One step in the process of identifying your target audience is grouping people based on characteristics such as demographics and typical behavioral patterns. Segmentation helps you better understand how to address your potential audiences.
The reason this understanding is so important is that you can’t really expect to create engagement unless you target your content to the audience. Imagine writing an amazing piece of research on the Higgs boson particle and then publishing it on a site whose audience is first-grade schoolchildren. You probably will not generate much engagement there!
That’s an extreme example, but this concept applies even at more basic levels. If your target customers are typically very thrifty, you should probably not target content to sites frequented primarily by the wealthy
Putting It All Together
Sorting out where to start with your content management strategy can be difficult, but it is a very high-return activity. Don’t just launch into the first campaign that comes to mind, as it can hurt your overall results if you spend six months chasing a mediocre content marketing plan instead of putting that effort into another, much better plan.
The goal remains building your visibility and reputation online, not just building links for SEO. As we will discuss more in Chapter 8, search engines are looking at engagement signals beyond links that can tell them where to find the best content
A world-class content marketing campaign is always a large effort, involving a large potential cast of characters ranging from creative content writers, graphic designers, video production teams, script writers, actors, web developers, social media marketers, and more—the possibilities are endless.
For this reason, analyzing the backlink profiles of competitors to see how they’re changing over time is a good idea. You can do this using any of the link analysis tools, such as Open Site Explorer, Majestic SEO, Ahrefs, or LinkResearchTools.
Consider pulling link data for your major competitors on a monthly basis, and seeing how their link profile is changing. This can help you learn if they are investing in content marketing, and if they are, what types of campaigns they are pursuing. Competitive intelligence like this can really help you tune your own content marketing efforts.
Conduct regular strategic reviews
Content marketing strategies should be intertwined with the normal course of business, and evolve as the business does. As the implementation moves forward, you learn lessons and can feed this information back into the process. For example, you may have campaigns that did not work. What lessons can you draw from those?
Or, you may have one idea that is going gangbusters. How can you use that success to give you ideas for other campaigns that may work really well for you too? Sometimes the initial strategy goes great for a while, but it begins to run out of steam, so you should work to develop a constant stream of ideas that you are feeding into your content marketing process.
Applying what you learn from each campaign you try is a key capability to develop. No campaign is a failure if it helps you learn how to continuously improve what you are doing.