Do you want to take your marketing to
the next level? Of course you do. Without a solid plan for attracting and retaining new customers, no business can grow. But in a crowded market, it can often be difficult to stand out.
That’s why, no matter what line of business you’re in, you need a clear, consistent approach to your digital marketing activities. Running ad-hoc promotions or relying on pay-per-click (PPC) advertising isn’t the road to long-term, ongoing success. And this is where having an expert content strategy agency comes in.
What’s involved in creating a great content strategy?
Content lies at the heart of any good strategy. Relevant, engaging pieces – whether they’re written copy, colourful graphics or dynamic video – are essential for raising brand awareness, boosting your visibility across both search engines and social media, and guiding your customers through every step of their journey, from initial interest to final conversion.
But every piece of content you create also needs to be serving a specific purpose, which could be getting email signups for prospects or pushing your key pillar content up the Google search engine result pages. This is why you need a clear campaign strategy right from the start.
Understanding content strategy vs. content marketing
The first step is understanding what we mean by content strategy, and how this relates to content marketing. You might think they’re one and the same, but in fact, they’re both distinctive parts of a comprehensive digital marketing plan, and you can’t have one without the other and expect to see success. So how do they compare?
Put simply, content marketing is what you do, while a content strategy is why you do it. In other words, the former covers all the activities you undertake in order to achieve your goals, whereas the latter sets out what these goals should be and what success will look like.
Your strategy, therefore, should dictate the direction you’re heading and what aspects of content creation you should be focusing on. This incorporates activity such as keyword research, competitor analysis and audience segmentation, so you know exactly where the opportunities lie and who you should be targeting.
The importance of a data driven strategy
Even if you think you’re capable of creating great content, how can you be sure that it’s actually serving its purpose? Many businesses still rely on gut feel to decide on the direction of their campaigns, but even if you have all the industry knowledge in the world, it takes specialist expertise in marketing to develop a content plan that actually meets your needs and the expectations of customers.
To achieve this, a deep dive into the data is essential. For example, using tools such as Google Analytics, you can identify which of your primary keywords are working well and whether or not your existing content is effectively answering the questions asked by potential customers.
What can a content strategy agency do for you?
There are three key elements involved in a great content strategy, planning, content creation and reporting. This should be treated as a cycle, where the learning from one campaign leads directly into the planning for the next. This ensures your inbound marketing strategy is being constantly refined to spot and adjust to shifting customer expectations, as well as changes in the market.
Getting the strategy right
Step one is to make sure you’re all pulling in the right direction. Setting out a data-driven strategy will identify where to focus your efforts, depending on your goals and budget, ensuring that every action you take has a clearly-defined purpose.
For many firms, the range of options can seem overwhelming. Do you go with blog posts, animated videos, infographics, white papers, social posting etc? Picking the right content can often feel like being at an all-you-can-eat buffet with only a tiny plate. You can’t have everything, so having a content strategy agency to help you pick out the choices that best meet your needs, and ensure they’re effectively working together as a coherent meal.
Effective reporting and learning
Ensuring you identify key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics to track and review your progress against these on a regular basis is a vital part of any good content strategy. However, this can be tricky if you’re not well-versed in data analytics. Therefore, an expert in this area who can look at the numbers and pick out the most pertinent learnings and metrics is essential in setting your future course.
Good content marketing agencies should provide regular reporting updates highlighting how they’re doing against these previously agreed KPIs, in addition to any future recommendations. It’s best practice to review these on at least a quarterly basis, but monthly snapshots can also be valuable to gain insight into your performance.
The best mix of content
The creation itself is at the heart of any good strategy. Knowing what content type will work best to appeal to your specific target audience is only half the battle. You also need to make sure you’re including all the technical elements such as search engine optimisation that are vital for getting it noticed.
Quality content is difficult to do well. Therefore, a creative content marketing service that can provide you with easy access to specialists in every area, be it copywriting, graphic design or videography, is a great asset for you to turn to in order to boost your marketing performance.
Finding the best content strategy agency
While you could try and go it alone, a good digital marketing agency should be able to help you with every aspect of developing and executing a content strategy, from initial planning through to technical SEO and social media marketing.
How to know when you need a content strategy agency
Content strategy agencies may be especially useful if you’re a growing business with a small internal marketing team, or are planning the launch of a new product or service. It can often be very difficult for in-house teams to manage this on their own. Therefore, turning to a partner can give you easy access to professionals across all marketing activities.
An experienced content marketing agency will also be able to offer impartial advice on what you’re doing well and where improvements are able to be made. It’s often difficult to get a complete picture when you’re too close, so if you can’t quite see why your current efforts aren’t having the desired results, it pays to get a fresh set of eyes on the challenge.
It’s important you’re able to have confidence in your chosen partner. Any B2C or B2B content marketing agency should be able to provide examples of work they’ve done for similar clients. You should also find a partner that practises what they preach and can explain in clear, easy-to-understand terms the reasoning behind any content strategy decision.
What are our content strategy specialisms?
Being able to turn to a full service digital marketing agency that can address all of your needs in one place is often hugely beneficial. While you could work with various agency partners, from a dedicated content strategist to SEO experts and freelance creatives, having everything under one roof makes for a much more efficient way of working.
At Axonn, our team provides expertise across all three major elements of digital content marketing – strategy; creative services; and development and optimisation.
In strategy, we’re experts at analysing data, spotting patterns and identifying opportunities. Our team also knows how to translate these findings into real actionable insight.
When it comes to content, we provide services across written, visual and video content. Whether you want to draft a white paper, share an infographic or create an explainer video, we’ve got the right people to make it happen.
Finally, our development and optimisation services cover everything you need to get noticed online, from on-page and off-page search engine optimisation of existing content to full website builds.
Still unsure what an expert content strategy agency can do for you? Get in touch with Axonn to learn more.