13 Steps to Create a Content Marketing Strategy to Grow Your Business
You want to grow your business? Content marketing is the answer. But don’t just jump in before you know what you need to do. Learn the 13 steps essential to create an effective content marketing strategy:
Set Your Content Marketing Goals
The first step in setting out to create a content marketing strategy for you business is to identify and set your goals. What developing a successful content marketing strategy does is it gives your business a clear direction for which it can use to measure the success of your content marketing efforts. To achieve this, all of the individual pieces of your content strategy will work together and will work in line with achieving your overall business goals.
When defining these goals, it’s important to determine what metrics should be used to determine the success of each goal, since these metrics can differ depending on the industry. As well as this, you should ask yourself questions like – what kind of tangible results do you want to see? How are you going to measure success? Are you wanting more leads, higher sales figures or something else? All of these factors can be included in your overall content marketing strategy so that they can be tied back directly into reaching key objectives and KPIs.
Your content marketing goals are built from elements that are designed from how well customers respond from individuals experiences with brands. Aiming for anything else could lead you in the wrong direction for making a successful content marketing strategy for driving measurable results for your business so ensure these objectives are SMART (Specific Measurable Attainable Relevant Time-bound).
Define Your Audience and Create Buyer Personas
One of the first steps in creating a successful content marketing strategy for your business is to define your audience and create buyer personas. Buyer personas are fictional representations of members in your target audience who have similar patterns in behavior when it comes to purchasing decisions. They can help you gain insights into the needs, wants, and motivations that drive customers through their journey with you.
When done correctly, creating and leveraging customer personas in your content will allow you to deliver messages that resonates with each and every one of them; thus increasing trust with them right away. To get started, start by collecting demographic data about your target audience via market research, customer surveys & interviews, website analytics tools etc., so you have a better idea of who they are. You could also extend this across other channels by analyzing comments on social media platforms or even email open rates, click-through rates or other user engagement metrics from email campaigns.
Once you have all this information at hand, craft a few buyer personas which capture relevant customer characteristics such as lifestyle choices or demographics that resonates with your product or services. These customer personas will give both marketers and salespeople alike valuable insights into the how customers think about their buying decisions and the journey they take from awareness to loyalty when interacting with brands like yours; providing valuable insight into which content pieces should be created for each stage of the customer journey for maximum impact!
Successfully managing your content marketing strategy requires a well-defined plan, and the first step is to research and identify the right social media platforms and industry blogs where you should have a presence. It’s important to know your audience and then determine which platforms they use to discover information related to your industry. Choose the channels they frequent so you can build relationships with the followers, customers, or influencers associated with them.
In addition to social media, another important part of content marketing is optimizing your own website for search engines such as Google or Bing. This will help make sure people can find you online when someone searches for key words related to products or services offered by your business. This can be accomplished through proper optimization techniques such as:
- rewriting titles and tags
- adding keywords in articles and scripts
- creating compelling descriptions or visuals for each page
- creating other webmaster tools such as an XML sitemap
These techniques will help make sure people find you when searching within these search engines.
By identifying platform options early on in the process of creating a content marketing strategy and taking proper steps to optimize your website for popular search engines, you’ll be in a better position to grow your business. With some planning upfront, businesses can create effective strategies that will reach their intended audiences while also improving visibility in other search engines – enabling them generate more leads over time.
Conduct a Content Audit
Creating a content marketing strategy takes more than just writing content; it requires an analysis of existing content and the development of ideas for creating new content. The first step in any comprehensive strategy should be conducting a thorough audit of the existing content. This means taking stock of all types of materials related to the company or brand, including both digital and hard-copy media as well as any written or created materials. Evaluate your current output and determine what works, what needs improvement, and what can be retired altogether.
Content creation begins with research into topics that would be popular with audiences – figure out what people want to know about, or explore questions they may have in their mind before providing solutions or giving advice that you can offer based on your expertise. With this information in hand, map out a timeline categorizing tasks related to creating new material such as researching topics, developing outlines for articles, brainstorming ideas for videos and other formats, coming up with narrative arcs for case studies and more.
Organize all your content around themes according to the type of audience you are targeting; is it a technical audience? Then create tutorials or product reviews targeted towards this niche by highlighting features along with benefits as well as anything else relevant to solving their problems. Creating alternative pieces can also liven up your website’s visual appeal – whether it’s podcasts about interesting people in your industry or infographics containing statistics on trends – choose several formats that resonate with potential customers so that they have the necessary resources when making decisions about purchasing from you.
These various elements make up the foundational building blocks needed to lay out an effective plan for growing a business through content marketing initiatives such as search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), influencer/blogger outreach etc., which will drive organic traffic organically increase conversions over time based on quality work produced consistently over time. Conducting a thorough audit before constructing a comprehensive strategy is key because it allows you to understand where gaps exist so that each element can then fill in those opportunities while layering various aspects together strategically.
Choose Your Content Formats
Creating a content marketing strategy for your business can help you reach new customers and increase engagement with your existing ones. To get started, you must choose the best content formats for your desired objectives. This can include blog posts, whitepapers, webinars, podcasts, e-books, social media posts, email newsletters or user-generated content.
Once you’ve chosen which form of content you’ll use to communicate with prospects and customers, identify the topics to focus on. Think about what’s important to your target audience and tap into conversations they’re already having. Gaining customer insights is key to producing relevant topic ideas that will be well received by prospects and customers alike.
You also need to consider:
- how much content you want to generate – including frequency – as well as who will create it and who will share it.
- will the content be created in-house or does it require outsourcing? Does each post need its own social media promotion? Who should receive credit for creating the material?
- if utilizing user-generated content make sure to include clear guidelines for submissions such as word count limits, formatting styles and acceptable sources of information prior to requesting submissions from supporters or followers.
Developing a content marketing strategy shouldn’t be overly complicated but should still reflect what makes you unique from other companies in your industry; from selecting effective forms of communication to identifying well researched topics that align with customer interests. Finding ways to stand out can ultimately help grow the success of a business in today’s competitive world so make sure your strategy covers all areas necessary for success!
Develop Content Ideas
One of the keys to creating a successful content marketing strategy for your business is to develop content ideas that will have the greatest impact. Knowing exactly what type of content you should create is central to your success. To do this, you’ll need to conduct keyword research and brainstorm ideas to come up with high quality content that resonates with your audience.
Once you have an idea of what topics and keywords relate most closely to your brand, it’s time to start brainstorming real-world content ideas around those concepts. One way to do this is by getting creative with word associations and identifying related concepts within the sphere of your brand’s general theme. You can also consult trending topics on social media or look through industry blogs for inspiration—just make sure it’s relevant and related to whatever product or service you offer.
Once you’re ready, compile a list of topics that have potential and begin researching them in more depth. Research your topics thoroughly so that each piece of content offers accurate information—this will help build both trust among consumers as well as more favorable search engine rankings for improved organic performance over time. Investing in good research pays off when it comes to creating high quality content – remember, if people are engaging with thoughtful pieces about important topics inside their interest area, they’re more likely engage with similar pieces from the same source in the future!
Conduct Keyword Research
When creating a content marketing strategy, conducting keyword research is essential for helping to target and optimize content in order to reach the right audience. Keyword research for content marketing requires an understanding of what topics people are searching for and a plan to rank for those terms. To get the most out of keyword research, it’s important to understand what kind of search engine traffic you want from each group of keywords.
Before starting your keyword research, you should define your target audience and purpose – what problem does your business solve and which types of customers would likely use your solution? Once you have a clear understanding of these factors, you can start researching relevant keywords that match this criteria.
- Start by brainstorming terms that may be related to your business. Think about different phrases customers may use when searching for products or services related to yours, including long-tail keywords (more specific three or four word strings). Generate as many ideas as possible before conducting any analysis – use tools like HubSpot’s keyword tool or Google Adwords’ Keyword Planner tool in order to quickly obtain the data on search volume and competition levels.
- Afterward, narrow down the list by eliminating search terms with low relevance or search volume before focusing on competitively-feasible words that are tailored toward potential customers who fit this profile.
Once you have identified potential target keywords, create a list based on their relevance to each other in order to organize them into specific campaigns. Keep detailed notes so that when it comes time to create the corresponding content pieces, it will be easy for you (or anyone else) to quickly reference which words need more attention and where focus needs to be shifted in order for maximum results from all campaigns. Use this information accordingly when devising strategies around creating relevant keyword-rich content pieces that rank well in search engines – such as blog posts, articles and website copy – so that you can successfully create a well-rounded planed based on valuable customer data!
Create and Publish Quality Content
Creating and publishing quality content is essential to any effective content marketing strategy. Publishing content that is valuable to your audience, as well as helps them solve a problem or make an informed decision, is the cornerstone of successful content marketing.
But, how do you create high-quality content that resonates with your target audience? The answer lies in understanding and harnessing the 13 steps of content production:
- Identify your target audience and understand their needs, challenges, and goals
- Research relevant topics related to their challenges in order to inform and educate your readers
- Generate ideas for content pieces that can help address these topics
- Select the best ideas according to industry data, trends and audience feedback
- Design an editorial calendar outlining the topic of each piece
- Research existing sources available online and offline relevant to each topic
- Outline each article according to established standards
- Compose an engaging introduction
- Construct informative body text covering every important detail
- Include actionable takeaways at the end of each piece
- Develop effective titles and captions for each post
- Include accompanying visuals such as images, gifs or videos where applicable
- Monitor progress post-publication in order to track engagement levels with your audience (e.g. page views, downloads etc).
Following this systematic process ensures that all pieces created provide value for both readers and search engines alike – enabling businesses achieve maximum visibility for their efforts!
Develop a Content Calendar
Creating a content calendar is one of the most important steps to developing a content marketing strategy to grow your business. A content calendar allows you to organize and plan your content in advance, allowing you to consistently post quality content that is aligned with your business goals. It also ensures that appropriate resources are assigned for each task and project, ultimately improving communication between teams and streamlining workflow processes.
When creating a content calendar, it’s important to establish an annual timeline for when certain projects should be completed. Depending on how often you plan on posting new content, you can establish quarterly, monthly or even weekly deadlines. You can also incorporate topics and themes into your calendar that reflect the topics and interests of your target audience.
Once all deadlines are established, it’s time to begin assigning tasks and resources for each project. This can be done through project management software or by writing down tasks in a shared document where everyone on the team has access. It’s important to note any specific requirements as well as individual roles so everyone understands their responsibilities at each stage of the process. Lastly, ensure that all relevant parties receive progress updates in order to stay on track with their tasks and adjust accordingly if any changes need to be made due to unforeseen circumstances or events.
Overall, developing a consistent content calendar should be part of any effective content marketing strategy because it helps keep team members organized while keeping track of marketing objectives over the course of an entire year.
Choose a Content Management System
Choosing the right content management system (CMS) is likely the first step when designing a content marketing strategy for your business. A CMS will be your ‘home base’ for all of the digital tools that you use to produce, curate and share content with an audience.
The keyword here is selection, so be sure to leave yourself with plenty of choices. Different platforms have different features and pricing structures so it’s important to make sure you pick a system that works best for you and your needs. Good places to start researching include WordPress, Drupal, Adobe Experience Manager, and Sitecore— each offering a variety of features that could work well in the context of any type of business or budget constraints.
In addition, make sure that whatever CMS you select integrates with other platforms such as social media sites or ecommerce stores in order to get more out of your content marketing strategy. Depending on what kind of service or products you provide can influence this decision as some may require additional tools such as online forms or access control that are not necessarily built into each CMS platform outright.
Follow this step by step guide in order to choose the right content management system as an integral part of any business’s successful content marketing strategy!
Promote Your Content
Once you have crafted your content marketing strategy and created useful, high quality content to promote your business, it’s time to start promoting it. Promoting your content is the key to its success. Without proper promotion and issuing of said content, no one knows it even exists and gets no attention or value from it.
There are a number of different ways that you can effectively promote your content and ensure that it reaches its target audience which is essential for achieving success in growing your businesses’ presence online.
An effective strategy for promoting your content includes utilizing a variety of social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. To take advantage of each individual platform’s potential reach you can use different kinds of social posts like photo posts, video posts or live streams as well as various advertising avenues available with each platform (e.g., sponsored ads). You could also make use link-building tactics by strategically placing links on other websites or sharing exceptional content through third-party sites like Reddit or Quora to increase visibility and overall traffic on the backlinks attached thereto. Given its vast userbase, influencer marketing can be used too – by working with popular influencers within a certain niche in order to drive more people towards a certain product/brand/company.
Promoting your content digitally adds a personal touch which helps in increasing its reach beyond what organic search would offer alone – not only does this increase brand visibility but also improves customer engagement exponentially if done correctly. Such measures help ensure that businesses get the most from their efforts when creating awesome new pieces of content!
Why is it important to set goals for a content marketing strategy?
Setting goals gives your content marketing efforts a clear direction and aids in gauging their success. It makes sure your content strategy is in line with your overall business goals and enables you to monitor measurable outcomes like an increase in leads or sales.
How do you identify the right platforms for your content marketing strategy?
Find the blogs and social media sites where your target audience is most active by doing some research. Recognize the media outlets that your target market uses to find out information about your sector. To increase visibility and reach, you should also optimize your own website for search engines like Google or Bing.