Developing a comprehensive content marketing strategy for your business is a necessity, as it can help increase your sales and it can aid in terms of getting more loyal customers.
For a complete guide, read on.
Content marketing strategy defined.
There are several definitions of content marketing strategy that are available online, and here are some of them:
Top Rank Marketing website defines content marketing strategy as your roadmap; it claims that the content marketing strategy contains your plan on how to help and serve your customers. In addition, it should help you provide answers to the "why, who, and how your content marketing program can achieve your business objectives."
On the other hand, Coppyblogger.com offered a simpler meaning, stating that content marketing strategy is a plan for getting your target audience through publication, maintenance, and dissemination of consistent content that can educate, entertain or inspire strangers and convert them into fans and customers.
Smartinsights.com defined content marketing strategy as to how a company manages its contents, treating it as an asset to be able to achieve its marketing goals of reaching, converting, and engaging customers.
This is my favorite, Pulizzi is the author of “Get Content, Get Customers.” According to Pulizzi, content marketing strategy is "how a brand was able to craft, produce and manage original or curated contents, so that these will be able to attract and retain customers, as well as being able to position the brand as a credible expert and, finally, influence a behavior change.
The abovementioned definitions, then, concurred that content marketing strategy will possibly contain the details about your customers, what you want to accomplish, and how you plan to achieve them. Consequently, for your content marketing strategy to be successful, it needed to be carefully integrated with the rest of your digital marketing initiatives so that your customers will have a cohesive experience across all your identified platforms.
Why is it important to have a content marketing strategy?
According to one of the published articles in Convinceandconvert.com, building your content marketing strategies is a fundamental requirement for success, and not just nice to have. The same article also quoted the Annual Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends Report conducted by Content Marketing Institute. In 2021, 57% of interviewed content marketers claimed that they did not document their content strategy. However, those who have documented their content marketing strategies, report that their efforts are far more successful than those who admitted that they don’t.
This is because creating your content marketing strategy will keep you guided in how you would be able to effectively use your created or curated content. If you do not document your content marketing strategy, the information that you plan to disseminate will be like a loose cannonball, not knowing whether you were able to hit your target audience or not.
Another important reason you need to document your content marketing strategies is to measure your effort and use this information to push your brand forward and correct the strategy if needed. In fact, according to the abovementioned reports, marketers who documented their content marketing strategies claimed that the content marketing tactics, social media platforms, and communication channels that they have identified in their plan, yielded better results.
We cannot emphasize enough the importance of your Brand Identity, as it is the center of your content management strategy. Your brand Identity is where you anchor your content management strategy and it is the one thing that you will need to successfully communicate through your content. Thus, creating your brand identity guidelines, so that you and your team have clear direction to follow in terms of your content’s feel and look.
How to develop effective content marketing strategies
Content Marketing is one of the most essential elements in digital marketing. When executed correctly, a Content Marketing Strategy can aid you in effectively engaging generating the leads you needed and gaining more audience, and converting them into customers.
An article posted in Content Marketing Institute, emphasized the importance of creating your Content Marketing Strategy because audiences are now taking control, in 2015, there were approximately 200 million people globally who had installed software that blocks ads. This move inadvertently affected those marketers who are heavily into paid advertisements.
Step 1 - Set your goals (objectives)
For your content marketing strategy to be successful, you need to be able to set SMART (Specific, Manageable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound) goals and objectives, as being able to measure and evaluate them will prove to be beneficial in the long run.
Having your SMART goals can guide your company as you go along your journey to success. For instance, some of the common goals that you can set are to get more visitors to come to your website and increase its traffic, gain email subscribers, or signups in your newsletters. To make this SMART Goal, you can aim for an annual 10% increase in your website traffic year on year.
Step 2 - Establish your key performance indicators (KPIs)
Determining the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that are SMART is one of the best ways to achieve the goals that you have identified. The KPIs can help you keep track of your Strategy’s performance as it provides milestones that you can check off once you reach them. Milestones to look out for maybe in terms of sales, revenue, website traffic, SEO. This may also include various aspects of digital marketing, such as making use of social media metrics and email marketing.
Examples of KPIs include hitting a certain revenue target for the month, quarter, semester, or for the year; acquiring new email subscribers; increasing website traffic; getting a certain number of mentions, comments, and shares; and being invited to participate in certain key industry events.
You may also track your marketing expenditures, expenses on the campaigns and channels that you use, as well how much you spend on acquiring leads, and if you making sales and revenues.
Step 3 - Know your audience
For a marketing campaign to be successful, you need to always identify your target audience, that is why segmenting them and getting to know them is one of the essential elements in the creation of your Marketing Content Strategy.
Tools that can help you in your quest to decide on your target audience may include keyword search, your own website’s analytics, and Google Analytics may yield excellent customer insights that you can use to refine your strategy. Through these tools, you can document your target audience and find out their characteristics will also save you money in the long. Listing down the demographic profile (age, gender, location, education, household income, job) and their traits (personal values, cultural influence, consumer needs, media preferences). You can use all of these to have a better understanding of your target audience, which can help you decide on the appropriate content types and topics to use.
Step 4 - Assess your current position (conduct a content audit)
Performing a content audit and finding which of your content are effective, which of them need improvement or which of them need replacement or removal, will give you a way to better understand your audience and align your brand with it.
Through the content audit, you will be able to assess the usefulness or success of the ones you have already disseminated and posted, and you can also identify the gaps to find an opportunity for improvement. It cannot hurt to also compare your content with that of your competitors to find out where you can fit in new content in your shared market.
Step 5 - Figure out the best content channels
Customers in today’s time have multiple channels at their fingers’ touch. Understanding the current state of your industry can help you look for the perfect opening or opportunity to find out the appropriate channel and reach your intended audience.
You can have a variety of choices in deciding on what channel to utilize, you can use search, digital ads, customers review sites, social media, news posts, and video. You can also use your specific objectives to determine the channel and who among your audience you want to reach.
Step 6 - Decide on content types
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to your audience. That is why segmenting your target audience is an important element, because different audiences prefer different channels and contents.
Content types may vary, you can choose from infographics, blogs, and videos, or even podcasts. Deciding on the content type will largely depend on your target audience. Use the data of your sales team to be able to decide on the content type and how to integrate them in your buying cycle.
You can also use your audience segmentation to help you decide on what content topic to post. You may utilize the data you gathered from your target audience and search for relevant keywords, and try and find a way to incorporate these data in choosing your content topic. This can help you get engagement from your target audience.
Research target keywords
According to an article posted on ahrefs.com, “keyword search is the only way to figure out what customers are typing in their search engines.” Thus, keywords research is Researching target keywords is fast becoming anis important skill for marketers in the digital world, to ensure that the content that you are creating is related to what the people are searching for.
This is why keyword search is now essential in deciding on your content type and topic as it can help you find the popular keywords to use so that you will not write content that nobody is searching for. These researched keywords can also be your guide in how to phrase your sentences and ensure that your content is placed high up on the landing page.
Find related keywords
Semrush.com defines related keywords as, “terms that are variants, synonyms or semantically related to the main keywords or phrase that you are targeting to try and get a high rank in Search Engines Results Pages (SERPs).
Related Keywords may either be and not just one or two words. You can also research for alternative keywords that your clients may use to find your content.
Bonus tips: Create a spreadsheet for each topic
For better organization and planning on how to use your target keywords, it may be better to create a spreadsheet where you can record your data for reference. There are samples online on how to create spreadsheets for your keywords, such as the one developed by one of the top influencers on the web, Neil Patel.
Step 8 - Create a content calendar
One of the most important parts of content marketing strategies is planning when do you want to publish the content you created and what are platforms or channels that you want to use. Creating your content calendar will make things easier for you.
There are a lot of tools that you can use in creating your content calendar, simpler of which is the Google Calendar. However, if you are publishing a lot of content, and managing a team, there are more task management tools that you can choose from, such as Asana, CoSchedule. These tools not only allow you to manage your content posting but also allows you to input the different parts of your process for creating your content.
Step 9 - Create content
In creating your content, you need to make sure that you are reflecting your brand’s personality. It is also important to decide on how your content will sound like: be it casual, professional, or somewhere in between. Your content also needs to show your expertise, but avoid sounding patronizing. Do note that you also need to maintain consistency with your brand’s personality in all the content that you create.
Aside from your brand personality, you also need to determine the existing content on your chosen topic, and how your content can add value to our target audience. Apart from researching keywords for your topics, you can also research and read about the existing content on your topics, and find out the gaps or how you can improve it.
It may also be helpful to review your existing contents and find out if there are content that you can repurpose or reuse by updating on relevant topics with brand new information; curating content from trusted sources, just making sure that you give credit where credit is due, aside from including your piece on the said content; utilizing generated contents; and atomizing contents or taking one huge piece of content and breaking it down into smaller pieces for easier consumption, much like what Convince & Convert suggests to do.
Outline the content you’ll create
Using outlines when you create your content can help you get to organize as you write your content. Getcodeless.com defines outlines as “your article’s skeleton, and it will be the blueprint of information as you write the final draft of your content.”
Using an outline will make it easier for you to connect ideas correctly. What’s more, outlines can help you detect potential gaps in your stories and address them, immediately. Having an outline is much like having a plan of how you can write your content swiftly and comprehensively.
Your outline has various parts and it includes your title, headers, statistics, fact, photos, and videos that can aid your content to be more palatable to clients.
Step 10 - Identify and allocate resources
Once you have an idea of the content that you want to create, who your target audience is, and the channels that you want to use, it is imperative to find out that you have the resources that you need to implement your content marketing strategy, such as workforce complement, digital and physical tools, publishing/disseminating workflow and the available budget for content and creative requirements.
Assess your current resources so that you will know your next steps to achieve and execute your content marketing strategy.
Step 11 - Design a publication and promotion schedule of your content
Planning is one of the important factors in your content marketing strategy. Designing a publication or promotion schedule will help you avoid not having anything to post; aside from the fact that it will prevent your audience’s fatigue, as you perfectly time the release of your content, in a manner that they can still absorb them and reflect on them.
Maintaining a publication and promotion schedule may seem like hard work, but it will afford you flexibility: you can schedule your contents for the weeks ahead if you still have many on your plate, or you can plan to create them if you have free days on your schedule.
Step 12 - Measure results
Measuring and evaluating your content and channels is important to find out if you were able to reach your goals and objectives and if the strategy you’re using is working according to your intentions. Subjecting your strategy to evaluation will allow you to tweak and change your strategy if needed.
Your plan should include ways to measure the effectiveness of your content and the channels you use to promote it. This will let you know if you’re hitting your goals or not, for you to conduct necessary corrections.
Metrics are an indication of success, however, you need to make sure that the measurements you are using can track your performance, and what is important for your business. Measuring your SMART goals may seem like a chore, but it can help you determine what is working in your strategy and what are components that you need to change.
With the proven success of Content Marketing, more and more companies are encouraged to create their strategies, as one of the ways to stand out and be seen and heard is by being strategic with your approach.
Building your content marketing strategy can truly help be heard in the billions of data that are available on the Internet. And through consistent practice, you, too, can create your content marketing strategy using your framework, as you continue to create better content to make your brand resonate.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is a content marketing strategy?
Content marketing institute defines content marketing strategy as, “the reason why you are creating content, who you’re target audience is, and why are you helping your target audience in a way that no one can help them. Content marketing is often used by organizations and companies to gain their target audience and achieve results, including revenue growth, drop in costs and acquire better customers.
How does content marketing strategy work?
Content marketing strategy works in such a way that your visitors are converted into your customers, through the following steps:
- Creating quality content that is useful for your audience;
- Sharing your created content in different platforms and channels;
- People get interested through your content, they started searching online for information about your brand;
- People appreciate your valuable content;
- Appreciation of your content will boost awareness for your brand and you will gain the trust of your audience; and
- Earning more conversions and sales.
How to build a content marketing strategy?
Building your content marketing strategy may vary, but its goal is the same: generate leads and convert them into brand awareness, brand support, and revenue. Below are steps for the creation of a successful content marketing strategy:
- Set your goals and objectives;
- Determine your audience;
- Conduct your Content Audit;
- Decide on the best channels;
- Identify the content types and topics;
- Create our work process
- Create a Content Calendar
- Measure your objectives.
What are the types of content marketing?
There are dozens of types of content marketing, and the most common of them are infographics, blogs, podcasts, videos, webinars, articles, and social media. However, getting to know your client is of the essence to determine the appropriate format for the content to be effective.
Why do you need a content marketing strategy?
Crafting your content marketing strategy is one sure way to set your brand apart from your competitors. All brands now have to create their content marketing strategies, as it offers several advantages, including improving brand reputation, aids in influencing conversion and SEO efforts, build and maintain a relationship with your clients, provide great content, and it is one of the cost-effective ways to gain new leads.