How to Create a Content Marketing Strategy

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Creating a Content Marketing Strategy may seem like a daunting task, but if you follow these steps you’ll be on your way to creating an effective strategy for your business.

Define Your Goal

As a business you should have an aim in developing your content marketing plan. This encompasses why you want to create a content marketing plan to produce certain content. If you know your specific goals before you start planning, you’ll have an easier time determining what steps are best to take for your strategy.

Conduct Persona Research

You need to clearly define the target audience for your content and their buyer persona in order to develop a successful plan.

If you are new to marketing this is especially important so you can produce more relevant and valuable content that your audience will read and convert on.

Study Your Audience

One of the biggest mistakes new marketers make is relying too much on intuition. Newbies either try to reach too broad of an audience or their focus is too narrow targeting only those with the highest purchasing power. Going with your instincts does have a role to play in content marketing, but should be limited.

The solution is to do research to learn more about your primary and secondary audiences. You should also use qualitative and quantitative data together when doing so.

Perform SEO Analysis

After you establish your audience you can focus on what topics they care the most about. You can gather information and create a list of primary and secondary keywords through online research through search engines like Google.

For example, “content marketing resources” can be a primary keyword phrase for an article like this about Content Marketing Strategy and a secondary keyword could be “brand voice”.

Set a Mission, Goals, and KPIs

Your mission, whether it be to produce a sustainable product or bring a unique inexpensive service to the masses, should help to align your team. It will allow you to talk about your brand’s products more easily and organically. Once you are able to do that your goals and metrics like your KPIs (key performance indicators) will follow.

Create a Content Calendar

This step bridges the gap between strategy and creation. You should schedule foundational content that you will produce in the first few months in a calendar that is accessible to your entire team to ensure your output stays true to your strategy.

Determine Which Types of Content You Want to Create

There are a variety of content options for you to create. Ranging from printed content like blog posts to artwork or photography. It’s important to discover what is popular in your market or field and which content will get you the most attention.

Publish and Manage Your Content

In addition to deciding what types of content to produce your plan should also include how you will organize your content. An editorial calendar will keep you on track to produce a balanced and diverse content library on your website. A social media content calendar will promote and manage your content to other sites.

Run a Content Audit

Usually most businesses that are new to developing content marketing strategy start with blog posts. If you are ready to produce other forms of content it is good to plan and consider which ones to produce based on your audience and content performance.

Choose a Content Management System

A Content Management System or CMS is vital to have in place to create, manage, and track the content you create.

The most important aspects of your content management system should include content creation, content publication, and content analytics.

The most popular CMS is WordPress which powers more than 1/3 of the Internet’s websites. Just find a WordPress developer to start on your path to success.

Develop a Distribution Strategy

Content distribution requires just as much planning and foresight as content production itself. Your audience analysis should include where they spend their time online. For example, if your audience is in finance they may frequent sites like LinkedIn. For media and marketing, social platforms like Twitter are popular. Those in retail will probably be active on Instagram. Facebook seems to be the platform that reaches the most audiences.

Distributing your content on social media will help attract an audience to interact with. It’s a good idea to stick with organic distribution when you first start out instead of going straight to paid content distribution.

Conduct a Gap Analysis

The goal of gap analysis is to track how your competition approaches content, which topics they cover, and the performance of their content. Gap analysis can be done in a spreadsheet or with scraping tools like BuzzSumo.

After you’ve compiled data it’s important to illustrate the information with a grid that highlights the largest creative opportunities.

Map the buyer’s journey

The ultimate goal of any content marketer is to increase and drive revenue with the entire marketing funnel in mind. The top layer of this funnel is brand awareness where trust is established through blog content, infographics, videos and social posts that avoid self-promotion. Your content should eventually connect to consideration, purchasing decisions, and retention of your audience.

By following this guideline you can create a Content Marketing Strategy that will help develop and retain an audience loyal to your business and ensure your success.