Every business needs a solid content marketing strategy. In this day and age, every voice is trying to be overheard above the noise, and the only thing that makes your business stand out is your content marketing. Content marketing is important because it provides value for your readers before anything else.
So how do you go about developing a content marketing strategy? Here are five steps you can take to do just that.
Step 1 – Create a custom content plan.
You want to stop creating random content for your site. When you haphazardly create content, you may not even be targeting your ideal audience. You want to be strategic with your content.
Take a look at your overall business strategy and business goals. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Where does your business want to grow?
- What are your long-term and short-term goals?
- Who is your target customer?
- Where do these customers read on the Internet?
- How can you reach this audience?
You need to create detailed customer personas before you can really determine who you are targeting your content towards. When creating a buyer persona, be sure to include the person’s job title, income, job responsibilities, challenges, and goals.
This information will help you to determine your content goals so you’ll be able to create a unique plan for your content marketing strategy.
Step 2 – Determine the best content channels.
As you develop your content marketing strategy, you’ll start to get an idea of where your target audience is hanging out online. You also want to look at anywhere you already have a successful online presence. Instead of doing everything at once, it’s a better idea to expand on what is already working.
You can use programs like BuzzSumo to see where your content is being shared the most. Use their Content Analysis tool to see charts showing shares by network, content type, length, and your top content in the past year.
Using this information, it will be much easier to make a decision about which networks to share your content on.
Step 3 – Determine what type of content you want to create.
There are certain kinds of content that every content marketing plan will include. For example, most content marketing strategies that are successful have central content like blog posts that are published on the business’s own website, and that content can then be repurposed and shared on other networks.
You definitely want to have blog posts as your main type of content. They still can bring strong results if they are actionable, shareable, and valuable. Your blog may also include a range of different types of articles.
You can also use tools like the content explorer on Ahrefs to explore popular content for your keyword. This may give you inspiration so that you can create content about your desired topic. Because this shows you the top content, you can also see what is trending and know what kind of posts are performing well around this topic.
Some other forms of content that are popular currently are video, audio (podcasts and audiobooks), and visuals (infographics and memes). Your content strategy should definitely include those things as well. You can use programs like Piktochart and Canva to create striking visuals and infographics, and you can use video editing software like Hit Film Express to create videos.
Another way to get ideas about the type of content to create is to determine which questions your target audience is asking about your topic. You can use tools like BuzzSumo’s Question Analyzer or sites like Quora to find out what questions people are asking about your topic. Then you can create content that answers those questions.
Step 4 – Create an editorial calendar.
You’ll want to know exactly when you plan to post content to the different channels. One of the key content marketing mistakes that people make is a lack of planning. It’s important to use a content calendar so that you can schedule out all of your content in advance.
You can use a tool like Google Calendar or even just a spreadsheet to create an editorial calendar. Then you can use tools like Hootsuite and Zoho Social to schedule social posts.
If you’re managing a team of content creators or if you have multiple channels to manage, you’ll likely want to use a calendar with more features. You could try a productivity or task management tool like Asana or a calendar scheduling tool like CoSchedule.
Step 5 – Create your content.
Now that you’ve done all the prep work, it’s time to actually create the content. We’ll show you how to create a blog post, but this process will work with any piece of content.
So you’ve done some research to find out what types of blog posts are popular with your target audience. For example, you may have found that list posts or how-to guides are popular. So you’ve decided to make a list post.
The next thing you need to do is research your topic. Find out what is already written about your topic. How can you put a unique spin on the same information? How can you add value for your target audience?
And then you actually start writing your content. As you create, make sure you are being consistent with your business’s brand. How is the tone? Are you using a serious voice? Is it more casual? These are important questions to ask yourself as you create content.
So if you follow those five steps, you will have a content marketing strategy in no time. Don’t be afraid to get creative and think outside the box. You want to find your own unique way to create content and say things that only you can say.