Whether you are a new blogger or an experienced one, it never hurts to take a look at your content marketing strategy to make sure that it is optimized, up-to-date, and representing your brand or business in the best possible light.
After all, as a business trying to take over the online space, you will have more competition than ever before to get your content in front of the people that matter. In fact, a study performed by the Content Marketing Institute shows that some of the best B2B marketers are spending at least 40% of their marketing budget on content marketing. If you want to gain an advantage on that type of competition, then you’re going to need to put a solid content marketing strategy in place.
In this article, we will show you how to successfully publish content that will stand the test of time and keep your audience engaged.
What is a Content Marketing Strategy?
A content marketing strategy refers to any media that you create with the goal of promoting your business. It’s part of your overall marketing plan that allows you to show your audience who you are and demonstrates that you are an authoritative voice within your industry. Even if they are not currently in the market for your particular product or service, you will be on the top of their radar when that time comes.
A good content marketing strategy will focus on questions such as:
Who is your target audience?
What are they interested in?
What problems are they facing?
How is your solution for them unique?
What channels should we publish through?
How can we engage with our audience?
As you’ll see, a good content marketing strategy is focused on your target audience and finding how to address and solve their problems.
Why Do I Need a Content Marketing Strategy?
A solid content strategy is a way for your brand or business to create a cost-effective source of new traffic and leads. If you think about it, a good piece of content is capable of being found online and producing a steady stream of traffic to your website that could result in leads for your business.
An effective content marketing strategy will become a consistent lead generator, in that it provides a steady stream of leads. On top of that, your content will attract backlinks that will help your website rank higher in search rankings, resulting in more organic leads. Further, it provides your company the opportunity to showcase your expertise and prove your authority as a credible voice in the industry.
Now that you understand what content marketing is and why it’s important for your business, let’s look at how you can create a content marketing strategy.
How to Create a Content Strategy
A good content marketing strategy may take work and effort on your part, but it will be worth it when you see the results that it will produce for your brand. As I’ve already mentioned, a content strategy allows you to plan and create content that will have the most impact, rather than aimlessly creating content and hoping for positive results.
Content marketing is quite simple and can be done in these simple steps
1. Define the Goals you Have for Content Marketing
If you want a successful content marketing plan, then you will need to define your goals from the start. This will ensure that you’re able to stay focused and make progress once you get busy with your content creation.
Try to answer questions such as:
What are we trying to achieve with Content Marketing?
Why are we creating content?
Who are we writing Content for?
How are we going to reach the goals we have set?
Write your goals down on a sheet of paper to help ensure that you stay focused on the task at hand. Once you define your goals for content marketing, it will also make it easier for you to begin planning how to produce the content that you want to create.
2. Research Your Target Audience
When you are creating your content marketing strategy, you will need to define who your target audience is. This is commonly referred to as your company’s buyer persona.
This is essential for any business, whether you’re new to content marketing or a long-time proponent of marketing through content. By knowing who your target audience is, you’ll be able to create content that is relevant and provides value to your audience. Relevant content will help you get their attention and you’ll have a better chance at converting your readers into customers.
It’s also smart for you to revisit or even redefine your buyer personas every few years. After all, your audience may have changed or you may even have an entirely new audience that you wish to target.
3. Measure and Test Your Marketing Methods
One of the most common forms of content marketing is blogging. This is what many businesses start with and why the majority of them never seem to branch out to marketing methods other than creating content through blogs.
While blogging is one possible option for content marketing, it may not be ideal for your business and you’ll never know this unless you test other content marketing methods and compare the success of each different method.
If you have been pursuing content marketing for a while with your business, then test out other content marketing methods to see if you could achieve greater results by changing up your content marketing channels.
Look for alternative ways that you can produce content and then set goals for the next year. You may be surprised when these alternative content marketing channels perform just as well or even better than your regular blog creation strategy.
4. Choose the Best Platform to Manage Your Content
If you’re going to get serious about creating more content, then you will need a Content Management System (CMS) so that you waste less time when you are trying to upload your new content. This will make it easier for you to upload, manage, and share the content that you create.
While these are not all of the content management systems available, they are some of the most advanced and easier to use platforms for Content Marketing. You are free to look into more platforms and choose a Content Management System that is right for you.
5. Create Content Ideas
Now that you know who your audience is and how you can reach them, it’s time for you to start brainstorming content ideas. This is what will help set you apart from your competition and a way that you can make your brand unique.
If you have trouble with content ideas, don’t worry! There are tools that can help you find interesting and engaging topics for your business.
These tools will help you kickstart your content creation and brainstorm for ideas that you may not have thought about on your own. Don’t try to force content ideas. They will come to you with time and you can always back up your ideas by conducting keyword research to make sure they would perform well.
6. Pick the Type of Content That You Want to Create
If you are going to pursue content marketing, there are many options available to you. Remember, you’re not restricted to just one content method. Test and see which ones work the best for you.
Some of the most popular forms of content creation include blog posts, video creation, podcasts, e-books, case studies, and infographics, among others. After you have chosen which type(s) of content your business will produce, it’s time for you to start creating and getting ready to publish and promote your content.
7. Publish and Promote Your Content
A good content marketing strategy will go way beyond just who you’re writing for, and how you will create your content. It will also help you organize your content so that you can manage it easier.
This is usually done through the assistance of an editorial calendar so that you know which posts you’re going to be publishing on a given day. Content calendars are invaluable for keeping your creative team on the same page and producing content on time.
8. Promote on Social Media
After you have been publishing content for a while, it will be time to start looking at social media as a tool to distribute, display and generate awareness for your new content. This might mean that you have to create new cover photos or repurpose your content slightly so that it fits the persona that you’re trying to create for your brand on social media.
You will need to choose which social media platform if the best fit for your brand, but don’t worry because there are a lot to choose from, including:
When you are choosing which platform is right for you, you’ll need to remember that each platform has its own strengths and weaknesses and each platform will require a different format or style of content if you want to be successful. For example, Instagram requires a lot of visual content such as videos and photos while Twitter consists primarily of written content.
You should remember that your audience is the main reason why you’re on social media, so you should take a look at your personas and then do your research to see which social platforms the majority of your audience is on. There’s no point in promoting through social media if your target audience doesn’t use the platforms that you’re trying to use to promote your content.
We have learned a lot in the last few minutes, however, it’s just the beginning for you and your business. Now it’s time for you to create a content marketing strategy for your business. You will need to find your personas, choose the right platforms, produce the right type of content, then publish your content and take the time to promote your material to your audience through various social channels.
Leighton is the founder of ARTIISEO, a content marketing agency. With over 10 years of experience in digital marketing, Leighton has worked with some of the top agencies in North America and possesses a deep knowledge of the industry. He also writes extensively about marketing, entrepreneurialism, and business in general.