Fact: 66% of B2C marketers don’t have a documented content marketing strategy. Since you’re reading this, chances are you’re in this camp.
But that 34% of marketers who do have a clear strategy? They’re kicking butt. They’re using content to tell stories, build communities, bring more customers to their websites—and ultimately, make more money.
If you’re like most small business owners and marketers, you haven’t documented a content strategy for one of two reasons.
- You’re skeptical content marketing will help you reach your business goals.
- You know content marketing is valuable, but you simply don’t have the time to build a full-fledged strategy.
If you’re still not sold on the value of content marketing, consider this:
Campman, a small e-commerce brand competing against big retailers like REI used content marketing to drive 40,000 new site visitors and increase their email revenue by 10x.
Put simply, content marketing works.
But creating content without a documented content strategy is like driving cross-country without a map. You might get where you’re going eventually, but not without wasted resources and lots of wrong turns. And what’s more time-consuming: mapping out your route upfront, or trying to figure it out as you go along?
What is a documented content strategy (DCS)?
A documented content strategy, or DCS, is a plan that lays out the business objectives you want to accomplish with content and the approach you’ll take to get there.
A documented content strategy is not an editorial calendar. Creating a content calendar is an important part of putting your plan into action—but your strategy needs to come first.
A complete DCS will include seven key pillars.
- Purpose: Your business challenges and goals
- Brand identity: Your brand’s voice and personality
- Customers: Your target customer profiles
- Supply: A plan for publishing more content
- Distribution: A strategy for getting traffic to your articles
- Measurement: The KPIs you’ll measure to track success
- Technology: The tools you’ll use to execute your strategy
Why every e-commerce brand needs a DCS (yes, yours too!)
First, let’s get this out of the way: You’re not “too small” to be doing content marketing.
In fact, small businesses typically have the most to gain from a content strategy.
First, you have the opportunity to build a passionate community around your brand. Let’s say you sell yoga gear. By publishing articles about practicing yoga and living a healthy lifestyle, you’ll bring your target consumers to your website. From there, you have the platform to generate new leads, turn them into loyal fans, and drive more (and bigger) purchases.
And unlike your larger competitors, you don’t have bureaucratic hoops to jump through every time you want to communicate with your audience, so you can move quickly with content.
Finally, as part of a lean team, you’re held highly accountable for the results of your marketing strategy. You’re incentivized to drive real results instead of just pumping out content for content’s sake.
The gains you’ll see from putting your content strategy down on paper (or, let’s be real, on your computer screen) are tangible. Need proof? One study found that highly successful B2C marketers are 293% more likely to have a documented content strategy than their less successful counterparts.
Your DCS will help you stay on track and reach your goals. Without one, you run the risk of committing what I like to call “random acts of content marketing”—like publishing a blog post but never measuring its success, or creating an awesome video but failing to promote it to the right audience.
Okay…so how do you actually do this?
Every business will have a unique content strategy, and there is no silver bullet. The most important thing is to sit down and clearly define your challenges and goals before you do anything else.
For example, your goals might include:
- Building brand awareness
- Driving more traffic to your website
- Engaging new audiences
- Growing your email list
- Increasing sales
- Increasing your average customer lifetime value
Don’t worry if this sounds overwhelming to you—you’re not alone. Content marketing is a proven way to build your business, but it can be a time-consuming undertaking.
Remember the road trip analogy from earlier? Content is the journey toward your goals, and a DCS is your map.
Well, why not make Matcha your GPS to get you there faster?
Matcha works with hundreds of small e-commerce businesses to solve their challenges using content marketing. Not only will we build your documented content strategy, we’ll also help you execute it—from content creation to distribution to measurement—priced for small businesses. Talk to one of our marketing experts to learn more.
Feature image provided by Nick Morrison