A good content strategy can never fail.
Did you know that nearly 65% of businesses do not have a content marketing strategy? For a successful outcome, the formula is a Good Content Strategy + Targeted Outreach (organic & paid) + Measurement. Without a content strategy, success or failure is just a matter of luck and most of the brands fail in this step.
Here we give a few simple steps in developing and executing a content marketing plan that will help you get successful results without wasting time and money. The steps are:
- Set your project goals and establish KPIs to measure the goals
- Understand what the project is about and create talking points that are in line with your project goals
- Know your audience better, do a bit of research online to get an idea of which channels your audience is most active on
- Create a content calendar aligned to your project goals and set frequency of posting
- Create an outreach strategy to increase reach and engagement. Set aside a budget to allocate content for paid ads.
- Measure results to assess the performance of your content pieces. This will help you edit the content as you go along and finally measure the success of your content marketing plan.
Recently one of our clients briefed us on their project goals i.e. to increase registrations for their Student Fellowship Programme. We worked backwards to achieve that goal by first investing time & effort to understand what the values of the brand are, the modules of the fellowship programme and in detail what each subject can offer the students.
Our client is an NGO in Gujarat, India and their target audience was very clear, students between 18 to 24. The challenge however was to achieve all of this in a matter of 2 weeks’ time, with a limited ad budget.
Here is a glimpse of our content strategy for the client:
Since our target audience were young college-going students who are active on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter; our focus was more towards creating engaging and relatable content with stunning, personalised post copy and catchy images, given the super short attention span of today.
As per the communication requirement, we experimented with multiple formats on Facebook and Instagram. In case if we had to measure which post performed well, we focused on looking at metrics such as engagement, reach and link clicks for registration.
Below are examples of different content formats used in the project.
- Multi-Image Post
Takeaway points: This multi-image post, was an overview of the fellowship programme. This post got good engagement on Facebook and Instagram both, however, with regards to link clicks, Facebook saw higher clicks on links.
- Single Image Post
Takeaway points: This single image post was to communicate the brand’s belief. This post got good engagement on Instagram and got good reach on Facebook. However, Facebook got the higher clicks on links.
- Video post
Takeaways: This video format is a testimonial by the ex-students of fellowship programme. The post got good engagement, reach and link clicks on Instagram.
During the 2 weeks, we worked with different content formats for different objectives. Some of the key takeaways from our project experience are:
- Videos worked better on Instagram than on Facebook. Videos on Instagram has also got good link clicks.
- Overall, we saw Facebook drive more link clicks than Instagram. Reach wise both platforms have performed equally well.
- From paid reach to organic reach there is a spillover effect. It boosts organic reach as well.
- We also did 3 countdown posts closer to the end date of registration and the final countdown posts drove the maximum organic visits to the profile and link clicks on Instagram.
Targeted outreach (Organic + Paid):
- Never underestimate the power of students. One of the student ambassadors took an initiative to post about the programme across student groups on WhatsApp. This gave us the conviction to reach out to more younger audience.
- Next step was to identify students, colleges, social cause groups on Facebook.
- We joined around 6 to 7 of such groups.
- 13 posts got 20 link clicks through groups. Which was a great achievement as messages in groups garnering clicks on links rather is quite unexpected.
While organic methods worked well for outreach, we recommend using a combination of organic and paid in reaching out to a more substantial target audience. It was only possible through a paid marketing campaign in reaching out to a larger target audience.
- Total number of ads: 7
- Amount Spent: Rs.1,730
- We experimented with two objectives: Reach and Engagement
Below are the examples of comparing the ad results of similar objectives:
From the above steps we have followed in our project, we were able to reach out to a larger audience and achieve our goals through both organic and paid media.
Measurement of the performance:
The main objective of the project was to get registrations. Considering the landing page, in this case, was a Google form, we couldn’t track using google analytics so we used bitly to track more accurately.
Independent bitly link was used for groups and posts respectively.
From organic groups: 13 posts = 20 clicks
For posts: 15 posts = 214 clicks
The best way to track the clicks on links and sources of traffic is through a UTM URL.
A successful marketing plan is a combination of a good content strategy, targeted outreach, and accurate measurement of performance.