, ,

7 steps to creating an effective content marketing strategy

What is a Content Marketing Strategy and Why Do You Need to Create Do You Need One?

A content marketing strategy helps your business educate your prospects, generate awareness for your brand, and creates reliable and cost-effective sources of inbound website traffic and new leads.

A wise person once said “Content is King” which it is, and an effective inbound content marketing strategy is the foundation for attracting leads and creating trust in a buyer’s journey.

It’s worth taking your time to get it right and when you develop your content strategy, there are a few questions you need to answer first.

1. Who will be reading your content?

Who is your target audience and how many audiences are you creating content for?

Just as your business might have more than one type of customer, your content strategy needs to appeal to more than one type of customer.

Various content types and channels will help you reach your audience and connect with each customer persona.

2. What problems will you be solving for these customer personas?

Your product or service solves the problems that you know your customers have. So, your content should support and educate your audiences through their situation as they begin to find solutions.

Your content then reinforces the solution(s) that you offer and helps you build credibility with your target audience.

3. What makes you unique?

Your competitors likely have a similar product as yours, so your potential customers need to know what makes yours better — or, at least, different.

…To prove why you’re worth buying from, you need to prove why you’re worth listening to.

4. What content formats will you work with?

To figure out what formats to focus on, you need to meet your audience where they work, rest and play.

Are they readers, listeners or watchers, long-form or short. Once you identify the best formats you can create a production budget to match your projected growth profit/revenue goals so you can invest in the best resources for the job to increase your chances of reaching those goals.

5. What channels will you publish on?

Just as you can create content in different formats, you’ll also have various channels you can publish to, from your website to social media.

This, again, will reflect where your audience lives. If your audience prefers long-form video content, you may opt to publish your content on YouTube. If you have a younger audience that likes quick content, you may opt for TikTok and Instagram.

6. How will you manage content creation and publication?

Before you create, it’s important to identify:

Today’s content strategies prevent clutter by managing content from a topic standpoint and planning a content editorial calendar around these topics so you can easily visualize your company’s message and assert yourself as an authority in your niché over time.

The 7 Steps to Creating An Effective Content Marketing Strategy

Let’s get stuck in…

1. Define your goal.

What’s your aim for developing a content marketing plan? Why do you want to produce content and create a content marketing plan?

Defining what it is that you want your content marketing strategy to achieve, or your overall business goals and objectives, ensures that you stay on the right track when creating your content.

Know your goals before you begin planning, and you’ll have an easier time determining what’s best for your strategy.

2. Conduct persona research.

A great way to visualise your target audience is by conducting market research and creating buyer personas. This is especially important for those starting out or new to marketing. By knowing your target audience, you can produce more relevant and valuable content that they’ll want to read and convert on.

It’s also good practice to revisit your audience parameters by conducting market research each year to grow your audience.

3. Run a content audit and identify keywords

There’s no use in creating content that doesn’t have anything to do with what you’re selling or the values of your business. Running a content audit (yours and competitors) and identifying your keywords will help you discover top-performing and lowest-performing content. Then, use that information to inform which direction you take next.

Whatever stage you’re in, a content audit will help you determine what resonates best with your audience, identify gaps in your topic clusters, and brainstorm fresh content ideas.

4. Choose a content management system.

You want to invest in a CMS to create, manage, and track your content easily and sustainably.

We’re fans of using WordPress, Meta Business Suite and Capsule CRM which currently meets our needs, however, there are a lot of apps and plugins that will help you with additional things like forms, live chat, CRM access, email marketing, and analytics.

They do help but if you’re a small organisation you don’t have to start with them straight away.

5. Determine which type of content you want to create.

There are a variety of options out there for content you can create, from written content like ebooks and blog posts to audio content like podcasts. Choose those that help connect with your audience the best.

6. Brainstorm content ideas.

Now, it’s time to start coming up with ideas for your next content project.

Here are some tools you can use to help get you going:

…Feedly

The Feedly RSS feed is a wonderful way to track trendy topics in your industry and find content ideas at the same time.

You start by suggesting what topics you’re most interested in and its AI tool will do the rest.

You won’t need to scour the internet to find new content ideas anymore. Instead, you can go through your curated list.

…BuzzSumo

This company offers several market research tools, one of which uses social media shares to determine if a piece of content is popular and well-liked–great for seeing what content ideas do well that you might want to adopt.

…Quora

This is a great place to see what questions people are asking.

…CoSchedule Headline Analyzer

This tool analyzes headlines and titles and provides feedback on length, word choice, grammar, and keyword search volume.

If you have an idea, run a few title options through the Headline Analyzer to see how you could make it stronger and more appealing.

…HubSpot’s Website Grader, ahREFS and Google Search Console

Use these great tools when you want to see where you’re at with your website and SEO efforts. With these tools, you can figure out how to make your website more SEO-friendly and discover areas for improvement.

7. Publish, manage and measure your content.

Finally, with the help of your editorial calendar, all the above steps and tools like google analytics, you’ll be well on your way to seeing what resonates with your audience(s) and publishing a well-balanced and diverse content library for your website.

Don’t forget to incorporate popular holidays, like New Year’s along with any niche holidays or annual milestones that might appeal to your audience.

You Are All Set

Now you are all set to go out there and start connecting with your tribe and upscaling your inbound traffic…

..And of course, we can help your business with all of this…

Helpful Links:

Moz.com – Beginner’s Guide to Content Marketing

Hubspot – Content Strategy Course