A few weeks ago, we shared a guide on how to prepare a successful content strategy. Today we’d like to show you how to put those tips into action to create a powerful content campaign.
It’s always easier to explain processes using a concrete example, so we’ve come up with a scenario that many companies may face, and we’ll show you how to solve it by launching a well-thought out content campaign.
Let’s say you want to increase your visibility in search and appear on some popular phrases related to your product. It doesn’t matter if you’re an early-stage startup or a market guru — following these steps will help you achieve your goal and create a simple process for all future content activities.
We decided to focus on an industry that recently got struck by the COVID-19 pandemic and may need some time to rebuild marketing strategies and adapt to the current situation — travel businesses.
The objective of this campaign is to dominate the Google auction for searches like: “things to do in…”. We want to reach travelers looking for tours and activities in their upcoming destination using content. The campaign should also help build loyalty amongst the customer base.
Let’s go through the steps we should take to create a strategy and produce content types to match this objective.
6 steps to create a successful content campaign
#1 Set a clear objective
We already have an obvious problem, and we know what we want to achieve with this particular content campaign. The next thing is to understand which marketing channels to use and what actions are needed to improve our current situation. In our previous article, we said that each piece of content needs to do at least one of the following: increase brand awareness, generate conversion or educate the audience. So now we need to choose the right platforms to achieve those objectives.
#2 Propose a solution
So which channels would be most effective for our content campaign? To become the leading source of “things to do in…” content and build loyalty amongst the customer base, we recommend focusing on:
- BUILDING ORGANIC SEARCH TRAFFIC – Increase SEO rankings for top keywords like ‘things to do in (city).’ Build landing pages and optimize them for specific keywords. We recommend LPs have a mix of editorial and conversion elements so users who land there not only find interesting content but can easily convert.
- BUILDING PAID SEARCH TRAFFIC – Launch campaigns for the most valuable keywords in the category and monitor your competitors’ actions to plan your budget accordingly. Since this traffic can be pretty broad, you want to customize your landing page in a way that converts the visitors to do a specific action. You might not be able to appear in high positions for all relevant keywords, so set priorities and invest in phrases that are crucial for your campaign’s results.
- STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIPS – Create content under the banner of “things to do in…” (e.g. videos, blog articles, vlogs, podcasts, etc.) and partner with key influencers and brand ambassadors to promote or co-create this content. In addition, seed content online via paid platforms, such as Taboola or Outbrain to boost your posts’ visibility and engagement.
- TARGETED BRAND CAMPAIGN – Increase brand awareness so people automatically search for your company website when they need travel inspirations. Come up with a creative concept around “things to do in…” Use brand channels such as social media, TV and OOH to become associated with travel search. The goal is to become ‘Top of Mind’ (TOM) for travel search possibilities.
This is just an example of how to plan a cross-channel content campaign and what platforms to use based on a specific objective. You can always test different marketing channels and approaches, but remember to schedule it based on your budget and resources.
#3 Roadmap & milestones
Every campaign needs a detailed plan that includes a roadmap and specific milestones. You can use external platforms like Asana and Trello, or lay out your plan in a Google Doc and share it with all stakeholders. With a complex content campaign, it’s also useful to set up roadmaps for each channel to create more transparency and improve communication between teams. Here’s an example of how we would approach the SEO project step by step.
- CONTENT AUDIT – Audit existing “things to do in…” SEO landing pages (if they exist). Assess what’s working, what keywords are ranking well, what is missing, etc.
- CONTENT STRUCTURE – Define a content pillar following the ‘things to do in…’ structure and create related content clusters (e.g., cities, ‘things to do in Berlin,’ ‘5 things to do in Berlin,’ ‘Top things to do in Berlin,’ etc.).
- KEYWORD RESEARCH – Define specific keywords. Content clusters should help with finding the right keywords. After you’ve come up with a list, check their traffic using Google Keyword Planner.
- TEMPLATES FOR LANDING PAGES – Develop formulas and templates for landing pages, including design and imagery. As previously mentioned, make sure the audience who lands on your page is inspired and engaged and finds it easy to navigate and convert.
- RESOURCES – Allocate resources, both internally and externally. Decide when and at what cost you need agency support and plan who’s responsible for each campaign phase.
- KPIs & TRACKING – Set KPIs and analytics to track performance using Google Analytics. Bear in mind that SEO is a rather long-term process, so you might not see the results until months after the campaign ends.
#4 Responsibility matrix
Another crucial part of your roadmap is the responsibility matrix. Cross-channel campaigns can get messy when there’s no clear guidance regarding who does what. It’s also important to allocate resources to see whether an agency’s help is needed.
As an example, let’s look at the division of responsibilities for our SEO project.
- SEO team (keyword research, landing page implementation, analytics)
- Content writers (create copy for landing pages)
- The design team (content templates, imagery search)
- Developers (if there’s a need to code the landing page)
- External agency (deliver more content, analytics)
Make sure to set up an estimated budget for the whole campaign and allocate it accordingly per channel. Your actions will depend on your budget. Some activities might not require additional budget. Still, in order to increase the visibility of your posts and attract more customers, you should consider boosting your campaign using performance marketing. You’ll be able to immediately see the results, monitor how your budget is being allocated and adapt the campaign at any time.
#6 Set priorities and consider trade-offs
Last but not least, set priorities but be prepared to make trade-offs. You might have an excellent plan, but you should be ready to make changes if necessary. Especially during a long term campaign with many stakeholders involved, you won’t be able to predict everything, so don’t take your eye off the ball and be willing to compromise. 🙂
Let us know if you have any questions regarding content campaigns. We’ll help you to find the right channels to promote your content and set up a full cross-channel campaign. Reach out!