Winning at content marketing — and fantasy football — depends on having a winning strategy. You can’t predict everything that will happen, but with a solid game plan, you have a much better chance of winning.
If your content marketing strategy involves no more than randomly creating and sharing content, it’s time to put it on the bench. Start developing a content strategy that gets results.
Identify the Goal
Content marketing isn’t a Hail Mary endeavor. It’s designed to accomplish specific goals for your company. Just like in football, you can get points by scoring touchdowns, but you can also get points from field goals, safeties, extra points, and two-point conversions.
- Touchdowns are sales directly related to the content you created. Usually, people see a lot of different types of content before you score a touchdown.
- Field goal. A field goal isn’t a touchdown, but it’s a good score nonetheless. In content marketing terms, it could be a sales appointment, a direct inquiry about your services, a request for a quote, or a referral from a happy client.
- A safety is a score that gets you on the board. Think of safeties as blog subscriptions, email signups, or content downloaded in exchange for an email address.
- Extra points. Extra points are add-on sales in addition to your defined touchdown. It could be an upsell in the original transaction, like a warranty or added feature, or something the client chooses to add later.
- Two-point conversion. Two-point conversions are additional transactions with recurring customers. You get more and more touchdowns plus the added benefits of customer loyalty.
Select a Roster
The players on your roster are the types of content you decide to put into play, and you have many options from which to choose. Certain content types, like certain players, work for accomplishing certain goals. Try these suggestions when creating your roster:
Develop a Play
Every type of content — like every type of player on your roster — isn’t suitable for every type of play. For instance, you wouldn’t expect readers to give their email addresses just to read one of your blog posts, which means blog posts aren’t your go-to-players for lead generation. It’s fair, however, to ask for contact information in exchange for a free webinar or white paper. Use your blog posts as a setup, send in your webinar or white paper, and use an effective call to action to score the download.
Lighter fare like memes, short videos, GIFs, or infographics can build brand or message awareness. They’re great for earning social likes and followers, attracting influencer shares, or anchoring guest blog posts. Reserve your best players for scoring real points, especially when it comes to lead generation and lead nurturing. For example, offer a free buying guide in exchange for giving an email address and subscribing to your blog, or share an exclusive video link to reward your email subscribers.
Track the kinds of results you get from different plays and different players. Then, send in the players that get results, and deploy them in a way that lets you score. Here are a few questions that will help you keep score when it comes to content marketing:
- Did the content do what you wanted? Did it reach a certain number of people? Generate a certain number of leads? Allow you to collect important data?
- How well did it do what you wanted? Does one type of content or strategy work better than another? Is it worth investing more in the same content or trying something new?
- Was it worth what you spent? Did you stay within your budget and meet certain financial goals, such as cost per lead? Did you invest too little, get content of lower quality, and sabotage your own efforts?
Build a Winning Record
Many football teams play season after season with losing records — we’re looking at you Tampa Bay — but ultimately, every team wants to win. Develop a good playbook, review your game footage, and study the competition. Don’t be afraid to lose a few campaigns while you figure out what you’re doing. If you’re still losing after a few games, it’s time to pivot and rethink your strategy. With time and experimentation, you’ll get measurable content marketing results.