6 Steps to Create a Content Marketing Strategy
What is a Content Marketing Strategy?
Let’s define what a content marketing strategy is, before delving into the 6 steps to create a content marketing strategy.
It is the overall blueprint that details your company’s vision, goals and the types of content that gets created. It governs the style or tone used, and choice of platforms that your buyer personas prefer.
A Content Marketing Strategy is not the same as content marketing, which focuses more on the creation, editorial calendar, tactics and the curation aspects.
Why you need a Content Marketing Strategy.
According to the Content Marketing Institute research, those that document their content marketing strategy “Are far more likely to consider themselves effective at content marketing” and “Generally consider themselves more effective in their use of all content marketing tactics and social media channels”.
Currently, only about 35% of B2B businesses that are doing content marketing have a documented strategy.
Content marketing is one of the more effective methods leading to online conversions. Although it becomes much less effective without having a documented strategy.
With a well-thought-out and documented strategy, your content marketing efforts will be able to stay the course and not seem scattered and confusing in the eyes of your visitors.
When you have a strategy and plan in place, productivity will improve. You will know exactly what comes next and precisely when to do it. Otherwise, you will have to waste time thinking about what you should do next, day after day.
There are no universally standard or accepted methods for creating a content marketing strategy.
The 6 Steps Revealed
You need to have a clearly defined vision of where you want your company to be in about 5 years. Take some time to think about the future of your company.
2. Buyer Personas
You need to create buyer personas. If you have already created Buyer Personas, this is the best place to start. You already know who your ideal customer is, their demographics, what platforms they use online and their pain points.
3. Define your Goals
Each piece of content that you create must be aligned with a marketing goal.
Start off with defining your goals for content marketing. You should have at least three.
Make sure that they are something that is realistic and achievable.
They could include as follows:
• Leads per month
• Drive more Organic Traffic
• More Email Newsletter Subscribers
Pick things that are easily measured, and include time frames for each one.
4. Competitive Analysis
Do some research to find out what your competitors are producing and sharing.
Check to see what topics are getting the most shares in your industry. Buzzsumo is excellent for this. If their content works well for them, it is very likely it will work for you as well.
5. A Content Audit
Check your analytics to see what content you are producing is working best for you?
What do the best have in common? Is it the longer articles? Or is it videos? What gets the most shares or comments? You can use Google Analytics or Facebook Insights for this task.
Create a Google doc to organize your content audit. You can also use this as your guide for content creation planning too.
You should include the following sections in your Google Doc:
• Content Title
• Stage of Buyer’s Journey
• Content Format
• Name of Buyer Persona Targeted
6. Create the Type of Content your Buyer Personas Want
When you researched your buyer personas, you would have determined what channels of social media they use, the types of information they consume and the formats they prefer.
The following is a list of potential formats that your buyer personas may use to get information they desire.
• Blog Posts
• Email Newsletters
• Social Media Posts
• YouTube Videos
• Facebook Videos
• Press Releases
Content that you create is content that you own and control. In many ways, it is more valuable than paid media. Content is essential to build trust with your buyer personas. It gives them a chance to interact with your company on a personal level. Content creation gives you the opportunity to tell your brand’s unique story.
Each piece of content that you create should move your ideal customers through the next stage of the buyer’s journey. In other words, there should be a logical progression of content produced and promoted.
Remember with your content strategy that things are not set in stone. If you find that something is just not working, make changes and adjustments. Be sure to take a look at your strategy document periodically throughout the year to see how you are doing.
If you follow some or all of these ideas and document it, your content marketing will be easier and more effective. Feel free to add your own ideas into the mix.
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