How to develop a content marketing strategy

When it comes to digital marketing, most marketing experts would say that content marketing is extremely important. As the saying goes, ‘content is king’. But what is a content strategy, and why should brands implement it? Also, what do you even need to create a good content strategy in the first place? We try to answer and explain all these questions in this article, so be sure to keep on reading below to learn more.

What is a content strategy?

So, what even is a content strategy? According to most marketers, a content strategy is a plan that mainly uses content (so this can be written, audio, or visual) in order to achieve a business’s goals. Effective content strategies will help to attract your target audience at every stage of the marketing funnel in addition to keeping them engaged, even after they have made a purchase. Content strategies also tend to be part of a broader marketing strategy.

A content strategy should provide a clear direction of where to go, what aims you hope to achieve, what content you will produce, and which channels you will use to publish the content. That being said, it is also best if your plan remains somewhat flexible, as unexpected events can always happen, especially in the fast-evolving digital sphere. Additionally, as you understand your target audience better and know what content they like and what they don’t, your strategy should shift and evolve too.

On the whole, 70% of marketers choose to invest in content marketing. This is because content marketing can help with attracting prospects to your brand, as well as allow your brand to be more competitive. While content marketing can be incredibly time-consuming, businesses have the option of outsourcing their workload to an online marketing service company if needed.

Why do you need a content strategy?

Creating a content strategy can be a huge undertaking that requires a lot of time and manpower. So why should businesses utilise a content strategy? Here are a few main benefits a content strategy provides below:

Gives content a purpose: A content strategy will help you gain a clear idea of what you want your content to do, and that you know exactly what you are doing. If there is no strategy, you run the risk of creating content that does not tie into your business goals or is not meaningful to your brand.

Keeps brand consistent: This is a fantastic way to establish your brand’s unique voice. This will help to influence how your target audience will view your brand. For instance, an educational firm may want to use more formal language alongside an authoritative tone, whereas a graphic design agency may use a more casual, witty tone.

Grows organic traffic: In order to grow traffic organically, one way to do so is to create high-quality content for Google and other search engines to crawl through. Using a content strategy can help you to organise certain keywords that you know your audience is searching for, which will then inform what content you create. Overall, organic traffic is one of the most cost-effective ways to boost a brand’s visibility.

Builds audience relationships: By creating valuable content, it can be used to solve your customer’s questions and pain points. It can also help to gain their trust, especially if the content is well-written, explained, and useful. The more of a good opinion they have of your business, the more likelier they are to buy your products or services.

Define your goals

The first thing that you need to do is to define your marketing goals. After all, what is your aim in developing a content marketing plan in the first place Why do you even want to create and produce content, and how can that help bring value to your brand?

It is always good to know what your goals are before you start planning. This way, you can have an easier time understanding what is best for your marketing and business strategy.

One way to come up with good goals is to use the SMART framework. This means:

  • Specific: This means the goal is understandable, clear, and well-defined
  • Measurable: It has a specific criteria that can help you to measure your progress towards accomplishing the goal
  • Attainable: This means the goal is not impossible
  • Relevant: the goal should align with your company’s long-term vision and values
  • Time-bound: The goal should have a clearly defined timeline

Conduct research

Now, you need to define your target audience, otherwise known as your buyer’s persona. One way to do that is to conduct persona research. This step is especially important for up-and-coming businesses, or any businesses new to marketing. By understanding and knowing who your target audience is, you are more likely to produce relevant and valuable content that they will want to consume. This makes them more likely to convert into paying customers in the future. Things you may want to include in your target persona include: the age range, sex, gender, region and language of your target audience, as well as any hobbies, interests, pain points, and problems that they may have.

It is also important to note that your target audience may change over time. For example, if your company has grown big enough, you may consider targeting a new demographic or expanding your current target audience. As such, it is highly advised that companies continue to conduct market research at least each year if they want to keep growing their audience.

Run an audit

Another thing that you may consider doing is running a content audit. This way, you can see what types of content are the best-performing, or vice versa, lowest-performing. That way, you can use the information gathered to inform what direction you should be taking next when it comes to content marketing.

You can also use an audit to find what you can do differently in the upcoming year and set new goals. No matter what stage you are at in your business, a content audit is a fantastic way to find out what resonates and engages best with your audience, whether there are any content gaps you can take advantage of, and what types of content you should discard.

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