When wielded correctly, content marketing is the tool to take your business to new levels.
The right content can positively influence your audience, drive traffic to your website and increase sales and brand awareness.
However, without the right framework in place, quality content can go to waste.
In order to realise your content’s potential, you need a content strategy.
In this post we’re going to explore what a content strategy is, why it’s important and a simple, effective guide on how to build one yourself.
What Is A Content Strategy?
A content strategy is a plan where you utilise content to achieve your business goals.
These goals can include:
- Increasing brand awareness.
- Driving traffic to your website.
- Attracting new customers.
A successful content strategy will attract your audience at every stage of the funnel (see below) and keep them engaged after purchase – HubSpot
Your content strategy needs to fit into your marketing strategy.
The content strategy itself needs should contain:
- Your content marketing goals.
- Market insights. e.g.: social listening
- Core messages and target personas.
- Calendar and distribution strategy.
Now that we know what a content strategy is, let’s take a look at why it’s so important.
Why A Content Strategy Is Important
1/ It Gives Your Content Purpose
A content strategy is important because it gives the content you create purpose.
It allows you to define your goals and measure your success through them. It keeps your approach focused and helps you maximise the value of your content.
Setting clear goals always help to align your team, so that you can create content that resonates with your target audience.
2/ Improve Consistency
Having a well-planned and thought-out approach will help you keep your content flowing.
Tools such as content calendars will allow you to set the standard for content creation and distribution.
Remember that you need to get the right content to the right people at the right time.
3/ Target Your Audience Effectively
By actively researching your market and conducting social listening you will gain key market insights.
These insights will tell you what’s happening in the market, what’s working for the competition and what way your audience is thinking.
By having a better understanding of your audience you can create content tailored to their needs and pain points – providing them with value.
4/ Save Time & Energy
Strategic planning helps keep you focused on providing optimized content for your audience instead of a messy trial-and-error approach.
An actionable strategy helps streamline your approach and ultimately saves you time and energy chasing your tail with unplanned content ideas.
Steps For Creating A Content Strategy
We know what a content strategy is and how it’s pivotal in helping to achieve your marketing goals.
But what does one look like?
Let me show you the steps for a clear and simple formula that if implemented properly and consistently, will help you achieve sustainable success.
1/ Establish Clear Goals
First things first, you need to decide on what you want to achieve.
Start by asking the important questions: Why are you creating content? What are your
content goals? How does the content you create fit into your marketing strategy?
Are you looking to:
- Increase traffic?
- Gain more conversions?
- Increase brand engagement?
Whatever your goals, make sure to make them S.M.A.R.T
- T-Time based
This is to help guide your goal setting, keep you organised and make things realistic.
2/ Define Your Audience
A classic content marketing mistake is not defining your target persona.
Your buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of who you’re trying to sell to. These are the people you want your content to reach.
You want to find out their:
- Pain points.
- Role in the purchasing process.
To find this key information you must undertake research:
- Primary- Interviews, surveys.
- Secondary – Market trends, competitor analysis
- Internal – average revenue per sale, previous buyers.
3/ Perform A Content Audit
A content audit is a process of collecting and analysing assets on a website.- Hubspot
For any of you who have made content before that’s lying around or gathering dust.
Assess what you have, improve the quality of the content and remarket it more effectively.
A content audit can:
- Give data-driven insights into content performance.
- Identify areas for content repurposing.
- Help you understand what your audience likes/dislikes.
- See what’s working best.
To run an audit:
- Create a content audit template.
- Create your content inventory.
- Analyse content performance.
Work smarter, not harder.
4/ Build A Plan With Existing Content
Now that we know what content we have at our disposal, let’s analyse what we have before deciding whether to:
To improve existing content you could look at:
- Updating the copy.
- Adding more tips.
- Updating the facts.
- Cutting out any fluff.
- Repurposing content into another form.
5/ Plan New Content
Now we can look at planning out new content.
Remember we’re looking to guide our prospects through their buyer’s journey. Different forms of content include:
- Thought leadership pieces
- Product/ service solutions
- Case studies
For every piece of new content, before the first word is typed we need to know:
- Our audience
- Buyers journey stage
- The goal of the content
- Distribution strategy
- Keywords for SEO
Knowing this will help you create clear, concise content that provides value for our audience and helps us obtain results.
6/ Choose Your Content Format
When it comes to choosing a format for your content, you’re spoilt for choice.
You can choose to create:
- Much more…
For more information on the different types of content including their unique benefits, check out our other informative post here.
7/ Content Distribution
Now that you’ve created a piece of outstanding content, you have to make sure you spend the time required to get it viewed!
A big mistake many people make with content is that they create a brilliant piece of useful content, publish it, and think job done!
This isn’t the case, a solid rule of thumb should be that 20% of the time goes on content creation and 80% goes on distribution.
Check out Outbrain’s fantastic summary of the content distribution trifecta below.
8/ Content Calendar
A content calendar is an essential tool in ensuring you’re consistent, efficient and effective in your approach,
It allows you to:
- Collaborate easily with stakeholders
- Visualise content distribution for the year
- Spot content gaps
- Identify key milestones for special content e.g.: Christmas special blog
- Build a work plan for when content needs updating
Good content calendar tools include:
- Microsoft Powerpoint
Deciding your budget will be the next step as you begin to get a clear idea of your goals and what rewards you’ll get in return.
Content marketing is a much cheaper route than paid advertisement, especially if you create it in-house, but spending can cover:
- External writers
- Research companies
- Web designers
- Paid boosts
10/ Measuring Success
There is a wide range of benefits that content marketing will have for your business.
How you measure success will depend on the S.M.A.R.T goals you made at the beginning.
However, metrics include:
- Leads generated
- Organic search web traffic
- Brand engagement
- Increased conversions
The Founder Factory
Putting in a content strategy is crucial to success, so why not talk to the experts in content strategies?
That’s where we come in.
The Founder Factory is a content creation powerhouse built by founders for founders.
We’re a team of creatives, imaginers, dreamers and strategists, who have come together to turn your business’s content aspirations into reality.
We’re here to help revolutionize your content approach so you can unlock the potential it promises your business.
Book a tour and see what exciting opportunities await your startup as we help guide you through your content journey, so you can maximize the tangible results that await.
So check out our website or follow our page to stay up to date with us and get loads of cool tips and tricks that will help bring your content to the next level.