In this article, I will cover content marketing goals that are aimed at planning, strategy, and execution.
Whether your product or service is aimed at the B2B or B2C arenas, having an overall goal-driven approach will ensure that your content creation is consistently focused.
If your strategies can be justified with expected results or serve a purpose, you are on the right path.
54% of B2B marketers rate their content marketing strategy as ‘moderately effective’ (Smart Insights)
With only 54% of B2B marketers seeing their content as moderately effective, it’s obvious there is room to grow.
Your content marketing goals should always have key objectives front-of-mind. Every strategy you initiate should serve a tangible purpose.
“This blog post is intended to rank for X keyword and will include references and call to actions to our white paper.”
1. Produce for content marketing goals, not needs
How much content do you produce? What are your monthly goals, budgets, timelines? How many of these do we make per month/ quarter year?
One of the goals of an optimized content strategy is to shift how you think about content production away from a needs-oriented system towards a goal-oriented system.
To do this, do not produce content when needed. Instead, have a content production methodology that maintains a steady production of high-quality content.
Too often, a deadline or sudden need becomes the reason for producing content, and when that happens, the “goal” of the content shifts from being a business objective to being a production objective. This produces bad content. Your content should ALWAYS be goal oriented and don’t assign a date until that’s been defined. Stakeholders or external departments should clearly define goals or objectives that justify the overall necessity of the content being produced.
→ Click here for a free Buyer Persona Template + 20 key audience questions!
2. Establish content forms toward content marketing goals
Determine what types of content are suited for the various buyer stages. To do this, establish a typical buyer’s journey and what types of content that person may consume as they travel along that journey.
On an even more micro level, the tone, context, and medium in which you deliver that content are also variables that determine what content you should be producing.
Check out my other post on buyer journeys and how to define them.
Top five B2B content marketing tactics: Social media content (92%); eNewsletters (83%); articles on your website (81%); blogs (80%); in-person events (77%). (IMN Inc.)
Create a templated content production workflow in which you have clearly-defined content forms as new topics or products come about.
Hypothetical: You are an eCommerce platform and you are about to release a function that offers shipping-fulfillment for your merchants. To advertise and raise awareness, you have a templated plan that calls for 14 social media assets, 1 technical white paper, 3 case studies, 2 fact sheets, 8 blog posts, and 10-15 creative/copy ad groups. As a marketer, your campaign begins long before the function is released and your campaign can be dripped out periodically.
3. Own your content
It’s often tempting to post in business websites and niche publications since they have amassed large readerships. Large readership publications are good ways to get bursts of site traffic and sales, however, if the publication does not provide links back to your site (backlinks), it can be a poor use of advertising budget.
In doing so, you end up building their audience (or worse, paying them to build their audience) while ignoring your own organic search potential. Further, this takes your readers outside of your funnels, your measurement capacity, and places them in someone else’s (usually an advertiser).
Creating search-optimized content that you host on your own site should be the first use of creative output. You then have the freedom to slice-n-dice it up into as many different assets as you wish.
This includes slicing and altering the piece to give to the external publication. If possible, you can give the publication an exact copy of your article with links back to your original piece.
Be sure they add a canonical tag (duplicate content indicator) so that Google does not index both pieces as duplicates and you both get penalized.
4. Measure the big picture
“How many social shares did our post get?”
“Our cost-per-click is too high to continue this campaign.”
“Our product pages have low traffic.”
These are all normal and valuable questions to ask at a glance. Don’t get me wrong, these questions have their place and utility in content marketing.
Measure the big picture.
This is one of the most important content marketing goals!
What are you trying to accomplish with each campaign that you launch? Is it a branding campaign or a lead generation campaign?
In my opinion, most marketers will begin to find momentum when shifting their target metrics to tracking leads generated, cost-per-lead, cost-per-acquisition, etc. Take a close look at the quantifiable value that your efforts are bringing from a sales perspective. A marketing department that can quantify their efforts is a whole different beast.
You create a really awesome thought piece and notice that you are getting the fewest amount of views in a long time. Your first instinct may be to alter your strategy and change your thought leadership approach. What if the new subscriber rate is 50% and that thought piece is leading to 2 contact form submissions?
Measure the big picture!
5. Marketers are not experts
While marketing owns the content strategy and production structure, most marketers are not experts in the product.
Ensure that you are utilizing the product experts and development team to ascertain important information is key to credible and accurate content creation.
Keep in mind, engineers and technical experts often require “herding,” to push them in the direction of why the products are beneficial and what is unique about them. An engineer describing a product may not have the information that a prospect or potential client may want or even need. Make sure your expert input is tailored for marketing. Ask the “whys” on top of the “whats”.
Engineer description: “Well the product utilizes a dual-band nanocircuit system. In addition, the molecular structure of the atmospheric environment around the neural hearth provides….”
That hurts to read.
Marketer description: “Our product provides users with one dashboard to connect all of your accounts, providing a universal ecosystem for your workflows. Enjoy elevated security, transparency and a save $X on third-party integration fees per year.”
To the point and benefit driven. Much better!
6. Recognize all audiences
It’s tempting to try to capture the eye of the decision maker, but there may be numerous individuals involved in the purchasing decision.
Is your ideal buyer a CFO, CMO, Head of Marketing, Sales Director, etc?
And who are they influenced by? Bank advisers, the consultants, experts, investors?
And how do they find the information they are searching for?
When companies establish ideal buyer personas, they benefit from pivoting their content to fit that persona. A downside to doing so can create an element of exclusivity with potential prospects that may sit outside of that circle.
Creating explanatory content for educational purposes may not be tailored for your ideal buyer, but it provides branding and awareness profitability.
If you are interested in defining your buyer personas and looking for a great template to get started, head over to my other post on creating perfect buyer personas.
7. Embrace when your content marketing goals miss!
Executing a content strategy that does not perform well feels cruddy.
To put it simply, no one WANTS to see a poorly performing marketing campaign.
It is vital to remember that negative campaigns are not the end of the world. In fact, it’s an opportunity to learn. If all marketing initiatives are being tracked and your analytics efforts are run like a tight ship, your campaigns are all enriching opportunities to gather data that will shape your future strategies.
So there you have it: 7 content marketing goals you need to implement today to maximize your output. Here is a small review:
- Produce for goals
- Establish content forms
- Own your content
- Measure the big picture
- Marketers are great, but not experts
- Recognize all audiences
- Embrace failure
Take these content marketing goals, write them out however you choose, print them out, and nail them to your wall. Keep these goals in front of mind every time you approach a new campaign.
→ Click here for a free Buyer Persona Template + 20 key audience questions!
Thanks for reading!
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