Key ingredients of a great content marketing strategy for 2022

December 20, 2021 | 4 minute read
Lee Odden
CEO and co-founder, TopRank Marketing
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Content marketing is rapidly changing and evolving. Likely, what worked in 2021 won’t work in 2022. Fortunately, content marketers are used to adapting to change and shifting priorities to meet industry trends and consumer expectations.

After almost two years of a global pandemic, the continued rise of influencer culture, and new regulatory changes, content marketers have much to consider. And as marketing budgets look likely to rebound in the coming months, having a solid content strategy will inform your investments in 2022.  

I believe that a successful content marketing strategy boils down to five basic ingredients:

  1. Goals
  2. Operations
  3. Insights
  4. Architecture
  5. Measurement

With a clear grasp of these five elements, you’ll be well on your way to producing content that achieves results. Let’s take a closer look at each one.

1. Strategy and goals

You can’t have a successful marketing strategy—content or otherwise—without knowing what you hope to achieve. Consider defining your goals using declarative statements that bring together descriptive and proscriptive aims.

For example, a medical equipment manufacturer might want to increase revenue 5% by raising awareness of its innovations among regional hospital chains that match the buyer profiles of their best customers.

2. Operational considerations

Operational considerations come down to your capabilities—those you have and those you’d like to have. What internal or external resources do you need to achieve your marketing goals? Do you have the talent in-house to create content, promote it, and analyze the results? Or do you have to look outside your organization? What type of software will you need? Are you fully utilizing the technology you already have?

Answers to these questions help you narrow down what’s possible within your strategy and identify additional resources you’ll need to bring on.

3. Customer insights

Here we get to the heart of the matter. To create the best possible content experience, it’s essential to understand who your customers are and what they’re looking for as you plan for various content types, topics, and promotion. What’s most important to customers during their journey with you?

Let’s break down the journey a bit more and identify the goals at each of three important stages: discovery, experience, and action.

Discovery

How do your customers discover the information they need to make purchasing decisions? What search terms do they use? What forums or special interest groups do they belong to? What publications or newsletters do they subscribe to? What events do they go to? What’s in demand relative to what you’re promoting?

The goal at this stage is to uncover the customer’s language. Keyword research is a great place to start, but you can expand on it by using question research tools, such as StoryBase, SerpStat, and BuzzSumo. Successful content answers these customer questions and leads them to the next step in their journey.

Experience

The next consideration is how your customer prefers to consume the information you provide—not just the topics they’re interested in, but the formats they prefer, the level of interaction they expect, and the devices they’ll be using.

In the past few years, content has been trending away from two-dimensional text to the more visual and experiential. I believe this trend will pick up steam in 2022 with the addition of virtual and augmented reality. In fact, the intersection of influencers and interactive has gained substantial momentum for B2B companies we work with. Doing this satisfies two objectives. First, it's a better experience for end users because they see trusted people in an informative and entertaining format. Secondly, the influencers are inspired to share visually engaging and interactive content because it makes them look good.

Action

What triggers motivate your customers to take action? What do you want them to do after consuming your content? Here again, I’ve seen some recent shifts. Where B2B content marketers once used fear, uncertainty, and doubt to drive home their message, I’m seeing a lot more humor and creativity.

B2B doesn't have to stand for “boring to boring.” Try connecting with people on an emotional level through something that‘s uplifting.

4. Campaign architecture

Campaign architecture—or as I call it, story planning—is about identifying the topics your customer is interested in and then reconciling them with what you’re trying to promote. Think about the narrative (thought leadership, practical information, decision-making information) that will guide the buyer to where you want them to go.

To help tell the brand story, we’ve taken a more collaborative approach by engaging with industry influencers who provide credibility and distribution. We’ve also expanded the concept of who can be an influencer by looking to internal experts, niche industry experts, and even prospects as subject matter experts.

5. Measures of success

Finally, you must be able to measure the results of your campaign. For this, I recommend an attract/engage/convert model:

  • To what degree are you attracting the right audience?
  • How successful are you at engaging them in the right way and creating a great experience?
  • What are the conversion metrics (newsletter subscriptions, downloads, trials, demos, or purchases, for example) that will define success

In the end, it’s essential to understand who your customers are, what they care about, and how their goals relate to your products and solutions. And remember: Customer insight isn’t a project; it’s an ongoing effort.

 

Discover more about how to create a winning content strategy and streamline content creation with “3 steps to a successful content management plan.”

To see how a content management system can help you streamline your content marketing strategy, visit the Oracle website or explore Oracle Content Management,

 

Lee Odden

CEO and co-founder, TopRank Marketing

Lee Odden is the CEO and co-founder of TopRank Marketing, a Minneapolis-based digital marketing agency specializing in strategic internet marketing consulting services. As an active thought leader in the digital marketing and public relations industry, Odden has contributed to numerous industry publications and is author of Optimize: How to Attract and Engage More Customers by Integrating SEO, Social Media, and Content Marketing.


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