You’ve decided to jump all in with content marketing, but you’re not sure where to begin? Having a clear content marketing strategy in place lets you develop content that targets your audience and nurtures them through a funnel to generate leads and sales.
The steps below can get you started and give you a foundation to build upon. Over time, you can tweak your strategy to suit your audience’s needs as they change and evolve.
7 Essential Steps to Developing a Better Content Marketing Strategy
Each step below is designed to take your content marketing strategy from beginner to expert regardless of your industry and business type.
1. Know Your Audience’s Needs and Wants
Your content marketing strategy is designed to cater to your audience, so figuring out what your audience wants and needs to see from you should be your first step.
Many content marketing experts agree that creating personas for your audience is a critical part of the process. A persona is essentially a fictional person created to represent a particular set of characteristics, traits, demographics, and needs commonly shared by a segment of your audience.
You may have several personas representing different segments of your audience. For instance, if your audience includes both mid-level managers and C-suite executives, you might have a distinct persona to represent each group, as they have different needs and wants. You can uncover their demographics, needs, and other characteristics by researching your competitors’ content, sending out surveys to your audience, and using analytics tools to see what people engage with on social media or your website.
2. Choose a Few Key Content Types
Don’t feel like you need to implement 20 different content types into your strategy. Not every audience will respond to the same types of content. You may need to experiment with a few content types and formats to decide what to pour your focus into.
For many businesses, emails, blogs, videos, and infographics work well to prove your authority and lead people through your sales funnel. Other companies might benefit from podcasts, ebooks, and case studies.
3. Research Keywords
Once you know what content you want to use, you can formulate a keyword strategy to help people find it. This step should always start with a few keywords related to your brand and what people might search to come across a business like yours.
From there, you can map out related keywords that venture off from your primary keywords. Use a keyword research tool to do this. You can use these keywords to craft your topics for blog posts, videos, online courses, and other types of content.
4. Build a Content Calendar
Now, it’s time to plan your content. A content calendar keeps your content across all channels – your blog, social media platforms, email, etc. – organized to help you stay on track. Anyone on your team who’s in charge of planning, creating, and publishing content should have access to your calendar.
A content calendar doesn’t need to be complicated. You can create one with a spreadsheet program, a cloud-based collaboration tool like Trello, or a template you find online.
5. Analyze Your Content Strategy
Analyzing your content is a continuous process that shows you if your strategy is working and what you might be able to do to improve it. Key factors you should look for include:
- How people are getting to your site
- What those people do when they get there
- Whether your CTAs are convincing people to sign up or buy
- How long your visitors remain on your site
- How much your audience engages with your content
You can find several helpful metrics in Google Analytics. Social media platforms often have their own analytics tools, too.
6. Repurpose Content
Reuse your content to save time on content creation and get the maximum use out of each piece. A blog post topic can also become a podcast discussion, for example. Both types of content can reach a different audience while still offering value. Be sure to add any new content pieces you want to create to your content calendar.
7. Consider Outsourcing Your Content to an Expert
Growing your content strategy can take up a lot of time, especially if you’re new to the process. Thankfully, you can outsource every piece of the content marketing puzzle, including planning, writing, editing, and promoting, to someone who lives and breathes it.
Not only will this give you more free time to focus on other business aspects, but it will also leave your content marketing strategy in the hands of an expert who may be able to get results quicker than you could on your own.
Remember that your content marketing strategy will continue to evolve with your business and audience. Even if you do decide to outsource, you’ll still need to play a role in revisiting and revising your strategy as needed. These beginning steps create a foundation that will grow with you to keep your content marketing strategy on track.
Remember, your content marketing strategy extends beyond your website to online communities, other sites where you can syndicate your content or guest blogs, and social media. Install the POWR Social Feed today to expand your social following and engagement by streaming your social media content on your website. It’s easy to install and automatically refreshes your content every 12 hours, 3 hours, or 20 minutes – so you’ll always have freshly updated content to keep your visitors coming back for more.