Content marketing can be one of the most effective ways to drive traffic to your website, increase brand recognition, and ultimately make sales, but only if you do it right. You could spend months or even years trying to perfect your strategy, but I’m going to make things easier by showing you the 7 essential steps to create an excellent content marketing strategy in no time! Let’s get started!
1) Understand What Works
Good content is not what you want to say, but what your audience wants or needs to hear. Only then will you be able to create content that is marketable. No amount of content marketing will work for you if your content does not resonate with the audience’s interest.
Suppose you are planning to release content revolving around smartphone reviews. You need to analyse what kind of tone your audience likes to read. You also need to see their preferred medium of content consumption. Do they like to read more, or are they more interested in review videos? Do they want to know about a particular smartphone in detail, or do they want a comparison of some phones? You’ll need to find answers to these questions before you even start creating content.
You can’t have a solid strategy without knowing what your audience wants. Use surveys, polls, and questionnaires to get an idea of what content people respond best to. Every time you add something new or change your format, ask your readers for feedback. By continuing to solicit opinions from them about what works and doesn’t work for them, you can hone in on exactly what they want from you and avoid churning out posts that don’t serve their needs.
2) Get Inspired by Great Examples
Wise is a content creator and marketer who knows what mistakes to avoid and which points to use in their favour. The best way to know how to create compelling content is to see what content your audience is already consuming. Think of it as a sample for your work. You need to invest time, effort, and money in creating and marketing content that matches the audience interest. For that, you’ll need to do a thorough research of your competition.
Your successful competitors are your best mentors, they have mastered their content marketing strategy. They know what works for them and their (and your) audience. Take notes and implement their strongest points in your strategy.
If you want to be successful, it helps to follow in someone else’s footsteps. Find companies that are doing amazing things with content marketing, then analyze what they’re doing. Draw inspiration from their tactics then start developing your own plan using your unique strengths and opportunities.
3) Think About Monetization
Even if you’re not trying to attract advertisers or generate revenue, it’s essential to think about your overall monetization strategy. How are you going to make money? How are you going to make enough money? And how are you going to continue making enough money over time, no matter what happens in your industry? It can be difficult or even embarrassing to ask these questions, but doing so will help clarify exactly what type of content you should focus on. At best, it may even give you an idea for an additional revenue stream that would enhance your overall strategy.
4) Decide on a Niche
Broad-spectrum content marketing will not fetch you desirable results. It will lead to many low-quality and unverified leads that you don’t want. Choosing a niche is imperative to ensure your content marketing is successful.
Niche helps you create highly focused content that will bring the right audience, better quality leads to your business. This way, your chance of conversion also improves multifold.
Before you even begin creating your content marketing strategy, you’ll need to first decide on a niche. You can’t take a scatter-shot approach—you need to focus your energy and resources on one particular area of expertise. This narrows down your audience, making it easier for you to give valuable advice. In other words, choosing a niche will make it easier for you to build trust with your readers—and that’s what content marketing is all about. Think of your chosen niche as your sweet spot – something that aligns with your skill set & interests and opens up opportunities for monetization or collaboration. Content that reflects your brand value and resonates with your niche’s consumers will help you create a strong foothold in the market.
5) Select Platforms
Not every platform is suitable for every content marketing campaign. Take LinkedIn for example, this professional social media platform is not suitable for the quirky and casual content you see on Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat.
On the other hand, if you plan to run long marketing campaigns, you don’t want to be on Snapchat because of its 24-hour content shelf life. In simple words, the content marketing platform you choose should align with your audience. There’s no point in picking a platform where you don’t have your audience. It will only be a waste of your time, efforts, and money.
Before starting any content marketing strategy, it’s essential to know which platforms are best for your business. Every platform is different, so it’s important to pick and choose wisely. A crucial part of any strategic content-creation plan is knowing which channels your target audience uses most often—and making sure you’re on them all. A recent survey by L2 found that Facebook was still king when it comes to the most used social media platform in North America, followed by YouTube and then Twitter. If your target market isn’t on these platforms (or if they are but don’t seem interested in or engaged with your brand), there might be better options for you—so make sure you do your research before diving in headfirst.
6) Determine Content Types
First and foremost, you’ll need to determine what kind of content will drive your marketing efforts. The more you can tailor content types to different strategies and goals, the more effective your overall strategy will be. For example, many B2B marketers produce both white papers and eBooks. Others may find success with webinars or interviews—those would fall under different categories entirely. Sometimes it makes sense for marketers to simply use any content they already have on hand; re-purposing old articles is one great way to boost traffic. Do some digging into what successful brands in your industry are doing in terms of content creation and marketing them yourself with a similar style and approach.
7) Create a Timeline
To make sure your content marketing strategy is on track, start by creating a timeline. This will help you stay focused on your objectives and allow you to better measure how well they’re being achieved. While you don’t have to follow it exactly, having at least a rough idea of when each part of your plan will happen helps avoid confusion and ensure that nothing falls through the cracks. According to Kyle Soucy at HubSpot, Once you layout your content calendar in detail, create tasks for every entry in your content calendar spreadsheet.
8) Establish Your KPIs
With so many avenues for creating and distributing content, it can be tough to keep your strategy focused. Make sure you clearly identify what success means for each channel by defining key performance indicators (KPIs) before getting started. For example, you may use traffic as a KPI for your website and the number of newsletter subscribers as a KPI for your email marketing efforts. When you know what success looks like, creating and measuring content becomes much easier.
9) Create a Content Calendar
A good content calendar isn’t difficult to design, but many marketers don’t spend enough time planning what they want their campaign to look like. Think about how your different content pieces will fit together in a larger marketing strategy. That way, you can make sure that your ideas complement each other and ultimately support your overarching objectives. If you haven’t built any contact with your audience yet, use each piece of content as an opportunity for customer engagement or lead generation. By establishing regular contact with people who share similar interests, you can gain insight into their preferences and develop more targeted campaigns in the future.
10) Identify and Allocate Resources
Before you begin drafting a content marketing strategy, start by mapping out your goals and objectives, then figure out how much budget you have for marketing efforts. Resources include time, money, and people with specific skills that can help achieve these goals. Once you know how much time and cash you have to work with (and what kind of team members are on board), map out an overall plan for achieving your business’s objectives. This way, your content will be tied directly into your larger marketing vision.
When you allocate content marketing to the right resources, every person in the marketing staff will be able to execute their responsibilities in a more efficient way. There will be minimum chances of mistakes, and the synergy of the team will be higher than everyone doing everything. Assign dedicated tasks to dedicated people. It will help you create, execute, monitor, and manage your marketing efforts seamlessly.
11) Create Content
Before you develop your content marketing strategy, it’s important to take an inventory of what you have available. What are your goals? Do you need funding for hiring people or technology? Are there specific tools or platforms that will help you get started? What is your budget and where do you plan on investing resources? Allocate money for creating quality content that improves your reputation in your industry. Once that’s set, it’s time to explore ways of driving traffic through various channels.
12) Distribute and Market
Before you can craft effective content, you have to know what that content will be. Planning your marketing calendar in advance ensures that you’ll have great ideas when it comes time to write. Creating a master editorial calendar is a good way of managing your overall strategy and ensuring nothing falls through the cracks. You should also keep an editorial calendar for each piece of major content; it helps writers stay on track with their deadlines and helps make sure each post is consistent with your overarching messaging.
13) Measure Results
Creating a content calendar is an essential part of your strategy. Without one, you will not be able to develop or implement any kind of formal marketing plan or use social media effectively. Before creating your content calendar, make sure you know who your audience is. This will allow you to market your business more efficiently and provide what people are looking for when they find your page on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. Once you’ve figured out who you want to target with each piece of content, you can choose what days and times are best for publishing that particular piece of information. Keeping all of these things in mind will help streamline how effectively your business communicates on social media websites and give people what they want while also increasing brand awareness for an effective digital presence on the Internet.
With all the information provided above, we know you are now ready to transform your content marketing. You will be able to maximize your ROI on the time, money, effort, and resources investing in content marketing. And just in case you have any doubt about how to perform these tasks in the most efficient way, you can always rely on us. Our experience and expertise in content marketing help us devise a plan that works with your goal, vision, and ambitions.
Before we sign out for the day, here’s a quick recap on all the amazing steps to create a useful content marketing strategy:
- Understand what works
- Get inspired by great examples
- Think about monetization
- Decide on a niche
- Select platforms
- Determine content types
- Create a timeline
- Establish your KPIs
- Create a content calendar
- Identify and allocate resources
- Create content
- Distribute and market
- Measure results
For more information, feel free to contact us. We’ll be glad to assist you.
Patrice Valentine is the President of ProFusion Web Solution, a company that helps to grow business via custom websites, marketing, website hosting, and search engine optimization services in Bellingham and Ferndale.