You’ve probably heard that “content is king,” but recent studies suggest that strategy is the supreme ruler when it comes to marketing and business growth. Studies from B2C Benchmark Report shows that 47% of the most successful content marketers utilize a documented and researched strategy for content marketing. Only 5% of the least effective content marketers don’t.
So, is input, or research and strategy, more important than content, assets, and overall output? Yes.
Emphasizing content and assets over research and strategy is like putting the cart before the horse. A documented, well-researched plan is the secret of success behind the most effective content marketing campaigns. That’s not to say that output isn’t important, though. The output is the fruit of strategic input labor.
But how exactly should you build the strategy? And when should you emphasize and invest in the assets your strategy should produce for your clients?
How to Optimize Output for Clients
Your content strategy, or output, needs to be determined via research, and hard numbers, and data. Guess-work is not a strategy. Relying on measurable data will increase the likelihood of marketing success.
Research should include the who, what, where, and why to increase the campaign’s effectiveness — the who, what, when, and why will become the essential ingredients in your campaign - audience, trends, media, and competitor analysis.
Who is your audience?
Do you want to understand your client’s online prospects? Then you need to know who their audience is. How do they make purchases? What answers are they looking for? How do they make purchasing decisions, and how does the buyer’s journey look for them? Knowing your client’s target audience will help you develop anoutput, or content strategy, that is tailored to their specific needs and will resonate the most with them.
What are the trends?
Knowing the trends associated with your client's industry or niche will help you develop your future assets. Analyzing the most engaging content or assets in your client’s niche will give you the data you need to determine the trending content patterns that are most likely to engage your client’s target audience members.
Where is the media influence?
Assessing media will give you the opportunity to find out who the top online media members and influencers are for your client's industry. Evaluating media will provide you with a chance to maximize the amplification of your future content and other assets.
The Final Why
Gaining an edge over your client’s fiercest competitors is one of the reasons behind creating and implementing an effective content marketing strategy that is crucial for business success. A strategic competitor analysis will help you and your client find any opportunities at the bottom or in the middle of your funnel that your competitors may not be capitalizing on.
Having a comprehensive input strategy in place for your clients will ultimately maximize the effectiveness of your content marketing campaigns. Backing your content strategy with research, and hard data will also significantly increase the chances of the campaign becoming a success. While output is important, input requires more of your time and attention, because it is the ultimate foundation for marketing success.