Content marketing is the go-to resource for savvy businesses to engage their target audiences on what interests them. Whether it’s bagels, boots, beds, boats, or other stuff that may or may not start with the letter ‘b’. It’s indispensable for pumping up web traffic volume and conversion rates. That’s not new. But it’s almost 2024, and if the last few years are anything to go by, it won’t be simple. Big oncoming tech changes and consumer market shifts in 2024 mean Australian businesses need some new tricks in their content marketing strategies to compete and grow over the next years.
So, what are these mysterious changes? And what superpowers do content marketing strategists need in order to slay these ominous new challenges? Well, that’s where there’s good news. The new changes are in technology and market behaviours — and that’s stuff you can manage flexibly enough with the right knowledge and tools. But what does that mean? Here’s a nuts-and-bolts guide to building a winning content marketing strategy for 2024.
Why do I need content marketing for growth?
Few marketing vehicles are more attractive to experienced shoppers than information-rich content of high value. The best marketing content engages and compels its consumers. Sharing information that helps people, builds your brand awareness and trust, and elevates you to the status of an industry authority.
Content marketing, done well, inspires people and cultivates loyalty. It motivates people to rely on a business as a reliable resource and recommend it to their friends, family, and others. That’s the stuff of sustainable profitability for any commercial enterprise.
But, arguably, the biggest power punch from content marketing is the increased visibility it brings a business’s online presence – from socials to email to Google’s SERPs. Ahh, the SERP… where the proverbial rubber meets the road. That’s where so many potential customers figure out who to give their money to. Yeah, even in 2024, it’ll still be one of the key spaces where business growth is either enabled or crushed.
So, you need to be there — on the life-giving oasis of that first Google SERP. But how to get there and stay there?
How do you develop a content marketing plan?
A content marketing strategy outlines how you’ll create your content, distribute it, and measure its results for your business. Whether you’re creating an article, blog post, video, email, video, eBook, podcast, or other format, there are certain steps every viable strategy needs to consider:
1. Learn what kind of content your audience wants.
Pay attention to the kinds of content your competitors publish and what your target audience members do on social media that indicates their preferences.
2. Write for your defined buyer persona.
Which people are most likely to want your product or service? They’re your target audience. Create a buyer persona based on the challenges they need your help with.
SIDEBAR: Who’s your target audience?
To deliver content that’s sure to engage people, you need to understand your target audience. So, do your market research. Analyse the demographics. Learn people’s pain points. For example, maybe you want to help mothers who need better ways to organise their routines.
The goal of content marketing strategies is to help people understand your product and how it will solve their problem (better than other alternatives). The idea is to find out what kinds of content appeal most to your audience and deliver that. Okay, well, what do we know?
- Consumers like personalised messaging. So, customize your content for greater relatability to individual recipients.
- From brief explainer videos to product sales demos to customer testimonials, people respond to videos. So, post at least a little clip as a new attraction.
- People follow influencers who engage authentically with them. So, partnering on content with an influencer can be highly effective.
- Your customers can provide reviews, photos, videos, or other helpful content that could inspire others to try your brand. So, ask them to do that!
- VR and AR present memorable immersive experiences. Consider incorporating these technologies into your content marketing.
- Interactive surveys and fun quizzes are engaging and popular. So, find ways to use them to heighten enthusiasm and gather data on customer behaviours.
3. Research your competition.
Knowing what your competitors are doing offers lots of key insights. So, study their sites and social pages. See how they work with their audiences and how what you offer is better.
4. Take advantage of marketing tech tools.
There is a wide array of free web marketing tools these days. Google Keyword Planner, Google Analytics, Semrush, and many others are yours for a click or 2.
5. Set marketing metrics for your content piece.
Set a clear objective for every marketing content piece you publish. Maybe it’s increasing your engaged sessions, increasing the number of leads generated, or clicks on internal pages, etc. Whatever success looks like for your business, ensure you can actually track it.
6. Keep a content calendar.
Use a content calendar to track when and where your content is published. Some stuff to document on your calendar include:
- Topics of your content pieces
- Types of formats you used
- Publication dates
- Photos or graphic images used
- Platforms where published
7. Use a workflow, maybe similar to this, to execute your content marketing strategy:
- Generate ideas based on customers’ needs.
- List ideas from others’ published content.
- Determine what keywords you want to (and can) win.
- Detail how you’ll amplify and share the content.
- Create a brief that incorporates all this plus unique insights from your team.
- Write your content based on your brief.
- Edit to get the fluff out and fix the grammar.
- Publish the content on your chosen platform(s).
- Track the performance against your pre-determined success metrics.
- Identify insights gained and apply them to future strategies.
- Repurpose the content in other formats and outlets.
Simplify the process of creating, editing and organising marketing content by using a workflow process and/or platform. Only using your website’s CMS isn’t enough – you need a system that will keep track of approvals and allow you to collaborate with other stakeholders. Optimising your content management workflow will save you significant time and budget.
SIDEBAR: But, how do you actually create and curate high-quality content
Even the best content marketing strategy isn’t worth much unless it produces effective content. So, short ‘n’ sweet — prioritise developing the highest-quality content you can. Naturally, above all, it needs to deliver information of strong interest to your audience. What else needs to be more special about the content you offer compared to other brands? To figure that out, scrutinise your finished work:
- Is it clear? Or, is it just not not unclear?
- Is it credible, i.e., does it have the ring of truth?
- Is it engaging? Does it get and keep readers’ attention?
- Does it address the needs/desires of your audience?
- Is it relevant to your unique selling proposition?
- Is it in the voice of your brand?
- Does it include a call to action?
After you scrutinise, next, look for more ways to max out on optimisation of your content for SEO. And seek some high-quality organic backlinks wherever it makes sense to do so.
8. Optimise content distribution and promotion
Your content marketing strategy should lay out a plan for how often you’ll publish. Make the schedule one you can actually keep up with. Think about using a freelance marketing content writer or content marketing agency (like us!) to maintain a supply of consistently high-quality content at the frequency you need for your publication schedule.
Decide which content marketing channels are most advantageous for meeting your goals. Maybe Instagram, Facebook, your own blog page, offline publications, and others.
Here are some web marketing content KPIs you may want to track:
- Organic Search Traffic
- Click-Through Rate
- Bounce Rate
- Page Dwell Time
- Conversion Rate
- Open Rate (for emails and SMS texts)
- Social Post Engagement
9. Stay on top of the shifting trends
Revolutionary advancements in AI and other technologies and shifting consumer market behaviours are on next year’s list of big new challenges for content marketing strategists:
- New Technologies: Artificial intelligence (AI) is already taking the content marketing field by storm this year and promises to transform the industry in 2024.
- Changes in Consumer Behavior: Every year, more consumers prioritise a personalised customer experience and choose to trust brands that share their values.
- Using Visual Marketing Content: From YouTube videos to photo galleries on business sites, web consumers are attracted to exciting multimedia elements in brand messaging.
- Big Data and Analytics Needs: Growing Australian businesses will be even more dependent on consumer data in 2024 for insights to help them meet shifting demands.
- New Consumer Data Generators: AI and machine learning (ML) will deliver mass quantities of marketing data for analysis in 2024 and beyond.
Takeaway to 2024
Maybe your goal for a content piece is to drive more traffic to your site, increase your engaged sessions, or generate leads from it. Whatever you’re into strategically speaking, by most accounts, marketing industry experts find that successful marketing content is produced through a strategic plan. Happily, succeeding in the new content marketing paradigm of 2023-2024 and beyond is really about the kind of step-by-step content management process laid out above.
Still, with 2024 looming, the steps now include adapting your strategy to leverage the bold new AI tools, cutting-edge visual content, and other fresh tech advancements and evolving consumer behaviours.
Of course, the old standards will remain in place through 2024: SEO benchmarks, high-quality organic links in content pages, and supportive meta components. Core content marketing principles will stay the same too. You know: Publish high-quality content, maintain reliable publishing frequency, and quantify your ROI.
Beyond that durable formula for successful content marketing strategies, just keep on tweaking your practices in executing your process. And remember to evaluate the ways you allocate your content marketing resources to make the very most of your best opportunities.
Is it a lot? Yeah. So, maybe hand it off to professionals who know how to get it all done quickly and get the right results the first time. Then what’s left to do? Focus on all the other things on your to-do list while you sit back and admire the readouts of your content marketing analytics!