:51 AM.
Both your overall strategy and your individual campaigns are crucial for effective content marketing. While your strategy points the way and sets the course for the future, marketing campaigns produce short-term, measurable intermediate successes.
Content Marketing Strategy and Content Marketing Campaigns
As a first step, you must familiarise yourself with what these two terms actually mean within the context of content marketing and how they differ from one another.
Content marketing strategy: This overarching strategy is focused on the company’s long-term goals, such as branding, customer loyalty and the establishment of its own, wide-reaching medium of communication.
Content marketing campaign: Campaigns run for a limited time and are designed to achieve short- and medium-term success. They function as stand-alone aspects of the overall content marketing strategy and focus on a clear and measurable conversion goal, e.g. a specific target figure for subscriptions, logins or downloads. The component parts, the beginning, the execution and the end of the campaign are all clearly defined.
Campaigns are targeted at a wide range of areas. They may be about optimising user interaction on websites, increasing visitor numbers or achieving a higher Google ranking. Campaigns also deal with improving a brand’s market position and generating more buzz on social networks.
Even with their differences, campaigns and strategies are still closely interwoven. No campaign can succeed in the absence of an overarching strategy. The process strategies on which campaigns are based are developed in advance, and the campaigns themselves function as the “turbo engines” of large-scale content marketing strategies. Content for converting visitors must be organised and delivered via campaigns.
In a nutshell: Campaigns form part of your content marketing strategy. They differ from strategies with regard to their duration and planned objectives. Campaigns are aimed at achieving operationally measurable goals along the path to long-term strategic objectives, while content marketing strategies focus on long-term abstract goals, such as the establishment of a brand or the development of a company’s own communication channels.
How to Plan the Best Campaign Possible
The prerequisite for any successful content marketing campaign is precise, stringent planning. This planning can be divided into the following steps:
Name your goals and determine fixed time periods: Suppose you manufacture a hay fever medicine and want to make your medicine more popular. You might decide to achieve this through a campaign titled “Hay Fever in the Spring”. Of course, it’s precisely during spring that many hay fever sufferers are most troubled by the issue and search for it most intensively in Google. You have two main objectives:
- Increase blog traffic for articles on the topic
- Achieve a good Google ranking for the search term “hay fever”
Let’s say that the start date of the campaign is 1 March and the evaluation deadline is scheduled for 15 June. To meet his deadline, you must put together a strong team and allocate individual tasks to team members. Tools like Trello and Google Docs can assist you in the implementation.
Developing ideas for content: The next stage of the plan is to develop ideas for your content. Think about what will appeal to your target group in connection with the topic of “hay fever”. Use keyword tools such as Google Alerts to help you identify the most important keywords for your topic and related search queries. “Grasses”, “pollen” and “sneezing”, for example, are all popular keywords. Refer to blog posts and other content when selecting topics. Analyse the channels via which hay fever-related content is most successfully distributed.
Competition analysis: Focus your attention not only on yourself, but also on your competition. Through a competition analysis, you’ll see which content resonates most successfully with your competitors’ target groups.
The first step is to determine who your main competitors actually are. Look at your competitors’ content to find out which content resonates most with your target group and via which channels it is delivered.
Tools like Searchmetrics support you in analysing your competitors’ SEO, social media and content performance.
Determine seeding options: Ask yourself whether your content lends itself to being distributed over several channels. Furthermore, the content should have the potential to be linked from high-quality websites and those that are related closely to your chosen topic. Finally, don’t forget to review whether there are an adequate number of relevant internet pages dealing with your topic – only then will you have a chance to achieve outreach and promote your content.
Good indications of a website’s popularity are social signals and inlinks, which can be determined using tools like BuzzSumo. However, you should also inspect the website yourself – this is the only way to decide whether its structure and content meet your requirements.
Link keywords: Connect your keywords to your campaign. Check the ranking of keywords on a regular basis to ensure that you are not wasting time on outmoded terms.
Once you’ve passed through every step of the planning phase, you’ll be ready to implement the campaign “Hay Fever in Springtime” and begin producing content.
How to Optimise Your Campaign
Campaigns consist of many small wheels – and it’s essential that these small wheels interlock flawlessly. It’s vital that planning, implementation and analysis are carried out in the correct order. Pay attention to the following critical success factors:
Define a target and target group: Before you begin considering a concept and suitable content, you should know for whom the content is being produced. The goal of the campaign (higher Google ranking, social buzz, newsletter subscriptions) must be clearly defined. Only once you’ve decided this can you move into the design phase, since your target and target group will determine the content and channels you choose to use.
Ensure you have a compelling concept: An original idea alone does not equal a working campaign concept. When designing a concept, focus your attention on ensuring that all components are coordinated, that it has a logical structure and that it fits meaningfully into the overarching content marketing strategy.
Create good content with added value – a maxim that initially sounds banal, but really cannot be stressed enough. Attractive content is quintessential to your content marketing strategy. This includes good, cleanly researched texts and images tailored to the target group, all enhanced with relevant links. You must present your content in appropriate fashion and design your webpages in an appealing, intuitive and content-oriented way.
In addition, you should research fitting seeding and backlink sources for your content; this allows you to check how widespread and widely requested the topic at the heart of your idea actually is.
Observe the competition: You are operating in a highly competitive market with strong competition. The likelihood that someone else has already had your idea is significant. See what exciting ideas your competitors have not yet implemented or have failed to implement adequately.
Avoid simply duplicating successful concepts. This will cause you to disappear in the masses and lose the valuable traits that make you unique.
Optimise the landing page: Pique curiosity for your offer through an optimised landing page. Look for relevant and up-to-date content and position this content in the visible area of the website. Provide solutions to problems. All content must be SEO-optimised and aligned with top keywords for the topic at hand.
Moreover, users also expect a visually appealing design with simple and clear navigation. Integrate trust elements to encourage users to place their confidence in you. A clear call-to-action is a must for moving the user to interact.
Choose the right time: Even the best content will vanish if you publish it at the wrong time via an inappropriate channel. Think carefully about when and how to publish your content. There are no magic formulas, but there are a number of basic rules to observe. Christmas-related topics, for example, are an excellent choice in December, but are irrelevant in June.
Analyse campaign performance: The final measurement of success is a core element of any campaign. Tools like Google Analytics can help you to do this. Take an in-depth look at the performance of your content to find out where potential for optimisation is lying dormant.
As you’ll see: There are endless possibilities for optimisation, from the beginning of a campaign right to the end. Only if you observe all the points mentioned will your project have the potential for significant success.
Always keep in mind: Only a marketing campaign that is integrated flawlessly into your overall strategy can lead to success. What’s more, if you’re tweaking your campaign in the right places and enhancing it with content accordingly, your chances of success will increase immensely.
Gerrit Grunert is the founder and CEO of Crispy Content®. In 2019, he published his book "Methodical Content Marketing" published by Springer Gabler, as well as the series of online courses "Making Content." In his free time, Gerrit is a passionate guitar collector, likes reading books by Stefan Zweig, and listening to music from the day before yesterday.