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The digital nature of marketing today allows for the distribution of content at breathtaking speeds. Advertisers target ads based on a population’s demographic profile including a consumer’s age, geographic location or areas of interest. In fact, the power and precision made possible by electronic marketing has made a content management strategy even more critical to a business’ success.
Simply put, content management is the process of creating, editing, posting and managing digital content. Whether you create your own or hire an outside company to develop and execute it for you, here are 5 essential elements to a knockout content management strategy.
1. Define your Target Demographic
A traditional marketing campaign might include print media, internet marketing, networking events, or television ads. Today, over 80% of small business owners also incorporate social media in their marketing strategy. A quick look at social media provides an excellent example of why it is imperative to define the target demographic, because social media networks are not all created equal, at least as far as user demographics are concerned.
Social media networks are not all created equal, at least as far as user demographics are concerned.
The Pew Research Center compiles comprehensive statistics on social media user demographics broken down by characteristics such as age, race, income, and education. In the Social Media Update 2013, their researchers confirmed that Facebook remains the most popular social media network by far, and along with Instagram, has the highest levels of user engagement. So, for example, if you own a retail business, these two social networks are great choices for engaging the client base and encouraging them to post how they are enjoying or using your product. Facebook and Instagram would also be ideal platforms to run a contest and do a product give-away. Another example is that women are four times more likely to use Pinterest than men, so perhaps Pinterest would be a good choice for a business with highly visual, eye-catching products geared towards women. And older consumers like LinkedIn, which after Facebook, has the highest percentage of users in the 30 to 49 and 50 to 64 age brackets. So, if your service or product targets C-level employees or managers, LinkedIn might be the right social network choice.
2. Understand Media Consumption Patterns
One aspect of content management strategy that is often overlooked is what device the target audience is actually using to access social media, a general marketing campaign, an e-commerce site, or an app for the business. Eighty percent of mobile device users have the Android operating system, and Android users tend to have lower incomes and slightly lower rates of engagement than iPhone users. iPhone owners have a higher level of device engagement, make purchases more often with their mobile device, have higher incomes, but are much less widespread than Android users. So in developing a content management strategy, a business must determine if the income and location of the target audience is conducive to owning iPhones or Android devices, and also whether the marketing strategy needs breadth, depth or both to work. For an interesting article on this subject, read the Business Insider comparison published in April, “These Maps Show That Android Is For People With Less Money,” and to analyze a target area specifically, try Mapbox which shows geographic mobile device usage based on Tweets.
3. Identify Meaningful Goals
To ensure it is on the mark, a content marketing strategy should have meaningful goals that are established upfront and agreed by all parties. If the goal can’t be defined, then the outcome can’t be measured either. Examples of tangible goals are increasing subscribers or readership of an electronic newsletter as well as engagement with those clients when the newsletter is released. Another objective might be to convert engagement or ad clicks into an actionable response by the client, such as a call for a consultation. A company blogger might try to get the blog syndicated for more recognition and a wider audience. For some businesses, the management team may want to see Facebook likes and Twitter followers increasing every week. Another measurable goal might be the number of customers posting product pictures on Instagram or Pinterest and sharing their personal stories related to the products.
A great content management strategy must have meaningful goals defined for every platform and metrics which quantify the base case before the campaign is even launched. After the marketing effort begins, data points should be compared to the base case on a regular basis.
4. Measure Return on Investment (ROI)
A content management strategy must also include a basis for measuring both the financial impact and reach of the campaign. Metrics like organic subscriber growth versus paid subscriber growth, blog comments from readers, click-throughs and page likes are measurable indications of reach, but quantifiable financial impacts are a must too.
Levels of engagement for a content management strategy must be viewed in the context of campaign spend to see if the strategy has a bona fide ROI. You can easily analyze the basic data. For example, add a promotional code to a new social media ad to see how many people actually redeem it. Compare how many dollars were spent running the campaign to the number of coupons redeemed and you have a measure of the actual dollar spend, per new customer. Vary content blocks in a newsletter and monitor click-throughs. If click-throughs rise, dollars spent on creating the campaign relative to click-throughs will tell you the actual dollar spend, per click-through. If Page Likes and the number of Followers increases after a campaign, the company could be seeing increasing brand awareness and reach. Another great example of a measurable ROI is to link a product discount to a Pin on Pinterest. Monitor the number of click-throughs to your e-commerce store from the Pin and whether the coupon is redeemed.
5. Use Tracking Tools
To confirm the effectiveness of content marketing initiatives, choose a suite of tracking tools and monitor the metrics. For campaigns that link back to a company website, Google Analytics can provide extensive information on website engagement including whether visitors clicked through an ad, if they are new or returning, what pages were visited, how long they were on the page, and what keywords they typed in to find the site. Similarly, Facebook campaigns have a detailed Ads Manager dashboard which will show the number of users who saw an ad, Page Likes, website clicks and even the average price paid for the click on the ad. The Facebook Insights dashboard also provides an excellent visual summary of Page Likes, Post Reach and Engagement. For electronic newsletters that contain a multitude of clickable components, the post distribution statistics will detail opens, unique click-throughs for the individual parts, social media shares and open rates. All of these tracking tools will provide tangible measures of campaign effectiveness and a basis for tweaking a content management strategy. If you have engaged a content management firm to manage your strategy for you, many of these statistics can be exported to Excel, so ensure you receive monthly reports for review.
Would you like a more targeted, measurable and effective content management strategy? Resourceful Business can help define your user demographic and their consumption patterns and then put a knockout content management strategy in place to reach them. Contact us for a free consultation.