Whether you consider yourself a savvy content expert or you’re starting to develop your initial marketing strategy, building a content marketing strategy takes plenty of time and continuous fine-tuning. Ensuring that your content is relevant, innovative, and eye-catching doesn’t happen overnight, and it’s important to remember that just like the methods of communication and media we use, content evolves over time.
Audiences crave content that is engaging and answers their questions about your brand. In order to satisfy their cravings in an effective and efficient way, you’ll need to develop a strategy that is just as quick and punchy as they are.
When developing your content strategy, there are a number of things to consider. Getting ahead of your competition means taking the time to analyze your goals as a brand and how they match up with the needs of your audience and customers. In this article, we’ll explore what it means to have a successful content strategy, why it’s so important to have one as part of your marketing tool kit, and how you can start building one for your business. By the end, you’ll be one step closer to creating a plan for your brand’s content that will be sure to achieve your goals.
Strategizing Your Content
According to HubSpot, content strategy is the piece of your marketing plan that continuously demonstrates who you are and the expertise you bring to your industry. Without a proper strategy for your brand’s content, it’s nearly impossible to outline, set, and reach your marketing goals.
In order to grow your audience and increase conversions through content marketing, you need to find areas in which you can strategize. Ask yourself questions about your brand’s identity and what problems you are looking to solve. Here are some questions you may want to consider when thinking about how to strategize your content:
- Who is going to read my content?
- Who makes up my target market and audience?
- What sets me apart from my competition?
- What am I looking to gain from my content marketing strategy?
- How can I help and/or intrigue my audience with the content I create?
Thinking strategically about how you want to utilize aspects of your brand throughout your content will greatly benefit your brand’s image and reputation in the long-run.
Creating a content strategy as part of your marketing plan will help you develop tried and true methods for reliable, cost-effective sources of website traffic, as well as new and more trustworthy leads.
How To Build Your Content Strategy
Now that we have laid the foundation for why creating and implementing a content strategy is so important for the success of your marketing efforts, let’s talk about how you can actually develop a strategy that will work specifically for the needs and goals of your brand.
Here are ten ways you can develop and implement a successful content strategy for your brand:
- Define SMART goals for your brand’s strategy.
A SMART goal is one that is specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. Using SMART goals to explain what you need your strategy to accomplish will help you make sure that you are always on the right track, no matter what part of the process you are in. Here are some examples of goals you can tap into for your content strategy:
- Increase brand awareness
- Boost revenue generation
- Increase customer engagement and brand loyalty
- Enhance conversion and lead generation rates
Without these kinds of goals, it will be difficult to keep track of your progress and where you may be able to improve in the future.
- Establish how you will measure the goals you have set.
After you have established goals for your brand’s content strategy, you’ll need to take the time to decide how you will measure your results. Setting specific key performance indicators (KPIs) will help you know when you have accomplished the goals you’ve set by providing concrete milestones that you can check off accordingly. Your KPIs will vary per content type, but they should ultimately provide insight on areas such as SEO, revenue, web and social media traffic, conversion rates, and more.
- Understand your audience and what they are looking for from your brand.
Before you begin to create content and distribute it, you need to understand the perspectives of your audience. Creating various buyer personas helps you think from your audience’s point of view. By understanding the members of your target audience, you can create content that is both relevant and relatable, which they'll be more likely to read and convert on.
- Figure out which content channels are the most useful for your brand.
Once you’ve looked at the details behind your audience make-up, you’ll also start to get an idea of where they mainly consume content. This will help you decide which channels and platforms to position your content on. You want to make sure that your content is actually being seen in the places that your audience is looking for it. Using an analytics tool like Google Analytics can help you determine which content channels are best for your brand’s goals.
- Determine what kind of content you will utilize.
Once you’ve determined which content channels are right for your brand as well as your audience, it’s time to figure out what kind of content you will create. Take this step to start brainstorming what kind of content you think will resonate with your audience based on their personas and user preferences.
- Set a budget so that you can allocate resources efficiently.
In order to create a cost-effective content strategy, it’s important to set a budget and stick to it. Along with setting a budget for your content, you’ll need to decide who will be responsible for producing and distributing your content as well. The way this works will depend on the nature of your brand and specifics like your business’s size, leadership methods, and organization tactics.
- Create a calendar or schedule for your content distribution.
One of the most useful parts of any content strategy is your content calendar. Find a calendar system that works for your brand and is intuitive for the content you are using. By scheduling exactly when your content will be distributed to your audience, you’ll be able to keep track of how, where, and when your audience will see what you're posting and publishing.
- Create relevant content that coincides with your brand’s image.
Once you’ve laid the groundwork for your content strategy, you are ready to create the actual content that will serve as part of your marketing strategy. When creating content, don’t forget about the goals you’ve set and be sure to consider what will resonate most with your audience.
Additionally, it’s important to remember that the content you produce, no matter what platform you choose to send it through, should match the tone and style of your brand’s overall image and the reputation you’ve already created. One of the worst mistakes you can make is produce content that doesn’t seem to connect with the rest of your brand. Be creative and take risks, but remember the foundation of your brand and how you can use content to showcase your value.
- Measure your results.
After you have created and distributed your content, it’s time to measure those results. This is probably one of, if not the, most important steps throughout your content strategy plan. Remember the KPIs we mentioned in #2? Here’s where they come in. Gathering and analyzing the right data will help you make informed decisions about what to change and what to maintain when it comes to your overall marketing strategy. You won’t be able to gauge whether you are hitting your target goals unless you take the time to measure your success.
- Adjust accordingly.
With your measured results and data in hand, you can now assess your goals and adjust your content strategy accordingly. You should always keep up with your data and continuously monitor your progress. By keeping track of your progress and analyzing your results frequently, you’ll be able to fine-tune your content strategy in a timely fashion, which will help ensure that you are always moving forward towards your goals.
Putting It All Together
Developing a content strategy is one of the most important facets of any successful marketing campaign. While it may seem like a lengthy and daunting process, it is more than worth it. With an effective content strategy, you’ll be able to achieve real results and connect with your audience on a whole new level.